[Question #1708] Tried penetration with clothes on

43 months ago
I will be very happy if you can assess my hiv risk. I tried to penetrate a lady with my boxer shorts on. I can't remember how far i might have gone with the penetration. I initially I thought this was a safe sex but after a year I have some symptoms and i am beginning to think whether i put myself at risk. I don't know the hiv status of the lady in question. Thank you. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

My main reply is a question for you. Have you had an HIV test? If not, why not? That's the way to resolve your concern. From what I understand of your exposure, there is no realistic chance you were infected, but you should be tested to be sure.

I'm not sure I understand your exposure. Did you wear boxer shorts, but with your penis in the opening -- i.e., attempted penetration with a bare penis? If so, there was potential risk for HIV and other STDs. Probably almost zero for HIV, since penetration was unsuccessful. But maybe a little risk. However, if your penis was entirely covered by the cloth of your underwear, then of course penetration was impossible. (I can't imagine even trying that!) But if so, for sure there was no risk. HIV and other STDs cannot be transmitted through clothing.

I'll be happy to comment further if anything isn't clear. But the most important thing remains that you should be tested so you can stop worrying about it.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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43 months ago
I have not done the test since that "exposure".  To clarify my question,  i tried penetrating the lady with my penis covered with my boxer shorts. My bare penis didn't touch her vagina in the incident. The bottom line is i tried using my boxer as condom. I know it is crazy but i didn't have a condom at that point in time. As far as I can remember i couldn't really penetrate deep. i am worried if the vaginal secretions have pass through the boxer clothes and get into my blood stream in my attempt to penetrate. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
Fluids of course pass through cloth. However, the cloth fibers almost certainly would filter out any infectious virus. Nobody has ever been known to catch HIV or any other STD through clothing. No risk at all, in my judgment, and if somehow I were in your situation I wouldn't be at all worried.

If my comments make you confident you weren't infected, don't worry about testing. But most people are more reassured by negative test results than by expert opinion based on probability and statistics. So it's up to you.


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43 months ago
Thank you Dr Hansfield. I have never been worried about this incident until recently. I had some symptoms like white tongue in the morning, pain inside my neck which i suspected was lymph nodes swelling though i couldn't feel it and also what i suspect to be neuropathy. All these symptoms have not been severe enough for me to see a doctor. These symptoms made me freak out and I was assessing every possible risk and I thought that exposure might have been the cause. After my last hiv test i have been concerned about hiv and I have been particularly cautious. That has made me to believe any little thing can lead to hiv. 

Any your answer is reassuring but i will still test if i continue to be worried. 

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
OK, thanks for the thanks. Your symptoms do not suggest HIV, but I still endorse the idea of testing if and when you find yourself wondering about it. Symptoms make no difference one way or the other, after the first few weeks, HIV usually causes no symptoms at all for many years, not until the immune system reaches dangerously low levels.

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43 months ago
Hi Doctor, 

If you are infected with hiv for about a year now, will your neutrophils be low? I have a low neutrophils of 1. 64 with a reference range of 2 - 7.5 but my lymphocytes is normal at 2. 75 with reference range of 1-4. 

At what stage does hiv attacks neutrophils. Thank you. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
HIV has no effect on neutrophil count. Lymphocytes can be low at any stage of HIV, but more commonly in advanced HIV disease after several years. In any case, these numbers normally vary widely; it's the average that counts -- any single test can be modestly outside the normal range. A repeat CDC might well show entirely normal neutrophils.

In any case, it is apparent HIV is still on your mind. My advice that you be tested still stands. Why not, for heaven's sake???

We're beyond the two follow-up comments and replies normally included with each question, and so completes this thread. Best wishes and stay safe.

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