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transmission through sweat pores

Nov 26, 1996

Rick is it possible that the HIV virus can be transmitted through sweat pores? I've heard just through cuts,but I've heard other information contrary to this. Also which body fluid would be considered a higher risk on the surface of the skin, blood?, or semen? Also if one had their forearm on the floor where semen was, would they be at risk if there was No visible cut. Thanks Rick your help is greatly appreciated.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

The pores in your skin are NOT a direct access to your bloodstream. Therefore HIV cannot get into your body through these pores. Just getting blood or semen (or other body fluids) on your skin will not lead to infection. It must get directly into your bloodstream through a break in the skin in order to get infected. It must be a fresh open cut, or a breakdown in the integrity of the skin (like we see with dermatitis). The larger the cut, and the fresher the cut, the greater the opportunity for infection to occur. Once a scab forms, this serves as a barrier against infection. Both blood and semen are body fluids with high concentrations of the virus. But again let me emphasize that getting these body fluids on your skin will not lead to infection. They must get directly into your body.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS

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