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women and HIV
May 8, 2008

I had previously asked you to explain how a woman can infect a man. Part of your answer was that "it's far from low risk! Infact the vast majority of men with HIV worldwide contracted it from HIV infected women!" well, I work with HIV+ women, not to mention my HIV+ bestfriend. They are in long term relationships with HIV- men, they have had children by these men and these men continue to stay negative, After being in a long term relationship with these women, the men do not want to use condoms and nor dental dams and don't. As for my best friend, she was diagnosed 4 years into her marriage when she was pregant and her husband five years later is still negative, can you please elaborate on this?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Sure. Your best friend's husband is damn lucky! Just like playing Russian roulette, some folks can pull the trigger five times before they blow their brains out. Others do it with a single click of the trigger.

As it turns out, not every exposure to HIV results in HIV transmission. (Thankfully!) In fact many exposures do not result in transmission. However, it can happen with a single exposure. So if your friend's husband feels he doesn't have to worry about getting infected because he hasn't contracted HIV so far, he's tragically mistaken. I also wonder how your friend could allow her husband to have unprotected sex with her knowing that she might pass the infection on to him. To me that is unconscionable and morally reprehensible. It takes two to do the unsafe sex mattress mambo and your friend and her husband are only fooling themselves if they think HIV won't eventually find hubby-man. They should spend some time on an AIDS ward at the hospital or at an AIDS hospice. It may change their minds about the inconvenience of using condoms.

Dr. Bob

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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