[Question #2697] Possible hiv exposure

43 months ago
I fingered a female for approximately five minutes until she climaxed. Approximately 15-20 seconds later, without thinking I started to masturbate myself with the same hand. It was still wet. I wasn't in a place I could clean up so it was quite some time before I could shower.  About eight days later I felt somewhat sick. No fever just weakness. I went to sleep and woke up feeling better. A sore throats appeared later, along with a slight red scrotum. I have burning that moves around, too.  I've been tested for all std's and they were negative. My hiv test was negative but it was only six days post exposure. My WBC is in normal range also. I have extremely bad anxiety and panic attacks. This makes it hard to decipher what would be a true symptom of ARS. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You really needn't be worried; you aren't at risk for any infection. STDs are not transmitted by fingering or hand genital contact. Your fingers were not at risk for any STD, and neither was your genital area. Although nobody can say the risk is truly zero, in the 80 person-years Dr. Hook and I have been providing care in busy STD clinics, neither of us has ever seen a patient with an STD who had not had direct genital-genital or oral-genital contact (with penetration). In addition, no STD cuases the symptoms you describe. If you had been infected during that event, you would have had blisters or other sores of the penis. Anxiety and stress indeed can make it difficult to judge the accuracy and importance of symptoms. But trust me on this:  in all my years in this business, I have never had a patient with symptoms like yours that turned out to be due to HIV or any other STD.

If your testing so far included a urine test for gonorrhea and chlamydia, those negative results are conclusive. No blood tests are conclusive until at least a few weeks after exposure. From strictly medical or risk perspectives, you don't need testing and if you have a regular partner you can safely continue sex without putting that person at risk. However, you may decide have further testing anyway -- while I don't recommend it, the negative results might reassure you more than my professional advice.  If so, have blood tests for syphilis and HIV 6 weeks after the event. Do not waste any more money on CBCs (WBC count etc):  no STD or HIV ever has any effect on those tests.

Another approach is to discuss your fears witht he woman involved. You may find she is just as fearful of STDs as you are. Perhaps she would agree to be tested for HIV, syphilis, etc. If her tests are negative, you'll know for sure you weren't exposed and don't need further tests.

But I repeat my main advice:  zero risk and no scientific reason for worry about it.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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43 months ago
Thank you doctor. 
   Being I have anxiety I just want to double check,  that regardless of any future symptoms, I should have peace of mind that HIV cannot be spread without penetration ?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
Yes, you should have that peace of mind. But you'll have to explain to your wife why you're not having insertive sex. Are you sure you want to do that for several weeks? There's really no point to it. You cannot transmit something you don't have.

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43 months ago
It's my last question so I should probably use it. What is the vaginal fluid on my had came in contact with my urethra? There was a good amount of fluid. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
43 months ago
One can imagine a theoretical scenario in which vaginal fluid in contact with your urethra might result in STD or HIV transmission. However, if you think about how frequently fingering or other hand-genital events happen, it is obvious that vaginal fluids have come into contact with men's urethras millions of times. And yet no known cases of HIV/STD transmission by such contact. So any risk is obviously miniscule. Heck, even entirely unprotected vaginal sex has an average of only one chance in 2,500 of transmitting HIV -- and that's only if the woman is known to have HIV, and your CSW partner probably did not.

So re-read my initial reply about possible testing, if additional negative test results will further reassure you. I wouldn't do it if I were in your circumstance, but I'm not you.

That concludes this thread. Take care and stay safe!
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