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'Protected' Anal Sex?
Jul 31, 1996

I was recently the recipient of protected anal sex. We used a lubricant and the condom remained intact throughout. I am concerned for one main reason; I keep my body shaved smooth, and had shaved it that morning, what are the chances of any 'razor burn' abrasions becoming infected (if, for example, semen had escaped from the bottom of the condom). I am very worried about this and would appreciate any advice.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question. First of all, let me say that I'm glad you used protection while you were having intercourse. That reduced your risk significantly of becoming infected with HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's).

If you had a razor burn, or a fresh open cut or abrasion, and semen got right onto that opening, you would be at risk of infection. This is because HIV would have an entry to your bloodstream. HIV must get into the bloodstream to infect you. If it doesn't get into your bloodstream, you won't become infected. If your skin remained intact, and there was no "razor burn" or cuts, you would not be at risk of infection with HIV. This mode of transmission (semen onto a break in the skin) would be risky, but not as risky as unprotected intercourse. All I can tell you is that IF semen did get into a break in your skin, you would be at some risk.

If you're worried about this possible exposure, you may want to think about getting tested 6 months after the possible exposure when the tests are more than 99% accurate. But only you know the exact circumstances of your risk. But I'm most happy that you did use protection during intercourse. If you didn't use protection, you would have been at high risk for HIV and other STD's.

If you have further questions, please e-mail me at "nvhotline@aol.com" or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS.



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