[Question #1267] mucous membrane

83 months ago
sir, i read from an website that getting large amount of semen in eyes does pose in hiv risk.  what do you say  iam posting it here pls go through it .

Percentage Risk for Cum in Eye Exposure

May 14, 2006

Dear Dr. Bob

I greatly appreciate this forum and your thoughtful, educated responses to questions. I have learned a lot, including I am not alone with a deep paranoia of contracting HIV while my risks are minimal.

The majority of sex I have is oral, which almost never includes letting the other guy cum in my mouth. Most of the time it is on my face; when it is in my mouth, I immediately spit. I know this risk is very low (although my paranoid state often has me thinking otherwise.)

Recently, I was with a man of unknown status and having a great suck session when he pulled out and shot on my face.

A large amount of his cum went into my eye. For those who have not had this happen, it hurts worse than Kerry losing in the last election. am i hiv risk?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Here's the scoop. The eye is lined with a mucous membrane. HIV-infected fluids coming into contact with mucous membranes do pose a risk for possible HIV transmission. There is evidence of health care workers who have become infected as a result of getting HIV-infected blood in their eye. However, there are no documented cases I'm aware of of folks having seroconverted after being eye-spunked. The estimated statistical risk is so small that we really can't put a number on it. At this point the best we can say is that there is a very small, but not completely nonexistent, theoretical risk.

Try not to worry. The odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this bullseye hotshot.

Thanks for your donation! It's urgently needed and warmly appreciated. On behalf of the many lives that will be touched by your generosity, please accept my heartfelt thanks. I'm sending my very best good-luck/good-health karma that your three-month definitive HIV test will be negative (as I strongly suspect it will indeed be!) I'll also be sending a letter of acknowledgement and a small token gift of appreciation for your tax-deductible donation.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

Dr. Bob Frascino was a highly respected online provider of HIV/AIDS advice. HIs death due to AIDS was a great loss to us all. His answers always were insightful, and he answers you question directly:  "The esitmated statistical risk is so small that we really can't put a number on it. ...we can say there is a very small, but not completely nonexistant, theoretical risk." I agree exactly, and would point out that there has never been a reported case of anyone catching HIV because of exposure of eyes to semen. Don't worry about it.

I hope this has helped. Let me know if anything still isn't clear.


83 months ago
1) Sir, you are saying that getting semen in eyes can rarely  results in hiv transmission  . Is that right?

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
You're asking the same question in different words and of course the answer has not changed. This has never been known to happen but it might be possible. But it is too rare to worry about. Without a penis inside another person's vagina or rectum, there is no HIV risk from sex, even if semen or blood gets in the mouth, eyes, etc.

83 months ago
sir , i thank you for you  reply. i kindly request you to answer just one more doubt.

i read one more post of dr. bob which confuses me . i read and understood from various websites that hiv is not transmitted from enviromental surface like door handle and other objects etc. but in one post by dr.bob where dr. bob advises one person to get hiv test because that person touched door handle contaminated with semen and wiped his eyes. i feel this advise does not match with hiv is not transmitted through objects.  i am posting it here . i kindly request you to go through and expalin me .

Eye contact with semen

Jul 12, 2005

I live in Australia. I work in retail and as part of my duties I am required to check the fitting rooms (where people try on clothes) - while doing this recently I rested my hand on the handle on the inside of the door. I did not realise that it had semen on it until I wiped my eye (which was already irritated from recently having a cold) and my eye began to sting and then I noticed semen all over the back of the door. Thus, unwittingly my eye came into contact with a quantity of semen from an unknown person. This fact is beyond doubt. However, now I am very worried about getting HIV from this exposure to the semen or even Hep C. I am petrified. What should I do? What are my chances of getting HIV or HEP C? When can I reasonably get tested and know that the results are conclusive. Are my chances further increased by the fact that I already had an irritation in my eye? Could you please send an answer to my email address so that it may put my fear to rest as I am starting to feel very stressed about the situation.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Aussie,

Someone spunked the door of your fitting room? Hmmm . . . well, I guess since the airlines have shrunk the onboard bathrooms down to such a tiny size that horned-up hotties (or crazy Republicans see below) have resorted to fitting rooms for their sex in public places adventures.

OK, your risk is presumed spunk in the eye. Assuming the spunker was HIV positive, the estimated risk of acquiring HIV following a mucous membrane exposure is 0.09%. Please note that's direct mucous membrane exposure to HIV-positive spunk! Your estimated risk would be even lower, as we don't know the HIV status of your fitting room phantom.

Regarding hepatitis C, your risk is essentially nonexistent. Even with hepatitis C-infected blood, transmission via mucous membrane exposure is extremely rare.

Bottom line: I see no reason for you to be "petrified."

What should you do?

1. Stop being petrified. Your fears are way out of proportion to any real risk.

2. Regarding HIV, if you are worried, get tested at the three-month mark. However, please note, we do not know if the baby batter on the doorknob was HIV infected or not. And even if it was, HIV does not survive very long at all outside the body. Consequently, your actual risk of HIV contact, let alone transmission, is extremely small. I would consider a three-month test definitive.

3. As for hepatitis C, the risk of transmission based on all the information discussed above is so extremely minimal that no testing or follow-up is warranted or recommended.

4. Put up a sign in all fitting rooms advising patrons that space is to be used for trying on clothes, not rooting like wombats.

Do try to chill out a bit, my dear Aussie. I realize this "sticky situation" can be alarming, but your actual health risks are minimal. In fact, I'd wager you have a greater chance of getting done in by a funnel web spider or choking on a vegemite sandwich than contracting HIV or hepatitis C from this gooey fitting room fiasco.

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
Oh good grief. Did you even read Dr. Bob's reply? He clearly assumed the questioner was worried about semen in the eye, not environmental contamination; and more important, he did NOT recommend testing except "if you are worried". On this forum, we also regularly recommend testing for people at absolutely no risk, in the hope that a negative test result will be more reassuring than our words. Also read the last paragraph of Dr. Bob's reply.

Really, mellow out and move on with your life. Nobody gets HIV without high risk sex or needle sharing. And for goodness' sake, stop searching the internet trying to find information that proves your fears to be warranted. You can find whatever you want on the web, and psychologically you're obviously looking for and being drawn to opinions that make you more worried. It isn't worth it so I suggest you lay off.

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so ends this thread. Do not be tempted to start a new thread with the same kinds of question. Repetative anxiety driven and irrational questions are not permitted; if you try, it will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee.