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Percentages
Dec 31, 2010

Hi, I know you have addressed this many times, but can you please explain why you harp that the risk for tops is so high? You (and others) state that the odds are 6.5 per 10,000 exposures. That is 6%. That means 94% chance you won't contract HIV on a single exposure. Am I missing something?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Yep, you're definitely missing something. The estimated per-act risk statistics for acquiring HIV are frequently misunderstood. They can't really be applied to an isolated coupling, because there are many potential variables involved with HIV transmission. These variables include those associated with the virus (viral strain, viral load, etc.) as well as those associated with the individual (host immune integrity, concurrent STDs, trauma, etc.). The statistical estimates primarily help explain relative risk. For instance, unprotected insertive (top) anal sex is very risky, but not as risky as unprotected receptive anal sex. It's also important to remember that even with a less risky activity, it's still possible to contract HIV with a single exposure.

You can read more about this in the archives in the chapter on HIV statistics.

The bottom line is you don't have to be a bottom to contract the virus!

Be well. Be safe.

Dr. Bob



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