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Does HIV make your vagina smell?
Sep 25, 2001

About 2 months ago I had unprotected sex with a man I found out had HIV. Im going to go get tested next week. Right after we had sex, my vagina smelled very fishy like and that lasted for 4 days and just stopped. I was wondering could that be anything to do with the HIV? Does a mans semen smell when they have HIV? Thanks.

Response from Mr. Kull

Immediate exposure to HIV will not cause the "fishy" smell in your vagina that you described. The cause of the odor might be attributable to vaginits, a general term that describes an irritation of the vagina. A condition called bacterial vaginosis, an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina, is a common vaginal infection among sexually active women. Trichomoniasis is also a common sexually transmitted infection that causes vaginitis. Trich and BV are treatable with antibiotics. Yeast infections, irritants, hormonal imbalances, and allergies can also lead to symptoms of vaginitis.

Women with vaginitis report that vaginal odor may be more noticeable after sex. Vaginitis can also involve vaginal itching, burning, and/or discharge (some type of discharge is common). While symptoms can clear up on their own, you should talk with a gynecologist about self-care and treatment.

See my response to "Yellow Vaginal Discharge" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Hepatitis/Q26472.qna) for more information about vaginitis.

RMK



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