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Many gay guys appreciate a good load of cum. Some of us prefer our partners to ejaculate in our mouth, on our chest or on our face. If you’ve ever had a splash of cum in your eye you’ll know that it burns like hell, akin to getting shampoo in your eye. But is there a risk of getting HIV, or another sexually transmitted infection (STI) through receiving someone else’s cum in your eye? And what are the risks if you get a guy’s urine in your eye, if you’re into water sports?

Information on sexual health, including HIV and other STIs generally focuses on the risks of condomless anal sex. We all know that bareback action is a high-risk activity for HIV transmission, especially for the bottom, and for the transmission of STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydiaand warts. We very seldom talk about the risks of HIV or STI transmission through our eyes.

It obviously isn’t news to you that your eyes are very sensitive. What you may not know, however, is that – bluntly speaking – your eyes absorb substances. Take eye drops, for example: they are absorbed both through the inner lining of your eyelid and the surface of your eye itself. Technically speaking, this process occurs through the conjunctiva, a transparent partial covering of your eye and lining of your inner eyelid.

So can a virus or bacteria be absorbed into your body in this way? Most certainly they can. If you’re HIV-negative, an ocular splash of cum from an HIV-positive guy who isn’t on antiretroviral treatment could pose a risk of infection. Irrespective of your HIV status, you could also be at risk of contracting an STI if your partner has gonorrhoea or chlamydia. These STIs would most likely present as conjunctivitis, a localised inflammation of the infected eye.

But wait, there’s more… If you have a penile discharge caused by either gonorrhoea or chlamydia, and rub your eyes after playing with your dick you could re-infect yourself and end up with an ocular STI. Even getting your own cum in your eye could cause problems if you have gonorrhoea or chlamydia in your dick.

As for getting urine in your eyes, if your partner has either genital gonorrhoea or chlamydia, your risk of developing a localised ocular STI is very real. Urine poses no risk of HIV infection.

So what do you do if you get cum in an eye? Remain calm in spite of the extreme burning sensation you’ll experience, which should subside after several minutes. Avoid rubbing your eye and gently wash it repeatedly with clean lukewarm water as soon as possible. Your eye will start producing copious tears, as your body tries to flush the irritant out, and it will most likely be red and uncomfortable for several hours. If the discomfort and redness persist beyond a few days you’ll need to consult your health provider.

If you’re HIV positive and the discomfort and redness persist beyond a few days you’ll need to consult your health provider in case you’ve developed an infection. However, if you are HIV negative and there’s a chance that the guy who came in your eye could be HIV positive, you’ll need to speak to a health provider as soon as possible in order to access post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

PEP is a one-month course of medication that can only be given to HIV negative guys in order to reduce the probability of their becoming infected after a high-risk exposure to HIV. Importantly,PEP must be initiated within 72 hours.

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