[Question #878] HIV Exposure

51 months ago
Dear Dr's,

I know you've been asked this before but I have to ask something based on my situation.   I am a male and yesterday spent the day at a spa where a lot of guys were in the steam room masturbating throughout the day. For the most part, I just watched and self masturbated. Towards the end of the day however, one guy reached over and masturbated me for no more than 10 seconds. I did then continue to masturbate myself. My question is this, after a long day of this, my penis was a little sore and red (chapped) from masturbating all day. I know he hadn't came when he jerked me off but I'm sure he could have had precum on his hand from jerking himself off before touching me. Considering I continued to masturbate after he touched me (and assuming there was his precum) and the fact that I was a little chapped at this point, would you then have concern about HIV? It hasn't been 24 hours, so would you recommend considering PEP or getting tested?  I know you say that mutual masturbation is no risk,  and I get that part.  I guess I was just wondering if the risk could increase from being chapped and rubbing my penis with his precum (assuming there was some).  To summarize, I guess my main question is that based on the facts above, would you ever recommend PEP in this situation? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
51 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I would NOT recommend PEP for you in this situation.  Even if you assume that the person who briefly masturbated you had HIV (statistically unlikely) and that he had genital secretions (his or someone else's) on his hands, this remains a no risk event.  While there are no specific studies addressing your question, there are many facts which indicate that the situation you describe was a no risk event.  Among them are that HIV does not survive well outside the body, even for short periods and there are NO instances in which HIV has been shown to be transmitted from one person to another by transfer of genital secretions on a person's hands (or for that matter, on an inanimate object) despite there have been millions of instances in which persons with HIV have masturbated others.   Certainly in many of those instances the person receiving the masturbation was chaffed.

I would not worry further about this event and I certainly see no reason for you to take the big and costly step of seeking PEP (remember, fewer than half of people who start PEP even finish it, in part because of side effects) .  I hope my comments are helpful to you.  EWH

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