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Question: 

 Is there thought to be any risk in touching the head (or around that area) when going to the toilet if you have just touched a fresh fluid (HIV)?? I've heard that uncircumcised males are more risk.
Bless you all.

Answer: 

Thank-you for choosing AIDS Vancouver as your resource for HIV related information.
 
Touching the head of the penis after touching a bodily fluid (blood, semen, pre-cum, breast milk, vaginal fluid) that is known to contain the HIV virus does not pose any risk of transmission. Once the virus has left the body it dies within seconds to transmission this way is not likely. If you are sexually active then we do recommend getting tested regularly so that you can protect yourself and others. 
 
For transmission to be possible, HIV+ fluids need direct access to the urethra not just the general area described as the "head" of the penis. In this particular situation being circumcised or uncircumcised does not change the risk factor. However, in more hi-risk activities such as unprotected vaginal or anal sex, males who are uncircumcised are more susceptible to HIV infection. Reasoning behind this is the foreskin creates a moist environment in which HIV can survive for longer in contact with the most delicate parts of the penis, and the inner surface of the foreskin contains cells that are especially vulnerable to infection by HIV.
 
Further information on circumcision and HIV can be found at http://www.avert.org/circumcision-hiv.htm
 
Should you have any other concerns please contact us anytime!
 
Best wishes
Calvin
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
604-696-4666
 

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