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HIV and AIDS

Effective Transmission From Female to Male and Vice Versa

02/20/2006

Question:

"Contracting HIV from any single episode of genital intercourse in heterosexuals is low". I copied and pasted that from another site and wanted some clarification on it.

My question is specific to the male and then the female: If a female is HIV positive and she has unprotected sex (well lubricated) with a male partner who is HIV negative and the male's penis has no cuts, lesions, etc., what is the chance of him contracting the virus through his uretha?

And then vice-versa, an infected male with the female, if he does or does not ejaculate inside her?

From my understanding, it seems to be a lot easier for an infected male to pass it onto a female then an infected female onto a male? Thanks. I appreciate your knowledge with this question.

Answer:

Transmission does appear to be more efficient from men to women than the other way around. In general, there will be 3 transmissions out of 1000 episodes of intercourse. There are no separate estimates for people with visually intact mucosal surfaces, but that does not preclude the possibility of microscopic breaks; HIV is definitely more efficiently transmitted in both directions in the presence of ulcerative genital lesions. People should never be complacent about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, when skin and mucosal surfaces look normal.

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Response by:

Judith   Feinberg, MD Judith Feinberg, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati