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Fisting
Jun 28, 1996

Is fisting "safe sex"? the reason I ask is that I never heard anyone saying if it is safe or not. I am a bisexual male and I did unprotected, lubricated, insertive fisting with a male partner whose HIV status I do not know. Apart from that we had protected oral and anal sex. Am I at a high risk of having been infected by HIV? Thank you for your time.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

In terms of the risk of fisting, it depends on whether you're at the receiving end or the giving end. If you're at the receiving end, normally you're NOT being exposed to any body fluids from your partner (just their fist), so this would actually be low risk for HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's). If you're the insertive partner, you're almost certainly being exposed to the blood of your partner (bleeding is a common occurance during fisting). If you have any open cuts or abrasions on your hand where the virus can enter your bloodstream, then you would be at risk of infection. If there were not any openings for the virus to get into your bloodstream, then your risk would be small. So the key here is, were there any openings on your hand that would have allowed HIV to enter your bloodstream? Without any cuts or open sores on the hands, the skin provides an excellent barrier against infection. But if there were cuts/abrasions, you would be at risk of infection. In the future, the best way to reduce your risk would be to wear a latex glove on your hand. These are widely available at many retail stores. Also, after fisting a guy, it's really important to wash your hands thoroughly, not only to remove any blood on your hands, but also to remove bacterial and viral infections that you may have been exposed to (like Hepatitis A).

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



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