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HIV transmission thru urethra
Feb 16, 2010

Hi there, about 4 weeks ago I had some contact with the anal fluids of another guy. I was going to top him, but decided I wouldn't. I just fingered him and sort of penetrated him without going all the way in. I doubt this guy is HIV+ but there's always that chance. A few weeks later, I got a urinary tract infection - the whole works, diarrhea and everything, and took antibiotics which cleared it up. I was really startled to learn that HIV can enter through the urethra. But it makes no sense to me how anal "fluids" (whatever they might be...sweat or just ordinary liquid secretions?) could have a sufficiently high concentration of HIV to infect someone? It seems like nowadays it's just better to avoid sex altogether...everyone just seems to be a germ farm nowadays. Last year I had a really nice session of kissing with a guy, which resulted in a 6 week long upper respiratory infection (which he came down with too, but he didn't know it while we were making out.) Anyhow, any light you can shed on my urethral contact with anal fluid would be appreciated. Thanks for your time, -Andy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Andy,

The rectum is lined by a mucous membrane. Mucous membranes secrete mucous ("anal fluid"). Your nose and mouth also are lined with mucous membranes and they too are always "wet," right? HIV can permeate across mucous membranes (but not intact skin). As it turns out, the urethra is also lined with a mucous membrane. Consequently, if your unprotected tallywhacker's urethra comes into contact with infected anal fluid, HIV can be absorbed across the mucous membrane and result in HIV transmission/acquisition.

Why consider give up sex? Isn't it easier just to put a latex condom on your big bopper?

Dr. Bob



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