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Transmission through cuts
Oct 7, 2001

Hello: In this forum I keep seeing that HIV has not been known to transmit outside of anal, vaginal and oral sex. But I also see talk of tranmission through fluids coming into contact with fresh/open cuts. Has transmission been known to occur in this manner?

Thanks...

Response from Mr. Kull

HIV is transmitted in other ways besides sexually. Sharing injection needles, exposure to blood in healthcare settings, child-birth and breast-feeding, transfusion of blood, and other cases of contact with blood have proven to lead to infection. Documented cases of SEXUAL transmission of HIV are limited to anal, vaginal, and oral sex. There is no evidence that sexual fluids (semen, vaginal secretions) coming into contact with cuts alone have transmitted HIV, though it is possible. There is evidence that blood coming into contact with fresh cuts has transmitted HIV, but these events are not related to sexual exposure (this would be considered contact with blood, primarily in healthcare settings). Blood coming into contact with mucous membranes during sexual activity does pose a risk for infection.

Read through the CDC's "HIV and its Transmission" sheet (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/transmission.htm). You may find it useful.

RMK



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