Anal Sex and HIV Infection

Everybody knows HIV is transmitted via ‘contact’ with varied body fluids (vaginal fluid, ‘semen fluid’, blood, rectal fluid, etc.), and we certainly know that these transmissions are overwhelmingly wrought via heterosexual intercourse (between man and woman). This is common knowledge and simple enough to grasp… Right?

Actual transmission happens when the source of the virus (eg, semen) comes into contact with body surfaces having compromised integrity (breaks/cuts/tears/injuries). The HIV virus is otherwise unable to gain entry, even if in direct contact with intact skin or other surfaces.

So, during sex, there sometimes is some obvious bruising (for either partner) which could be visualized and/or felt. It’s easy to extrapolate how the virus ends up  gaining entry. Conversely however, bruising may be too small or insignificant to be seen or felt… This however does not hamper the virus’ entry under the right circumstances.

Now to the point of this write up… 

The anus or anal passage isn’t naturally fashioned for the kind of strain and friction penetrative sex exerts. It’s simply not built that way… It lacks the same lubricating capacity of the vag*na, doesn’t even come close. It’s thus no surprise that the level of bruising (seen, felt or not) would be significantly more than would be the case with penetrating vag*nal sex. It’s no wonder that the ‘relative’ rate of HIV transmission among penetrating anal sex  participants has been found to be quite high. Anal sex ‘recepients’ (bottom) are noted to be at higher risk of acquiring the infection when compared to the ‘insertives’ (top).

I do not write this to proscribe or dictate what proclivities are acceptable. Rather, I merely draw attention to some facts and have people make clear and informed choices going forward.

I’d advocate, perhaps with some presumptuousness, that if ‘it’ has to be done, adequate lubrication and uncompromising condom use go a very, very long way…

Talk to your docotor/Healthcare provider and do a bit of research for more info.