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Circumcision affects "protected"?
Sep 28, 2009

Dear Dr. Bob, I read that circumcision reduces the risk of transmission by 70%. Does this mean that we uncircumcised men, are at 70% higher risk even when we have protected sex? See I thought that only the opening of the urethra is the mucous membrane that has to be protected. Now is the foreskin mucous membrane too? Should we be more extra careful to not touch the outside of (used) condom and then the foreskin? I am asking because I might have done that accidently -- after a protected vaginal sex, touched the condom and then briefly touched the penis in the foreskin area. I am sorry to ask Dr. Bob, but does that increase my risk? Is testing warranted? Sorry too late for PEP now... hope for your word. Donation promised.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

HIV cannot permeate intact latex (or polyurethane). Consequently, if you have "protected sex" and the latex condom is used properly and doesn't break, your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent, whether you're circed or not.

Touching the outside of the condom is not considered an HIV risk, even if you subsequently touch your foreskin. (PEP definitely not warranted!)

You can read much more about the protective effects of circumcision and other safer sex and harm reduction methodologies in the archives of this forum.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.

Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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