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HIV from fingering
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIV from fingering

Forum, Back in June I had a lap dance that included a little body message and some brief fingering. No sexual activity what so ever, just a little digital playing. But I got vaginal fluid on my hands. While I could not see any visible cuts on my hands or fingers I did have peeled skin around one cuticle and a two torn cuticle that was healing (about 3 days prior it was cut) needless to say it has freaked me out. I immediately went to wash hands and went back to hotel as was on a business trip.

Now what has concerned me is the dancer (who spoke Spanish as this was in South America) had advised that she was not feeling to well and just came off a high fever. She said this after the fact. This caused me to become vary concerned. I spoke with a local doctor who said that hands did not look bad and that probably nothing to worry about. so accepted that and went on to complete work but then two weeks later got a slight sore throat, mild fever, and very bad feeling or burning sensation in mouth. I decided to get checked out when I got home and an HIV test. It came back negative at 28 days using a 3rd Generation ELISA test. Spoke with doctor on the subject and he advised that HIV is not spread via fingering but though actual sex intercourse. I asked if was necessary to take another and he advised no that should fine.

I did not think anything again as I had consulted two doctors who felt that I was fine. I did not think much of until my girlfriend became sick one week after we had relations with mild fever about 100, tiredness, runny nose. A few days later she started to get red bumps around her neck near shoulder blade which looked like flat red over lapping bumps they are not raised. She also had a rash around her face and complained of burning lips.

What I would like to know is that is any symptoms of ARS or primary HIV infection. Also I have read that you could get HIV from fingering if there are cuts present or breaks in the skin. I have read your forum at length and some others and am now very confused. What is the final word on fingering? If this woman (stripper in South America) was newly infected then it seems possible to get the disease, although if their was no open bleed cuts on hands of fingers then cannot see how it would get in. What I would like to know if the Elisa I had at 4 weeks really worth anything. And the systems of my girlfriend. Can ARS start one week after infection. She was feeling better in three weeks with no rash and flu systems disappeared after two days, about the same time the rash appeared.  She also stated that she had used new acne cream on face before removing the chemical that she used to take of make-up. May be that gave her the rash, but that would not account for the rash on her inner arms.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Relax; your doctors are right.  I'll bet that in the history of the world, not one of the millions and millions of HIV infected persons acquired HIV by hand-to-genital contact with an infected person.  The test results you describe are 100% reliable.  Also, as I have said many times--this is the 4th or 5th time in the past 2 days--symptoms never are a reliable indicator of HIV infection.  Finally, you have been reassured by at least 2 health care providers.  I can do no more except repeat that reassurance.  Assuming you have no other exposures aside from the one you describe, you are at no more risk for HIV than you would be by shaking hands with an infected person (i.e., zero); had you come to my clinic, I would have recommended against HIV testing.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
6 Comments
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I share your concern, as I went through a similar experience and tested negative at 8 weeks.  In addition, I may have had a skinned finger at the time.  I noticed it was skinned the next morning and do not know when it happened.

My doctor also told me that I was at no risk and that actual intercourse would be necessary to transmit the virus.  The websites that state you can get the virus from fingering if you had a cut or break in the skin cannot give any specific information, as this has never been documented as happening.  Fingering with open cuts or sores represents a theoretical risk only.  No one has ever contracted HIV by this type of potential exposure.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dr HHH and other forum members thanks for the reassurance. I just want to make sure that my girfried was safe as a 4 week test is not the norm. By the way what is the actual window period using a 3rd Generation Elisa? and are they any different in 2005 then 4 years ago.  thanks again. I feel much better.
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79258_tn?1190634010
You may want to reread Dr. Handsfield's response, particularly these sentences: "I'll bet that in the history of the world, not one of the millions and millions of HIV infected persons acquired HIV by hand-to-genital contact with an infected person," and "Assuming you have no other exposures aside from the one you describe, you are at no more risk for HIV than you would be by shaking hands with an infected person (i.e., zero)."

It doesn't matter if you were tested at 4 weeks or 40 weeks, since you couldn't possibly have contracted HIV from that exposure. You have nothing to worry about :-)
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Avatar_n_tn
I did have want to know if, I do have a rub my hands of my mouth. if I did that and honestly I can't remember if I did would that tranmit any thing to lips or mouth. Just crossed my mind becasue I do that all the time. Outside of that Nothing else.  Also what are the risks for getting tested?
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with monkeyflower that it really doesn't matter when you tested, because you are not at risk.  

The New York State Deparment of Health has a list of 100 questions and answers on its website related to HIV/AIDS.  Question 39 is "How soon after exposure can HIV infection be detected."  The first part of the answer is "With the HIV antibody tests used in New York State, virtually all people who are infected will test positive within one month of being infected.  Most people will test positive even sooner."

So from this I guess you can infer that New York state believes that the testing window period is about one month for most people.  I'm assuming that the tests in New York State use third generation technology.  From what I have read elsewhere, first generation tests (like Home Access) can detect HIV antibodies about 5 to 10 days later than a third generation test, and that second generation tests (such as used by LabCorp) will detect HIV antibodies a few days earlier than the first generation tests.

Hope this is helpful.  Best of luck.

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