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What Is The Correlation Between Abscess And HIV?



What is the relationship between abscesses, espcially perianal abscess, and HIV? What are the risks of transmission from contact of the purulent material by a questionable intact skin? Thank you.


An abscess is an infection caused by a bacteria. It usually results in pain, redness and swelling. After several days the abscess may drain cloudy white or yellow fluid. A perianal abscess is an infection around the anus. This is usually caused by the bacteria called Staphylococcus, Streptococcus or less often, germs that normally inhabit the intestines. There is no clear association between a perianal abscess and the transmission of HIV. To my knowledge, there have been no studies linking these two problems. It is true that some other infections, like syphilis or herpes (both create open sores around the buttocks and genitals) can increase the chances of passing HIV to a person. It is possible that if one has an abscess that is leaking that some of the cells in that abscess could be infected with HIV. Thus, there is a chance that HIV could be passed between people. Use of barriers like condoms is strongly recommended. If anyone has an open sore or draining abscess and is HIV infected, they should not have sexual contact.

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati