HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Is it possible to become infected with HIV from "precum?"
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Is it possible to become infected with HIV from "precum?"

I recently had a single episode of unprotected sex.  The guy didn't ejaculate in me.  I'm afraid I could have been exposed to "precum."  I'm going to get tested but I am so extremely afraid!!  After I slept with him, his friend told me that he may have been exposed to a person that was HIV+.  I feel so stupid and is stupid because the night prior, we used protection each time....and then that morning- a "slip-up."  So my question is, even though he did not ejaculate in me (and I'm positive of this), is it possible I could be infected from "precum?"
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Welcome to the Forum.  Your question is an important one.  An unexposed exposure is an unexposed exposure.  You can get STDs without ejaculation occurring, you can get pregnant without ejaculation and you can get HIV without ejaculation.  In the right "place" and with the right "conditions" you can get infected.  The most important determinants of infection are the sort of exposure that you have (virtually no risk from oral, low (1 in 1000-2000) risk from genital sex, and moderate risk (1 in 100-200) from rectal intercourse.  In your case, a single exposure to a heterosexual male is rather low risk since the odds that he had HIV are low and the risk from a single exposure are similarly very low.

Furthermore, I would add that although you are positive he did not ejaculate, such perceptions can be wrong and this is not an all or nothing event and sometimes there is ejaculatory fluid (defined by the presence of sperm) present without classical orgasmic ejaculation.

Bottom line, I suspect your risk of infection is very low and not something to worry about.  Following unprotected intercourse however, it is in your interest to be tested for pregnancy, STDs (chlamydia is most common) and HIV (the least likely of the three possibilities).   IN the meantime, I would not worry a lot.

Hope this helps.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
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