[Question #863] Strip Club HIV Risks worry

87 months ago
Hi Drs, I used to go very frequently to strip clubs over a period of 12 years and regularly get lap dances with dancers of unknown status. I was always clothed and almost always ejaculated in my pants/underwear. Often times I would spend time getting multiple dances with the following activities not all at the same instance.

1) girl dancer naked or only topless with a g string on.
2) girl grinding on my erect penis through the clothing. 
3) girl sucking on my penis through my clothing.
4) me sucking on girls breasts and nipples occasionally.
5) me touching the vagina but not really inserting fingers 
6) occasional kiss on the lips but I would try to keep my lips closed and not make it open mouthed.
7) any skin contact with acne on me or the dancer.
8) never used my tongue on their vagina
9) never sucked their fingers. 

Would any of these be a concern for me with regards to HIV? I have stopped going to these places completely a few years back but I am crippled with fear that these activities put me in danger. Would it matter with the close grinding even through clothes or my penis moving out of my underwear but still under my pants and not outside. I have never had sex other than with 1 person. I would really appreciate your advice.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
87 months ago
Welcome to the forum.

Responding to the title of your question ("Strip club HIV risks"), before I read the question itself:  Almost certainly you are not at risk at all. If there is no intercourse (penis inside another person's vagina, rectum or [rarely] mouth, then there is no risk of HIV. There are no other personal contacts likely in a strip club that carry any chance of HIV transmission. In addition, in the US and western Europe, even among the most sexually active women (sex workers, strippers, massage therapists who include sexual services, etc), the large majority do not have HIV.

Now I have looked at your question.  None of the events listed carried any risk at all of HIV infection. HIV cannot be transmitted through clothing. Even without clothing or condoms, oral sex is zero risk or very close to it. HIV and other STDs are not transmitted by hand-genital contact, fingering, or by skin contact other than intercourse.

But the real question here is why you have not been tested for HIV. You should do it. This does not mean I believe there is any risk; I definitely do not. But the negative test result probably will give you more reassurance than anything I can say based on risk calculations, probabilities, etc. So get tested. You definitely can expect a negative result, assuming your one real sex partner is not at high risk for HIV infection.

I hope this has helped. Best wishes--  HHH, MD

87 months ago
Thanks for the response Dr. Handsfield, appreciate it very much. The only person that I have had sex with is my wife and there is absolutely no way that she is any risk category let alone high risk. 

I hope to get tested for my own sanity.  But I have convinced myself that I put myself at risk even with the stated activities above and  afraid that my life or whatever left of it will come crashing down. 

I never drank alcohol in my life so there is no chance that I may have done something that I forgot.  

Do you really think that given the activities I mentioned, that they are not a risk even with the fact that 

1) I have phimosis though my pants and  for almost all the times my underwear (meaning my penis slid out of my boxers but still covered by pants) were also covering my penis. 
2) The fact that the dancers may have engaged in other activities with other customers a minute or two before my dances but still contained to my activities listed here. 

I have gone to the strip clubs given the fact that I won't be having sex and I never looked to have sex in the first place. I figured that this is a no risk type thing for me and at times it turned into an addiction for anything good or bad that happened in my life. But I got the strength to get out of that habit forever now.

I worry myself that I am not lucky and that no one will believe me that these are the only activities that I performed and acts as a  morbid fear for getting tested. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
87 months ago
The additional information does not change my opinion or advice. You absolutely could not have caught HIV or any other STD from exposures through clothing, or regardless of the sorts of contacts the dancers may have had with other customers.

You truly are at no risk from the events described. However, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and all public health experts, recommend that ALL persons in the US age 13-65 be tested at least once for HIV. Since you're worried and apparently haven't been tested, you should do so now, while it's on your mind. As I said above, you should find the negative result reassuring. And I am confident it will indeed be negative. (If positive, you would have to look to other exposures, including the possibility that your wife is already infected. Because you absolutely did not get it from your strip club adventures.)

87 months ago
Thanks again Dr for your response. I really appreciate it. While your words give me comfort, as mentioned earlier, I have pushed myself into a corner about these incidents as they have been more than a few with the constant theme that I got lap dances from girls that were either topless or naked but me with my clothes on.

I understand guilt has a major role in my current state of mind.  But I wish to accept that I really did not put myself at risk with my past strip club addiction  and truly move on in life from this fear psychosis. I equate any ill health of mine and my families to this fear and luck did not favor me here as I have had other issues that never let my mind away from this. 

I understand that I am only allowed 2 follow ups to my original question and I won't  post anymore on this thread. This I promise.

Will you be kind of enough to answer these last two questions?

1) would me ejaculating in my pants/underwear in any way change your opinion? I did not mean to intentionally leave this. I just did not realize that I did not provide it before. Is it the case that my ejaculate cannot harm me even though the dancer was naked because I had my clothes on? 

2) does the amount of time I spend with a dancer while getting dances have no bearing especially if I have a cold or weakeness/tiredness with respect to being a risk considering the fact that I was always clothed?  

I figured you mentioned my wife simply  to contrast my lack of risk from the strip club encounters, right? I am 100% confident that my wife will not have any risk other than while having relations with me. 

If there are other exposures that could cause me to be not lucky, I will at least be comfortable knowing from your answers that it most likely was not from my strip club adventures because there is absolutely nothing else that I am worried about from my behavior like having drugs etc as I am not that type to have tried them and never will be. This itself makes me feel less guilty and any thing other than that; I am going  to tackle them. 

Thanks again Dr.

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
87 months ago
1) No, whether or not you ejaculated makes no difference.

2) Neither does the amount of time over which these events occurred.

Thanks for the thanks about our services. If you find yourself continuing to worry despite the reasoned, science based reassurance I have tried to give, perhaps you should consider professional counseling. I agree with your own self diagnosis:  the only problem here is guilt and the anxiety the has resulted from it.

Best wishes and stay safe.