[Question #3972] Risk of HIV and HSV

33 months ago
About a week ago, I visited a strip club and unfortunately, shared a cigarette with a stripper. The cigarette butt was wet with her saliva, but I do not remember any blood on the butt. Since I don't have great oral hygiene, for the past week I have been extremely anxious about having possibly been exposed to HIV or HSV (oral herpes). How risky was this encounter? Do I need to get tested for HIV or HSV? Any other STDs that I need to worry about?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
33 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  As it happened, I was on line when your question arrived.  thus you are getting a response far more quickly than is typical. 

It appears that you have a misunderstanding about HIV and STIs and how they are transmitted.  There are no data that HIV has ever been transmitted through sharing cigarettes, food or kissing, including open mouth kissing in which saliva is exchanged.  This is true even if there was blood on the cigarette. The event you describe was a no risk event for acquisition of HIV.  Similarly HSV and other STIs are rarely, if ever transmitted in this way. I would have no concerns about the event you describe. There is no reason for concern and no scientific reason for testing.

I hope this comment is helpful.  You have nothing to worry about.  EWH


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