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Heavy Duty Mutual Masterbation
Oct 22, 1996

What is the risk of HIV infection from touching someones anus without actually inserting a finger into the anus? Is the skin around the opening considered a mucus membrane and therefore likely to facilitate transmission assuming someone's finger had infected body fluid on it? Thanks for your help

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. In order to become infected with HIV, the following conditions must take place:

You must be exposed to pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breastmilk.

The virus must get directly into your bloodstream through some fresh cut, open sore, abrasion etc.

Transmission must go directly from 1 person to the other very quickly.....the virus does not survive more than a few minutes outside the body.

The skin around the anus is considered a mucous membrane. If you are fingering someone there and they are bleeding rectally, you could become infected only if you were directly exposed to their blood, and you had a fresh open cut on your finger, for HIV to enter your bloodstream.

If someone is fingering you rectally, they would have to be actively bleeding from their fingers or have one of the body fluids (mentioned above) on their fingers, in order for you to be exposed to the virus. The virus would then have to get into your bloodstream. You would also have to have a cut, open sore, or abrasion on your rectum (which could realistically occur if someone were to be fingering you rectally). Mucous membranes (like that found at the rectum/anus) are more likely to have small cuts or abrasions if someone is fingering the area.

However, in the majority of situations involving anal fingering, the criteria for infection (above) would normally not occur, so in the majority of circumstances, this activity would be considered safer sex. Safer sex means that there would technically be a chance of infection, but the chances of infection would normally be quite low.

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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