[Question #1509] Masturbation

45 months ago
I've always been very safe in regards to sex but about 2 years ago I had mastubation/ hand job and I had a cuticle a small cut that wasn't bleeding and some ejaculate fell on it. I cleaned it right away but I've been a little stressed about it, I haven't had intercourse in years but just that and also a one time oral in which was protected but the condom broke during oral, aside from that I haven't had intercourse. What is my risk from this? Thank you
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You indeed describe entirely safe exposures -- that is, the particular events you describe do not affect your previous track record that you have always been very safe. Although cuts or wounds on the hand are often thought of as HIV risks if exposed to blood, semen, or other body fluids, it really isn't true. The biological reason probably is that except when wounds are very fresh (typically caused by a sharp instrument contaminated with HIV), even partial healing creates barriers of fibrin (blood clot) and cells that block HIV, at least enough that transmission doesn't occur. There has never been a known case of HIV transmission by fingering, hand genital contact, or exposure of an old wound to blood -- and if you think about it, this is despite what must have been billions of fingering incidents by people with hangnails or other finger wounds. And no known cases, ever.

As for oral sex, that's very low risk even without condoms. Indeed, most experts do not recommend condoms for oral sex; the risk of HIV or other STDs is too low for it to make much sense. Fine to use them for extra safety if acceptable to both partners, but really not a serious risk if not used. So the broken condom event shouldn't concern you much. One statistic for fellatio (penile-oral contact), the HIV risk from the penile to oral partner is one in 10,000. That's equivalent to giving BJs to infected men, with ejactulation in the mouth, once daily for 27 years before HIV transmission might be likely.

All non-monogamous sexually active persons should be tested for HIV from time to time. Even though these particular events are very low to zero risk, if you've never been HIV tested, you probably should do it. This doesn't mean I really beieve these events were risky; I do not. But just asking the question means HIV is on your mind, and you might find a negative test even more reassuring than my evaluation based on probability and statistics.

I hope this has helped. Let me know if anything isn't clear. Best wishes--   HHH, MD

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45 months ago
Thank you Doctor, I was tested a couple of years ago before this and I was good. I have taken other tests so far and have been negative. I will be taking one in the next few days.  Like I said I've always been very careful and safe and haven't had intercourse in a few years because I haven't been in a relationship.  I feel completely healthy but I've just been a bit scared to do so 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
No basis for being scared. Assuming no other risks we haven't discussed, there is no way you have HIV!

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44 months ago
Doctor, I had a couple of CBC with differential and everything came back normal. my WBC is 8.6 and neutrophils was 65 lymphocytes 26 and the others were also within normal range.  Absolute Neutrophils is 5.4 absolute lymphocytes 2.3 in a range from 0.7-3.1. Everything came out in normal range. Is that  good? 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
Well, it's good your CBC is normal. But what was the purpose? It's a meaningless test in regard to judging HIV or any other STD. You were not at risk for any infection from the exposure described, but your CBC result is irrelevant.

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so closes out this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful. Best wishes and stay safe.

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