[Question #2081] Need help--Fingered hard by HIV + guy

47 months ago
Hi--so, big fan for well over a decade of the doctors here--thanks for all you do.  I had an experience last night that is extremely unsettling and really would appreciate your reassurance.   Long story short--I was fingered very hard for quite awhile by an older  guy.  No other activity (this is not routine for me)---but what freaks me out is that he told me he was HIV + after he fingered me hard for about 15 minutes.  I looked at his hands afterwards and they seemed fine (no cuts) and he made a point in telling me that I didn't do anything to put myself at risk.  I was upset but the logical side of me tells me there shouldn't be a risk.  My fear is magnified that he was playing with himself with his other hand and that he could of had precum on his hand that somehow could of been involved in the fingering.  I did search the internet and it seems this is not a risk but the responses are somewhat old in this area and I wanted to confirm the following--a) is this a no risk situation? B)  any testing recommended? C) can I move on safely?  The fingering was hard and did go on for a good 15 minutes or so...thus, I'm worried.

I made matters worse by calling a State hotline that said that although unlikely, there could be a possible risk if there was any secretions on his hand. ..that got my mind reeling.  Trust me, I understand the importance of safe sex (many thanks again for all your past work) and it was because I started to talk about always playing safe that I found out he was positive.  Appreciate settling my mind.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago
Welcome to our forum and thanks for your thanks.  I'll be pleased to comment, starting with the fact that I'm quite sad about the response you got from your local health department hotline.  I can only guess that the respondent you spoke with was worried about ever being wrong and did not consider that impact that erroneous information might bring to you.  They are wrong.  What a same you experienced it.

Not that it matters but I presume that your receipt of masturbation was his finger(s) in your rectum.  Irrespective however, while it is common for persons engaged in mutual masturbation to get each others' genital secretions on one another, there are no instances that I am aware of in which mutual masturbation has led to transmission of HIV from an infected to an uninfected person despite that fact that this a common event.  I would not worry and see no need for testing related to this exposure.

I would add two further comments:
1.  I suspect your partner did not tell you about his infection until after you had finished because of his fear about your reaction.  That is not an excuse by any means but it is testimony to the stigma associated with HIV and other STIs.
2.  The 2nd comment may be more important to you.  If you can contact this person again, you might ask if he is on therapy and if so, if he knows his most recent viral load.  This is relevant as therapy dramatically reduces risk for HIV transmission to uninfected persons.  It is virtually unheard of persons with viral loads (the concentration of HIV in the blood) of less than 10,000 to transmit HIV to infected partners, even with repeated unprotected sex.

I hope these comments are helpful.  EWH
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47 months ago
Thanks for the thoughtful reply...it is consistent with past responses from you and Dr. H and I'm saying to myself right now"thank God"  the view on "fingering" has not changed over the last decade from the medical profession!!  But, just to be sure I'm following your added comments clearly.....

-You are correct that I was on the receiving end of having his fingers in my rectum and he did not share his status until we were done with the fingering incident.  I was traveling on business and do not know the guy and will never run into him again.  However (somewhat ironically to your point), I did ask him if he was on meds (once he said his status) and he did say that his viral load is nearly undetectable (but again, who knows if this is true).  

Dr Hook--I'm assuming that you offer that added insight to provide context that even if I had done something more (which I didn't)..i.e. unprotected sex....an individual with a low viral load usually doesn't infect even in those situations (i.e. having unprotected sex)?  Regardless of his viral load and whether he was on meds, the fingering episode shouldn't be a concern for me (or the need for testing), even though it was rough and the fact it was a couple of fingers at a time.  Can you confirm I have that right?  

I take huge comfort in knowing that you believe I do not need to worry or get tested here over this exposure--thanks for confirming so I can move on.  

Keep up the great work.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago
Thanks for your thanks.  You are correct, my assessment of mutual masturbation not putting you at risk for HIV has not changed.  Your assessment and summary of my message was right on target. The fact that it was rough and involved multiple fingers does not change my assessment.  Take care.  EWH---
47 months ago
Thank you.  I know this is my last follow-up but I should of asked this at the get go.  I understand the HIV Risk is nill here.....can I also assume that this exposure should not require me to test for STDs in general?  I don't believe the risk of getting fingered hard warrants general STD testing, but your assurance is most helpful.  Again, just want to move forward and forget this without worry of being infected of anything....thanks again.



Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
47 months ago
Correct on all counts.  While there are less data on the subject of non-HIV STI transmission through receipt of masturbation, there is no risk for other STIs from participating in mutual masturbation either.  I see no need for STI testing of any sort related tot he exposure you describe.

As you acknowledge, this will be the final reply as part of the thread and therefore it will be closed later today.  Stay safe.  EWH
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