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What about the male genital tract?

Posted by ericglare on 04 Dec 2012 at 12:11 GMT

The authors say "because OTC lubricant products... are used most frequently by persons engaging in coitus with the highest risk of HIV-1 acquisition, it is important to know their impact on the tissues where they will be applied, which are the gastrointestinal and female genital tracts". I can assure the authors that men do apply lubricants to their penis before insertive sex without condoms and my own experience and communication suggests this use is nearly universal and many times is the only way lubricant gets applied to their partner's gastrointestinal tract. Surely a significant proportion of the HIV pandemic has resulted from HIV transmission across the penis during penetrative sex in association with OTC lubricants? Just as differences between the male and female genital tracts and rectal tissue have been informative of the mechanisms of HIV transmission (eg review Blood. 2011; 118(4): 839–846. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-12-325860), analysis of foreskin and other penile tissues with and without lubricants might similarly be insightful.

No competing interests declared.