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Presence of virus in semen and pre-cum
Jun 28, 1996

Is it true that, among men who test HIV-positive, a higher percentage of them have the virus in their pre- cum than do in their semen? Is it possible to have varying amounts of the virus in various bodily fluids?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi, Thank you for your question. I have not heard about any significant differences between the concentrations of the virus in the pre-cum vs. the semen. We do know that both body fluids contain high concentrations of the virus. Semen however is generally considered higher risk than pre-cum, since normally a person is exposed to a higher quantity of semen than pre-cum, so the risk would be higher. In other words, the more of the body fluid that you're exposed to, the greater the risk. Concentrations of the virus do vary from one body fluid to another. Saliva, tears, sweat and urine contain extremely low concentrations of the virus. Pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and breastmilk, contain high concentrations of the virus. Concentrations can vary from time to time, and the overall concentrations may be a function of a persons viral load. But pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and breastmilk are always considered high risk body fluids since the amounts of the virus in these fluids have enough of the virus to lead to transmission. If you have further questions, just ask!



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