[Question #2608] Strip Club visit: HIV Risk from vaginal fluid

42 months ago
Hello Doctor...Around five weeks ago, while on a business trip, I visited a strip club with some friends (my first time at one). I received two lap dances: in both cases, the dancer involved was fully nude, while I was clothed in business attire. It was a 'no-contact' club, so touching was limited. I did not touch the dancers (except for a hand-shake).

I am worried by the fact that both dancer fingered their vagina, and then immediate put their hands at the back of my neck and head (one also pressed hard to bring me closer). I have dandruff that causes severe itching, so much that I sometimes get bleeding wounds on my head from the scratching. However, I didn't notice any bleeding that day (doesn't mean there couldn't have been). Could this lead to an HIV infection?

I did not share the incident with my wife. I can only say that I have been a coward. We come from a very religious, conservative, background, and have never had any sexual partners besides each other. We have also been married for twenty years with kids. This will be an incredibly big deal to her.

Three weeks ago (around two weeks after my strip club incident), my wife and I had sex (of a sort). I avoided penetrative sex and a blowjob as I was still worried about the strip club incident. Based on my panicked reading after the strip club visit, I believed receiving oral sex will be safe for her. My wife received oral sex from me (my gums bleed sometimes, but I checked both before and after sex, and did not see any bleeding). After that she gave me a brief handjob, while we hugged fully nude. At this point, her hands might have touched some pre-cum. I orgasmed, but made sure she didn’t come in contact with my semen.

Now, exactly three weeks later (the supposed incubation period for ARS), she is suffering from a fever, headache, body-ache, and a sore throat. And I can't help thinking about ARS symptoms, and that her symptoms match closely. Is it possible I got infected with HIV at the club, and may have passed it on?  Should I get tested?

Thanks a lot.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  The answer to your question is simple and quite straight forward.  The activities you describe were no risk events with no risk for acquisition of any STI, including HIV.  The S in STI is meaningful.  Touching is not sex and these infections are transmitted only through direct, mucosal contact.  Transfer of genital secretions from person to person on one or another persons' hands does not lead to transmission of any  STI infection.  This principle is so firmly established that even rather conservative governmental agencies such as the CDC and WHO list mutual masturbation in which genital secretions from participating partners get on each other as NO RISK contact.  Your contact was less than this.  Further, you dandruff and possible head wounds do not change this assessment in any way.  Still no risk and therefore no need for testing related to this event and no need to abstain from unprotected sexual contact of any sort with your wife in relationship to the events you describe.

Thus logically, your wife's recent illness is absolutely unrelated to any STI, including HIV related to the events you describe.  I hope this comment clarifies things for you and will allow you to move forward without concern.  EWH