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transmission through jock itch


Thank you for providing this service. I do have a question and am a bit worried. I had protected sex recently and right after I noticed that I had jock itch (fungal infection) in my groin right next to my scrotum. It was beefy red, inflammed and had some areas of broken skin and what appeared to be small areas of blood. If the woman was HIV+, what is my risk of becoming infected if her vaginal fluid during sex came into contact with my jock itch? Thank you for your help.


Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions. We're happy to help!

The situation that you have described is considered a low risk situation. The low risk portion of your activity is actually the protected vaginal intercourse (and thus unrelated to your open sore). We define low risk as meaning that there have been a few reports of infection attributed to this activity, but usually under certain identifiable conditions (i.e. the condom breaking). In terms of the jock itch, that constitutes no risk. Here's why:

Here at AIDS Vancouver, we use a "Transmission Equation" in order to determine your risk of transmitting or acquiring HIV:


• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection


In order for there to be a risk of HIV transmission, all 3 factors (body fluid, activity, and direct access to the bloodstream) must be present. The main thing lacking in your interaction (in terms of only the jock itch portion) is direct access to the bloodstream. In order for a cut or wound to provide said access, the cut needs to be gushing blood and require immediate and professional medical attention. An open sore like the one described in your question does not provide direct access to the bloodstream.

Just to clarify: because you engaged in protective vaginal sex, your overall risk level is a low risk. The jock itch you described does not constitute any further risk.

I hope I was able to answer your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.


Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online