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30 second vaginal sex: a risk?
Sep 17, 1996

Hello. About 1 1/2 yrs. ago, I foolishly had unprotected sex (vaginal) with a female sex worker. My penis was inside her vagina for no more than 30 seconds. I then ejaculated outside her. I saw no signs of blood or any skin tears. I have a few questions: 1) Since there were no visible skin tears, the only other way I could think of thatthe HIV virus could enter the body is through microscopic skin tears. I know this is possible inside the vagina. Is this possible on the penis as well, assuming the insertive strokes were pretty gentle? 2) Is it possible in this situation for the HIV virus to get into the tears in less than 30 seconds? 3) I've also heard that the virus can get in through the penis mucous membrane. Does the fact that I ejaculated outside her make this a non-issue? Does the fact that ejaculating outside the vagina make the act less riskier? Thanks for any response.

Response from Dr. Cohen

From what you describe, it sounds like a fairly low risk encounter. In men who have no sexually transmitted diseases, the risk from vaginal intercourse is fairly low to begin with, at least here in the United States, and this sounds like a brief and non-traumatic encounter. The issue of where you ejaculated is important in terms of transmission from you to your partner, but probably not important in determining the risk to you.

Since this happened over a year ago, the only way to be certain is to get tested. If your test is negative, then you were not infected. Getting tested is a much more reliable way to know your status than trying to draw conclusions based on hypothetical assumptions of risk.

How risky is running a couple of fingers through toilet water?
Are pregnant women at greater risk for transmission?

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