Anonymous
I've recently visited a sex worker and am worried about the possible infection risks. She took off the condom with a piece of tissue only to use the flip side to dab my penis head and the underside of my foreskin dry before performing oral sex again. Assuming that the vaginal fluid had HIV, could the virus enter through the urethra mucosal lining or the mucousal membrane on the underside of the foreskin? And could oral sex after the contact increase the chances of infection?
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Anonymous
Hi there, thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline for HIV and AIDS related information.

To answer your question, yes, the HIV virus can be absorbed into the body through the mucosal lining of the urethra and the mucosal membrane on the underside of the foreskin. That being said, the fact that she used the tissue to dab the head of your penis does not put you at higher risk for HIV transmission. The HIV virus is actually very weak and dies immediately upon being exposed to the air. So if there were any HIV positive vaginal fluid on the tissue it would be exposed to the air and the virus would be dead and therefore it wouldn't matter if it were to come into contact with the head of your penis.

With respect to the oral sex you received, there has never been a confirmed report of HIV being transmitted to an individual who is receiving oral sex. Therefore the oral sex does not increase your risk in your case.

Based on your entire experience, you are at a low risk for HIV. Protected penile-vaginal sex is considered a low risk activity for HIV transmission (there have only ever been a few reports of infection this way). We do recommend that all sexually active individuals be tested for all sexually transmitted infections (STI's), including HIV, on a regular basis as part of regular health care maintenance and prevention. If you are considering getting tested we would suggest visiting your family doctor or your local walk-in medical clinic. For more information about testing you can also visit [www.avert.org](www.avert.org).

I hope I have answered all your questions, if not please feel free to contact us again.

In Health,

Arne, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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