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how can a woman infect a man
Apr 18, 2008

I know that it's a low risk for an HIV+ woman to pass the virus to an HIV- heterosexual man. My question is: What exactly needs to happen for a woman to pass the virus to a man during vaginal or/and oral sex?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I wouldn't characterize female-to-male HIV transmission as low risk! Certainly it's lower (less efficient) than male-to-female transmission, but it's far from low risk! In fact the vast majority of men with HIV worldwide contracted it from HIV-infected women!

What exactly needs to happen? Infected cervical/vaginal secretions need to come into contact with the mucous membrane lining the urethra (pee hole). Not every exposure leads to viral transmission, but in some cases it only takes a single exposure (unprotected vaginal sex) for HIV-infected cervical/vaginal secretions to come into contact with the urethra's mucous membrane and viral transmission to occur. You can read much more about this in the archives.

Dr. Bob



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