The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Anal vs Vaginal Risk

Nov 20, 1996

Dear Rick: In the female, does the vaginal fluid or the anus have a larger amount of HIV present? For a male, is the risk of contracting AIDS from an infected femal greater with a single act of vaginal intercours or anal intercourse?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi.Thank you for your question.

Anal intercourse poses a higher level of risk than vaginal intercourse. During unprotected vaginal intercourse, the man is being exposed to vaginal secretions, and possibly menstrual blood as well. During anal intercourse, the man is being exposed to blood (bleeding is common during anal intercourse). Because blood contains higher levels of HIV than vaginal secretions, the risk of infection is greater during anal intercourse. Also, because of the increased amount of friction that occurs during anal intercourse, there is a greater chance for cuts/abrasions to occur in both partners. This makes HIV more likely to enter the bloodstream during anal intercourse (as compared to vaginal intercourse). Unprotected vaginal intercourse is considered high risk for both partners, but unprotected anal intercourse is considered even higher risk. 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

Oral sex risk with no cuts
what activities are considered safer sex

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint