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HIV and AIDS

Should I Get Tested?

03/21/2005

Question:

Dear Doctor, I visited a sex worker 5 days ago. We had a shower together, some dry petting, followed by hand masturbation peformed by her on my penis. I am not too sure did she touch her vagina first using her hands before touching my penis (there was already some skin rashes on my scrotum before I visited her). But if that was true, would she pass any AIDS or infectious virus to me during the hand masturbation process (assumming she had AIDS)? I did not wear any condom and no penetration was performed. Please kindly advise me. Thank you so much. I am feeling very troubled, worried and guilty now.

Answer:

There is no sexual activity that is 100% safe in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmissible diseases. However there are some practices that are riskier than others. For a more documented article please refer to HIV In Site. Based on the scenario that you describe, the risk of HIV transmission is low. You had contact with a high risk, female partner of unknown HIV status. There was no direct contact between your oral or genital mucosa with your partner's and there was no exchange of bodily fluids with visible blood in it. The vaginal secretions of a female contain low but detectable HIV virus, except during menstruation. The transmissibility of other STDS has been less thoroughly studied than HIV transmission, but the risk of transmission is in general higher than HIV transmission. On the other hand, fear, shame and guilt often result in delays in diagnosis and treatment of STDS. I suggest you consult a physician for screening and testing, so you can be reassured.

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Response by:

Francisco   Gomez, MD Francisco Gomez, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati