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Question
Posted by: Want to know | 2003/02/05

Unprotected sex

Hi there,
I know that it's going to sound like I am very uninformed. That may be the case, but please could you help me clear this up.
Everybody knows that HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids being exchanged, ie blood, semen or vaginal fluids etc.
My question is this. I am a gay man in a relationship with a wonderful guy. Although we've been together for over three years, we still use condoms when we are together. I just want to know, if I am the penetrating partner, and I do not have any cuts or so on my penis and I should have unprotected sex with someone else who does not have any cuts or sores in or around his anus, what is the chance of getting the virus (should he have it), and if it is there, how does it enter if there are no exchange of body fluids from him to me.
I suppose this could go for hetero sex too, if the guy has no cuts etc, and he penetrates the lady, how does she transmit the virus to him.
I can understand if the penetrating partner has the virus and he ejaculates into his partner that there is a huge risk to transmit the disease, but I cannot understand how it works the other way round. I mean, there are now bodily fluids in a guys (healthy unscratched) anus.
Please clear this up for me. Both me and my partner are negative and we would like to engage in some more intimate sex without the restricting condoms.
Thanks,

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageSexologist

Yes, it is possible for either sex partner to become infected with HIV during anal sex. HIV can be found in the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, or vaginal fluid of a person infected with the virus. In general, the person receiving the semen is at greater risk of getting HIV because the lining of the rectum is thin and may allow the virus to enter the body during anal sex. However, a person who inserts his penis into an infected partner also is at risk because HIV can enter through the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis) or through small cuts, abrasions, or open sores on the penis.

Having unprotected (without a condom) anal sex is considered to be a very risky behaviour. If people choose to have anal sex, they should use a latex condom. Most of the time, condoms work well. However, condoms are more likely to break during anal sex than during vaginal sex. Thus, even with a condom, anal sex can be risky. A person should use a water-based lubricant in addition to the condom to reduce the chances of the condom breaking.

Dr Elna McIntosh

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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