How Can A Man Get AIDS From A Woman?

How is it possible for a man to contract the HIV virus by having sexual intercourse with an HIV positive female? Since it involves only external contact, how does the virus get into the bloodstream?? If you can contract it this way, then why not through any type of casual contact???



Let me guess, you live in Africa?

And no! Raping a virging doesn’t cure AIDS.

  1. You may have noticed there’s a hole at the end of the penis. It lets urine and semen out, and it lets viruses in.

  2. Sexual intercourse sometimes causes tiny abrasions and lacerations on the penis and in the vagina. These tiny wounds aren’t often noticeable, but they’re enough to provide a disease vector. Even a wound from an accidentally yanked-out pubic hair can do it.

Yeah, the most common way, I believe, is for the virus to pass from vaginal secretions through a cut on the penis. Sexual intercourse isn’t really casual contact, the way touching someone on the arm is…there’s a lot of exchange of bodily fluids.

True. I was thinking that any virus that went up the urethra would get flushed out before it got up to the kidneys (or wherever) and into the bloodstream. Isn’t the longer urethra the reason men don’t get kidney infections? Wouldn’t HIV get flushed out like bacteria gets flushed out before it can cause any problems??

Men don’t get kidney infections?

If the bacteria that cause syphillis and gonorrhea don’t get flushed out, I don’t see why HIV would either. Anyway, viruses are many times smaller than bacteria, so it is possible for them to easily permeate through tissue that would hold back bacteria.

As a practical matter, it’s very difficult for a healthy heterosexual male to get AIDS through plain old vaginal intercourse with women, even without a condom.

When it DOES happen, it usually means that the male already had a venereal disease. Men with sores and chancres caused by other sexually transmitted diseases are at great risk of getting infected through heterosexual intercourse. In Africa, most men who contract AIDS fall into this category.

Anal sex is the most common vector for AIDS transmission, due to the high number of lacerations it causes in the anus and the penis. This is why AIDS was so prevalent among gay men. (Not sure if it still is or not.) It is possible to transmit AIDS (and other STDs) through vaginal or oral sex but it is less likely.

I had heard once that there was an Asian variant of the virus which was spread more easily through vaginal intercourse than anal. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

Cecil discussed the AIDS/HIV risk for specific sex acts in a recent column.