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Transmission of HIV through docking?

Aug 13, 1998

I must admit, never thought this was possible but a friend described to me docking or simply for people who don't know the connecting of penis to penis of two people by sliding the foreskin from one partner over the other's penis. Now to me since there is the exchange of semen by both men and the urethra is an open avenue that this would be risky? Any comment or reference to transmission through this activity.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. Docking is when two men put their penises "head-to-head", and an uncircumcised man slides his foreskin directly over the penis of the other man. I am not aware of any cases of HIV transmission specifically through docking, but then again, docking is a sexual activity that rarely (if ever) gets discussed.

Transmission through docking would be possible if:

1) One of the men were infected, AND

2) The other man was exposed to his pre-cum or especially his semen, AND

3) The pre-cum or semen got directly into the bloodstream, through a microscopic cut or abrasion on the head of the penis. There would also be a risk if the man had another STD like gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, or an infection on the head of the penis, all of which would allow HIV to enter the bloodstream easier.

Docking may also post a risk for other STDs, like gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes and others. Because docking is a sexual activity that rarely (if ever) gets discussed, it is difficult to say how many cases (if any) of HIV or other STDs have been transmitted in this manner. At this point in time, all we can say is that transmission is technically possible this way, but we cannot say how likely the transmission of HIV, or other STDs, would be.

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

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