HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
facing Hiv Phobia
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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facing Hiv Phobia

Dear Dr. Handsfield, Dear Dr. Hook,

I would like to congratulate you for your brilliant careers and for all the precious work you have done, teaching millions of persons avoiding the HIV transmission risks. I'm a 26 years old heterosexual male from Portugal and I'm an avid forum reader since I had a low to no risk exposure (kissing and clothes frottage) in December 2007 with a confirmed HIV positive woman who had the infection for 9 years and doesn't told me in that moment.
In that time I didn’t worry at all about STD’s, nor I knew the "do ask do tell HIV status, so I tested negative 12 weeks later in 2008. Since my negative test I didn’t have  sex, but I had some episodes that are frightening me, so I would like to ask you if:

1)Can I be sure I won’t catch HIV by kissing even if there are bleeding cuts on my and/ or on the girls Lips?

2)I’ve danced with about 30 to 40 woman in the space of time of 6 months in discos / pick up bar where people dance like ballads, and two of them looked to have lipodystrophy (thin arms, neck and cheeks) so I assume they all have HIV and are on antiretroviral drugs. Since I’ve danced with those girls, holding them and rubbing my penis on them with our clothes on, is there any transmission risk? I felt some girls buclke’s belt in my belly and if it had blood or secretions on it it would be possible that the buckle’s belt injected into me?

3) I meet a girl who worked at a sexshop, and I asked her to sell me a dildo at a night that we go out. I used on myself 10 hours later when I arrived home. Before I used it on myself, I washed it with cold water and soap about 10 seconds, dried it with a towel and put a condom and then used on my anus. Let’s assume hypothetically that the girl used the dildo 10 hours before, is there any risk?

4) No penetration = no worries?

5)Do you think that, from those exposures I mentioned above, do I need testing?

Thank you for your precious attention and dedicated time.
Kind Regards
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Welcome to our Forum.  It sounds as though you had an experience back in 2007 which frightened you and since then you have worried about further exposures.  That is natural and it sounds as though since then you have both educated yourself about how HIV is transmitted and, while you have not ha penetrative sex with anyone, have committed to taking appropriate precautions in future relationships (i.e. you will ask partners, tell them of your history, and use condoms).  Congratulations.

Your questions however also seem to indicate that there are still concerns that you have about how HIV is transmitted.  I hope this comment will help you.  HIV is not transmitted by kissing, even open mouth kissing, by rubbing, through clothes or on inanimate objects which have been washed, cleaned or dried. Thus none of the activities you mention place you at any risk for HIV at all.

Your question also reminds me of a recent reply the DR. Handsfield made to another client that I will paste in below which reinforces the statements that I have just made.  
"The reason that some infections are transmitted only by sex, direct blood exposure, and other very intimate contacts (transplantation, childbirth, etc) is that they CANNOT be transmitted by other means.  Why not?  Because large amounts of the causative bacteria or viruses must have direct access to susceptible tissues, which typically are deep inside (gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, HBV, etc); or they must be massaged vigorously into susceptible tissues, often with microscopic trauma (syphilis, HSV, HPV).  This is how these bacteria and viruses, and the human interactions with them, evolved over thousands of human generations and millions of years, and it is an essential biological difference between STDs and, say, colds, influenza, common intestinal infections, measles, chickenpox, and a hundred other infectious diseases.

This is why STDs are not transmitted by kissing, hand-genital contact, contact with a contaminated environment, or from such fleeting contact like you describe here -- even fleeting contact with the genitals.  Nobody can say the risk is zero from what you describe.  But in 30+ years in the STD business, I have never seen or heard of such transmission occurring.  The people who show up in the clinic with HIV or other STDs always have had intercourse or direct blood exposure, as through shared injection equipment -- we simply see no exceptions.

So if there is risk in the sort of exposure described in your question, it is far too low to measure or worry about.  This also explains our universal reassurance to questions about mutual masturbation, contact with potentially infected secretions in the environment, and most sexual exposures other than insertive sex."

Thus you have my assurance that none of the exposures you describe place you at any risk for HIV or, for that matter, other STDs.  You do not have any medical reason for testing.  

Realizing that you are anxious about this, I will also ask that you do not follow this response with lots ob "but what if..." type questions.  I hope my comments help.  EWH
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Dear Dr Edward Hook,

Thank you so much for your kind words an for all your precious attention.
I had this needing to have a custom fit answer from you, so I promisse not to follow this response with no more of the typically "what if questions".  I just will finish with this lifestile.

Dr Hook, I just want to ask you 2 more questions that I couldn't put it on the previous one because the 2000 word limit:

1) I’ve dated a girl in February of the last year and I have kissed her in a day when she went to the dentist, receiving cirurgical work and I had sore troath in that day when I kissed her. I’m afraid that sometimes when I spit my saliva had could have blood, if I was bleeding in my throat Is there any problem here?

2) I recently had at work a reunion with some people, and one woman with very thin arms give me a social kiss at the start an at the ending of our meeting. I saw in her face a busted bubble/ pimple that had “black” solid dried blood. I had a skin open cut near a finger’s nail from pushing the skin, and I touched my face during that meeting. Could the dried solid blood on it’s pimple carry any virus to my face, and the to the cut of my finger?  An hour latter I washed my hand’s and my face. Is there any problem here?

I know that my concerns are out of control, my doctor told me already that I’m starting to be an hypochondriac with this OCD, but your response have helped to calm me down and to conquer my irrational fears.
Thank you so much for all your knowledgeable advice.
Best Wishes

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These are both "what if..." questions and the answer is that there is no risk associated with either situation.  I agree with your doctor.  EWH
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Thank you so much Dr Edward Hook.
Your words have reassured me and calmed me down.
Kind regards
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Dr Edward Hook,

I'm so sorry for putting again a reply, but  I still have a doubt regarding  Hiv blood tramsmitions.
Yesterday I went to a concert and when I payed the ticket, there was a gay man
at the entrance of the concert  who was putting into our arms a paper bracelet as an entry prove. I found that had a red patch on the arm near the bracelet but I do not know if it was a cut made by the bracelet or a peripheral smear for little growing hair.
When I arrived home I inspected the bracelet and the red spot and, I didn't saw blood on the bracelet but I was afraid that if the gay had cut itself on it, there would be any risk of infection? In the future do you think I need to avoid this kind situations?
Thank you.
Regards
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This is not a part of your original question, nor is is realistic. No risk.

This thread is now over.  EWH
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Dr Hook, can I just post one more follow up question?

Regarding to the girls dancing history, I only would like to know if there is any risk from touching and grabbing the girl's hands hand to the girls while I have some cracks small fresh cuts in my hand from the cold weater dying?
Thank you
Best wishes
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This will be the last answer I provide as part of this thread.  It appears that my answers seem to encourage your anxiety rather than help it.  No, there is no risk at all from touching the dancer's hands, even if you had cracks on your hands.

No further questions please.  Take care.  Don't worry.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
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