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May 12, 2009 - 138 comments



HIV infection


HIV symptoms


HIV Risks

I am very honored to be a regular contributor on the HIV Prevention Forum here at MH.  The forum is very busy, and we often get the same inquiries over and over.  I figured that putting together a journal entry covering the most popular topics, and just laying out the facts may be helpful.  I also invite Lizzie Lou and Teak to share their thoughts, and to cover anything I may have missed.

The Myths:

First of all, sadly, there is a very overlinflated view of HIV among a large portion of the general population.  I feel this is related to a lot of the "hype" and media around the virus.  The FACT is, HIV is a very difficult virus to transmit.  Comparable to other viruses (ie influenza), it is a very WEAK and unstable virus that succombs to the environment rapidly.  It needs basically a set of near perfect circumstances to allow for infection.  Therefore, a person CANNOT get HIV from environmental surfaces, like toilet seats, manicure/barber equipment, shower stalls, drinking glasses, toothbrushes, etc etc.  The virus quickly becomes inactive when it is outside of its host (the body).  This is why infection from inanimate objects is impossible.  This is also why mutual masturbation with exposure to a partner's gential fluids is also NOT a risk in any way.  This also is the case with cuts, abrasions, cracked cuticles, etc.  Those things make no difference when it comes to risk, as the virus is outside of its host, rendering it inactive.

"Delayed Seroconversion".  We have all heard horror stories of people who test negative for YEARS, even decades, somehow being infected without having a POS HIV test.  This is a bunch of "you know what".  It doesn't happen, it is an urban myth.  If a person has transmitted the virus, they will test pos, actually quite rapidly (usually within 6 weeks of exposure).  3 months will give a person with an exposure a conclusive result.  If a person does not test POS for HIV 3 months after an exposure, then they did not contract HIV.  The ONLY exception to this is people who have literally NO immune system who may take longer to produce antibodies.  This would include an extremely small portion of the population, and would include situations such as....a person taking anti-rejection meds post an organ transplant, a person on aggressive chemotherapy, or a person with terminal, end stage cancer, again...people who have NO immunity.  Even this "delayed" seroconversion among this small population is highly debated among medical professionals.  Even people in these categories usually test POS within the 3 month window period, but as a precaution, it is recommended that people with severely compromised immune systems test to 6 months post an exposure.  NO ONE ELSE NEEDS TO TEST BEYOND 3 MONTHS.  If a person was prescribed PEP ("Post Exposure Prophylaxis), then they need to test 3 months after their LAST dose of PEP.

"Autoimmune Disorders".   This is often confused with what I discussed above.  Autoimmune disorders (ie rheumatoid arthritis) are completely different from a person with a severely compromised immune system, from chemo, etc.  The presence of an autoimmune disorder does NOT change the testing guidelines whatsoever, and it will not affect the test results.

"Blood to Blood Exposures".  We get questions about this all the time.  HIV is classified as a "blood borne pathogen", which is where a lot of this fear comes from.  It basically means that the virus has to reach the bloodstream.  In sexual exposures, it does this through the mucous membranes of the vagina or anus, which are VERY vascular, with very easy access to the vascular system.  In a needle sharing scenario, a person is injecting infected blood DIRECTLY into their bloodstream.  These situations are VERY different from a superficial skin "exposure":

Someone has a cut and was exposed to someone else's cut.  This does not pose a risk for many reasons.  First, the skin serves as an EXCELLENT barrier to the virus.  The skin is comprised of several layers, and injuries, like paper cuts, etc...begin healing IMMEDIATELY from the inside out.  Therefore, even if there IS a superficial abrasion/laceration, it will not allow the virus to penetrate deep enough to reach the bloodstream, which is what has to happen for infection.  In a VERY severe scenario, there may be a risk....for example, two people being in a car accident with large major hemorrhaging injuries where there is HUGE exposure to the other person's blood through a very significant (deep) injury.  However, again...being exposed to someone else's blood in small amounts, even with a small cut, will NOT place you at risk.

The Great ORAL Debate.  This is probably our most common question.  Unprotected oral sex.  Is it a risk?  The short answer: NO.  The long answer....

There is often a difference in the answers given by the docs in the expert forum vs us.  People have to understand that medical professionals and the CDC have a responsibility to be ULTRA conservative when discussing risks.  Therefore, there is a MINUTE "theoretical" risk assigned to oral sex.  If oral sex was TRULY a "real" risk, there would be new cases all the time of HIV being transmitted in this manner.  There absolutely is NOT.  And a "theoretical" risk is VERY different from an actual risk.  The docs have BOTH said time and time again in the expert forum that neither of them, in their combined DECADES of being specialists dealing with HIV have EVER seen a case of HIV as a result of oral sex, nor have they READ any convincing cases.  There is a physiological reason for that.  First, the virus isn't present in the saliva, making infection impossible for the receptive partner (the person receiving oral sex).  Secondly, for the person GIVING oral sex, THEIR saliva contains enzymes that inhibit the virus, should they be exposed to infected genital secretions.  Secondly, again, the virus has been exposed to the air and elements, rendering it inactive in an oral situation.  This debate will continue, but again, for anyone worrying about an oral "exposure"...think of the facts.  If it was truly a risk, there would be newly reported cases ALL the time.

HIV is classified as an STD, which means, basically, one has to have SEX to be at risk.  This leads me to the primary REAL risks of becoming infected.  They are UNPROTECTED VAGINAL OR ANAL SEX, sharing IV drug works, and from mother to infant.  Sexually, there are certainly higher risks.  Homosexual men having sex with other men still remains a higher risk, with a "bottom" anal sex partner having unprotected sex being about the highest risk factor.  HOWEVER...despite this information....HIV is still on the rise among heterosexual partners.  While it is less of a risk, it is still a risk!  And, despite the "odds" out there, it IS possible to get HIV from only ONE episode of unprotected hetero sex.  Who wants to take those kinds of chances?  Therefore, remember to protect yourself at all costs.  ONE moment of pleasure for a lifetime of dealing with a chronic illness?  Seems like one heck of an exchange!

Protection.  HIV is a 100% preventable disease.  Condoms work.  Therefore, condoms used consistently and correctly will almost guarantee a future free of HIV.  Whether a person chooses to use condoms for oral sex is a personal decision.  It certainly is adviseable to protect against other STD's, which are far more prevalent, and easier to transmit via oral sex.  When engaging in a sexual relationship, follow a few rules.  First, have open conversations with a prospective partner about their history, and flat out ask their history, whether they have been tested, etc.  ANYone who is evasive about their answer, or refuses to answer....walk away.  UNLESS you have been mutually tested with a monogamous partner...unprotected intercourse should NEVER be an option.  Men, choose condoms that are the right fit, and use only ONE condom at a time.  Some people think that 2 condoms at a time offers double protection.  To the contrary, they increase the risk of condom failure.  Use plenty of WATER based lubrication, like KY jelly, and if you question the quality of a condom, use another one.  Make sure the condoms are not expired, as that also increases the risk of condom breakage.  When condoms break, they do so CATASTROPHICALLY.  There is no doubt.  Therefore, if you use a condom, and it is WHOLE after the act, the condom worked.  Always remember to hold onto the condom on withdrawl, this will prevent slippage, which overall isn't a risk for HIV, but may expose you to other STD's.  The fact that HIV virus can penetrate an intact condom is also an urban myth.  The ONLY exception to this is lambskin condoms...they are not efficient against HIV.  Use latex or polyurethane condoms only to protect against HIV.

Medical Exposures.  You cannot and will not EVER be infected by a medical procedure, like having your blood drawn, or an IV inserted.  Medical professionals do NOT re-use needles, period.  Mainly because if they did, they would be placing themselves at risk for all kinds of infections, and they simply wouldn't do that.  Secondly, most of the needle products out there today allow for a ONE time use only, and have safeguards in place to prevent re-use.  If you are worried about this...put it out of your mind, it is irrational.

Lastly, if you feel you've had a risk, then get tested.  There is NO reason not to.  Anxiety is NO excuse not to get tested.  "Not knowing" doesn't change your test just delays possible life-saving treatment, not to mention, may keep you from the likely relief of a negative result.  HIV education is vital....and in this day and age, not ONE more person should be getting infected.  It is completely avoidable.

If you have been tested, and your result is NEG at 3 months, you do NOT have HIV, despite any "symptoms" you are sure you have.  One can NEVER EVER gauge a risk by physical symptoms.  Newly infected people many times do not experience any ARS symptoms, not to mention that ARS symptoms are also VERY consistent with thousands of other common, non-HIV illnesses, infections.  If you have had a NO RISK situation, or have tested NEGATIVE at 3 months, or both...and you simply CANNOT move on, cannot convince yourself that you do not have HIV, then it is time to seek professional help for yourself.  HIV phobias/anxiety is sadly pretty common.  One can see that by reading either of the HIV forums here on MH.  Continuing to search the internet is the absolute WORST thing you could do in that situation.  That would be synonomous with a person with a severe snake phobia throwing themselves into a snake pit day after day..  Doesn't make much sense, does it?

The "HIV Prevention" forum here at MH is to help people assess a risk.  The forum has rules in place because of the nature of the high levels of anxiety related to the subject.  People get a little upset with us when we tell posters to "move on", but it is absolutely a necessity.  We HAVE to maintain order in the forum, and once we have advised a poster that they have not had a risk, or they are conclusively negative, there isn't much more we can tell them.  There are hundreds, thousands of posts to search.  We cannot provide constant emotional support, that just isn't whay the forum is there.  Of course we recognize that people coming to us are highly anxious and of course we are compassionate, but there comes a time when enough is enough.  No one else would get their ?'s answered if we allowed every person to continue on and on, asking the same question in a different way.  Therefore, it deserves mention...if YOU are one of these people, be courteous to the other posters in the forum, and please follow the rules.  Again, the search option is available to you, you can review MANY threads discussing the same topic.

Hopefully, this information will help those who are looking for some insight into HIV and its risks.

Post a Comment
Avatar universal
by iMessedUp1, Jun 06, 2009
Thank you for taking the time to type all this up nursegirl :)

Avatar universal
by Vance2335, Jun 08, 2009
I know from being in the HIV community from time to time that you and others do a great job. This is very well written and to the point. It cuts out the PC and gets to the facts. I hope everyone reads this and learns from it.
Amazing job on this!

186166 tn?1385259382
by LIZZIE LOU, Jun 11, 2009
somehow i missed this i'm sure others did too.

i suggest that you copy and paste this and add it to the health pages section of the forum (if it's not already there).  i think it would benefit others.  

Avatar universal
by Igotaboner, Jun 11, 2009
Great post! I thank you, lizzie and teak for the work you three put in here. It definitely helps calm me down when I start thinking the "what ifs"

786232 tn?1241742056
by oldskool80, Jun 11, 2009
yeah lizzie..

i agreed with you...
this is a great journal and very updated...
huh...hopefully there will be no more "ifs" and "buts" for me after reading this post..

great job nursegirl6572...
God Bless...

755829 tn?1246919225
by Mitch82, Jun 11, 2009
A good resource for all

Avatar universal
by bokaa, Jun 12, 2009
Thanks for the good job , i think there are a lot of people need this advice to calm down of there fears and move on.

Avatar universal
by haoge, Jun 12, 2009
Great job!
I think you won't mind if I translate this great journal into chinese and introduce to the similar forum in China.

Avatar universal
by tooltool, Jun 12, 2009
if it becomes inactive outside the body, how does it survive inside an infected needle?

Avatar universal
by awktobers, Jun 12, 2009
thats a good question

186166 tn?1385259382
by LIZZIE LOU, Jun 13, 2009
this is a "teaching" journal...not somewhere to be asking additional questions that can be found on the prevention forum.  if you have further concerns...please address them on the forum.

Avatar universal
by tooltool, Jun 13, 2009
it may be that HIV can survive in blood outside of the body but not in sperm. maybe this is the reason for the inconsistency.  

or it may be that there's a little time range for hiv to survive in blood as well and drug users have to use the same needle within a very short time span to catch hiv.

i feel its important to clear this inconsistency up.  thanks.

480448 tn?1426948538
by nursegirl6572, Jun 13, 2009
Thank you all for your kind words.

"if it becomes inactive outside the body, how does it survive inside an infected needle"

We have addressed this many many many times.  It stays "active" (not "alive"..the virus is neither dead nor is active or inactive) because the blood is trapped inside the bore of the needle where it is essentially preserved b/c it is kept away from the elements in the environment.

Avatar universal
by juliano, Jun 13, 2009
SUPER great post. Love you all how did that journal. Super relieved. All my questions were answered. Specially that part of the finger. :)

Avatar universal
by onemansstand, Jun 14, 2009
This is a good post. I'm still freaking out and will until I get tested but definitely a good post.

Avatar universal
by tooltool, Jun 14, 2009
thank for the explanation.  that makes sense.

Avatar universal
by worriedoz, Jun 15, 2009
thank you for this post. very educational. take care and god bless you.

Avatar universal
by JB321, Jun 15, 2009
VERY VERY helpful because I like this female was is + I received oral and I fingered her with a none bleeding cut. I was stressiin myself out til iread those facts and reasons. But I'm still afraid to have sex withher.

Avatar universal
by samsamsam204, Jun 22, 2009
GREAT JOURNAL!!!!!!!!!!!


Avatar universal
by sushil34, Jun 22, 2009

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by jcsl, Jun 23, 2009
Great post, I hope it helps all of us who battle frequently with major anxiety, to put our doubts away and have a safe fear-free life. I definitely feel much better after reading it. Thanks for the amazing work you do!

Avatar universal
by wtfman, Jun 24, 2009
Great post, it reads nicely and seems to be well informed.

I hope you are right tho, cause crazy symptoms still persist within me...

Avatar universal
by Hridoy, Jul 06, 2009
thank u soooooooooooooooo much. i am feeling so much good after reading this.

Avatar universal
by vineet837, Jul 06, 2009
so greattttttttttttttttttttttttt post.

never seen such good post on medhelp

Avatar universal
by Worried940, Jul 07, 2009
Great Post Thanks

Avatar universal
by Daniel228, Jul 08, 2009
Great post, thank you.......I have been worried sick that I became infected...... this helps a great deal.  Quick question, in your opinion, would having crohn's disease increase or have no impact on a person's ability to contract? I have taken Mercaptopurine in the past for crohn's.  Thanks!

Avatar universal
by gag777, Jul 08, 2009
Very useful information. In real sense: An Eye Opener...

You people are doing a great work by making the lives of a lot of people much simpler. As I have gone through all this, I know how anxiety kills a person slowly.

Thanks to you all.

480448 tn?1426948538
by nursegirl6572, Jul 08, 2009

No illness or disease affects HIV testing...and to your question, no, Chron's wouldn't affect your risk.....the only exception to that would be in the instance of unprotected anal sex(if you were the receptive partner) may increase your risk very slightly if the mucous membranes of the rectum are already irritated from frequent stools.  

The medication would make no difference at all.

960765 tn?1247065087
by scaredstiff365, Jul 08, 2009
thank you once again, i think you have covered alllll basis. wonderful job God Bless you :)

Avatar universal
by jogi100, Jul 09, 2009
thanks a lot for such a wonderful is indeed a great cotribution to humanity.

Avatar universal
by Inches_72, Jul 09, 2009
Thanks for this. I think I'd have saved myself a lot of stress if I'd found this before trolling forums, haha.

Hopefully know my status for sure tomorrow or Monday, but from what I've read, I really had nothing to worry about in the first place.

*Touch wood*

Avatar universal
by dontwannasay, Jul 10, 2009
this was great. VERY GOOD. I have only one question about HIV being exposed to the air in the mouth to make it inactive/dead. Does opening ur mouth to simply speak or just for half a sec would be 100 percent enough time to make it inactive/dead regardless of where in the mouth?

Avatar universal
by Vance2335, Jul 10, 2009
It takes a little more time then 1 second, but your mouth is full of air no matter what you do and saliva has enzymes that also deactiate HIV.

Avatar universal
by dontwannasay, Jul 11, 2009
so those saliva enyzmes can also deativate HIV that might possibly already have infected some tiny cuts rendering every HIV useless?

Avatar universal
by dontwannasay, Jul 11, 2009
does HIV survive in the esophagus?

Avatar universal
by Vance2335, Jul 13, 2009
This is not a place for questions...this is for education. If you have questions please post them in the community. Nursegirl spent a lot of time writing this and the more questions that get answered here the more that is asked and that is not the intention of this journal.

Avatar universal
by bway1650, Jul 22, 2009
it helps me everytime when my OCD kicks in... thanks!

Avatar universal
by number15, Jul 23, 2009
I just read this and it has been a huge relief to me. I have tested negative twice after 3 months -- not sure how much risk there was in the first place -- but still go through periods when I experience VERY stressful (very irrational) fears, what-ifs, etc. This entry really speaks to my own feelings and experiences dealing with these fears and I will come back to it whenever I have any doubts whatsoever in the future. Thanks so much!

Avatar universal
by guguu, Jul 25, 2009
I am so happy!!!

this journal make to be alive again..


i like n love that statements

Avatar universal
by scaredjamie, Aug 01, 2009
Thanks you guys for putting up with people as much as you do

Avatar universal
by mdb12, Aug 05, 2009
Thanks, this has helped a lot.

Avatar universal
by john3116, Aug 08, 2009
thanks alooooot for your help,this has helped alot.only on question????is there any refrence for all things that you have said in this journal,i mean from which book or site or link or doctor you have published this information?thanks aloooooot.

Avatar universal
by KWAHOME, Aug 10, 2009
Thank you sooo much!!!!!

Avatar universal
by lto4, Aug 14, 2009
thanks to nursegirl6572 for this. It's the only thing that's kept me sane this last week while I was awaiting my test. (which was negative)

You all do great work here even if you don't hear it every day.

all the best.

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by sense1001, Aug 17, 2009
nursegirl6572, great woman! thank you so much!God bless you ...

Avatar universal
by concerned1982, Aug 18, 2009
excellent post.  but just curious, where did you get all of this information?  im not saying its incorrect, but im just curious.

1008394 tn?1250585319
by according2ed, Aug 18, 2009
Truly a great work that succinctly summarises and analyses purely on the basis of facts.  Most enlightening indeed.

Thank you very much for this.  Will publish this on my 'blog' in the near future for the information of others.  Teak, Lizzie and all the doctors on this site are doing an exceptional job in informing, educating and basically suppressing the perspectival deficiencies, misconceptions and irrationality arising from the media mis-focus with regards to this issue, whilst strengthening our generic ability to be rational.  

In this, all of you are doing a great service for humanity.  I salute you for that.


Avatar universal
by beener24, Aug 18, 2009
Thanks so much.  This is great work!

Avatar universal
by qiuzhua, Aug 28, 2009
Dear  Madam:
     I do not know who you are, but as a fear, I have to be to you for help, you found time to help me.
     I am from China, my case is that, two months ago because of travel and a sex by having sex, and later regret having, respectively, after having sex in the first 3 weeks, 5 weeks, the first 7 weeks and 8 weeks in the Urban Center for Disease Control to do HIV testing, results are shown as negative, I was consulted under the Municipal Center for Disease Control director, he told me is: Center detection reagent is used South Korea's third generation of SD produced reagents, issued by the United Nations down, I carefully read the packaging of reagents under the above said is that the Korean production of the human immunodeficiency SD detection reagent (colloidal gold method), the production date of 2008 October 24, there are a deadline is October 2010 24, director of the Center for Disease Control told me, SD production of reagents accuracy is very high, 6-8 weeks after having sex can be detected, so I do not worry However, in our country under the window period of at least 3 months, I'm afraid.
    I would like to ask is, SD production of reagents reliability is not very high, I can rule out such a situation is infected, I test reagent is a multi-window period should be long, I mean having sex with the detected need more long time.
    I landed on your company's website, but I do not know Korean, English is also very general, I suggest that you can open up the Chinese version, can also increase the points to make on HIV knowledge.
    Once again thank you, requires you to have answers. Thanks

  my email :***@****

Avatar universal
by scaredbinow, Aug 29, 2009
Thank you so much for this post - may God bless you and yours...

Avatar universal
by HerrArmida, Sep 02, 2009
Thanks for the info. It assuages my mind.

Avatar universal
by asianboy, Sep 12, 2009
thank you so much.
It is very useful and peaceful.

Avatar universal
by Checkup63, Sep 24, 2009
What worry me is the HIV through oral sex.

According to CDC, HIV could transmit thought oral sex due to bleeding gum and dental work that the blood may enter body through the penis hole.

What is your thoughts of that??

480448 tn?1426948538
by nursegirl6572, Sep 24, 2009
Oral sex was already addressed in this article:

"The Great ORAL Debate.  This is probably our most common question.  Unprotected oral sex.  Is it a risk?  The short answer: NO.  The long answer....

There is often a difference in the answers given by the docs in the expert forum vs us.  People have to understand that medical professionals and the CDC have a responsibility to be ULTRA conservative when discussing risks.  Therefore, there is a MINUTE "theoretical" risk assigned to oral sex.  If oral sex was TRULY a "real" risk, there would be new cases all the time of HIV being transmitted in this manner.  There absolutely is NOT.  And a "theoretical" risk is VERY different from an actual risk.  The docs have BOTH said time and time again in the expert forum that neither of them, in their combined DECADES of being specialists dealing with HIV have EVER seen a case of HIV as a result of oral sex, nor have they READ any convincing cases.  There is a physiological reason for that.  First, the virus isn't present in the saliva, making infection impossible for the receptive partner (the person receiving oral sex).  Secondly, for the person GIVING oral sex, THEIR saliva contains enzymes that inhibit the virus, should they be exposed to infected genital secretions.  Secondly, again, the virus has been exposed to the air and elements, rendering it inactive in an oral situation.  This debate will continue, but again, for anyone worrying about an oral "exposure"...think of the facts.  If it was truly a risk, there would be newly reported cases ALL the time. "

Avatar universal
by Maybe_Paranoid99, Sep 24, 2009
This is a great post which gives all the infromation for someone anxious like me...I know I should not ask a question here...But has any concuslive research been done on if the virus can survive in a lubricant...For example...what happens if you get vaginal fluid all over your hands and then use a good amount of lubricant and vigrously give a handjob to the point of cuasing injury to the penis?...
You don't really have to answer if you think the question is too stupid...but a logical answer might relieve my anxiety...

Avatar universal
by gosooners99, Sep 24, 2009
that was a great read and i hope you're right.

Avatar universal
by Maybe_Paranoid99, Sep 24, 2009
Thank you and God Bless you

Avatar universal
by Checkup63, Sep 24, 2009
What concern is the blood from the bleeding gum and could enter th penis hole. Not so much on the saliva.

Avatar universal
by quitescared, Sep 25, 2009

congrats a great journal and very informative. 1 quick question whixh i will post in the forum as well but i would like to ask

If you place your finger into a womans V and later realise you have small cuts around your cuticles etc. not bleeding but 5-6 hours olds why is this considered no risk. you are inserting into the vaginal fluid and not removing for a few seconds so is it not conceivable that the virus could transfer whilst inside the V. Obviously this is my current concern and have been told by DRs forum and community that this is a not a risk/ I read with great interest your in the journal your comparisson to vehicle accident victims but still do not understand how/why the virus would not tramsit under these circumstances?

Any insight would be great.

Thankyou and fantastic work for all to benefit. Well done!

Avatar universal
by smerfd, Sep 30, 2009
Thank you for putting this journal up! I was starting to go mentally insane about be infected and this has relieved my mind so much. I just thank the Lord that there are people who know a lot about this infection and help people know what its risks are. I just want to thank you and most importantly, God. i was so worried that vaginal fluid with hiv or aids on a towel used to wipe my feet with a scratch on it caused me to get this. it really started to affect the way i look at people , it affected the way i started to live. Im never going to a massage parlor again in my life , nor will i have unprotected sex with anyone ever again. i was concerned about the lamb skin condoms. how will u know if they are lambskin condoms(besides the fact that it says on the box)? is it common for people to buy lambskin condoms???
any ways thank you again
i feel you've saved my mind from going into some kind of mental problem. thanks whole heartedly

Avatar universal
by zenmyworld, Oct 09, 2009
great journal entry! it would be great if somehow the link to this journal post can be integrated to to "HIV/STD prevention" forum. i am sure that it would eliminate a lot of duplicated posts.

great job!!

Avatar universal
by curseofagenius, Oct 11, 2009
Great Job and THANKS A WHOLE BUNCH for this information. It really helps especially when one gets carried away with the "what-if" possibilities.

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by prem84, Oct 22, 2009
hi nursegirl6572, this  is really the great job.... it is very explanatoty.
but can u explain what is the risk factor in funeral ceremony when the person dies with hiv. is ther any risk handling the dead body with bare hand. and if there is evan a therotical risk too what r the saftey precaution the family should take ? as the dead bodies here in india are generally being bathed, and then dressed up in that proces is ther a risk getting infection to the relatives plz...... reply.
aapreciate ur response waitin and thank u in advance

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by WorriedBeBe, Oct 25, 2009
Oh My Goodness!!! This is a stress reliever!!!! Thanks so much for this,it really helps put things in perspective!!! It's hard to move on when you are scared out of your mind but this makes it easy to do so!!! I am new to this forum and I posted something and the answers were straight to the point but consistent with everyone who had a question similar to mine.  I know that it can be frustrating but all of you guy's patience is very helpful and appreciated on my end.  And as you read all of the posts and the concerns it makes you think before you do something that may put you in danger!!!

Avatar universal
by chica88, Oct 27, 2009
What a brilliant post, thanks!

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by spark22, Oct 27, 2009
Good Journal and really helpful. But to all you people stressing out, why dont you give it to God he can make a way and he surely has for me.

Avatar universal
by fb21, Oct 31, 2009
i"m chinese,i just read this post,great one.thank you,it`s benefits ours who live over the sea.

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by Johndias, Nov 13, 2009
Nice article. Thank You Nursegirl....

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by worriedmuch09, Nov 19, 2009
Nice article:)

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by yash101, Nov 23, 2009
thanks was very good article..may god bless you...

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by Rexus, Nov 28, 2009
Thanks for typing up this great post on your profile page.

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by Addell79, Nov 28, 2009
great and informative read.

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by skpeng, Dec 07, 2009
what about sharing the same bath tub and fingering the vagnia for 1 minute. Will this expose my penis to the virus, in luke warm water with some liquid soap added to the tub?

Avatar universal
by RedOctober45, Dec 14, 2009
I developed chronic hypochondria and HIV was my current "fear" & obsession, and what you said, reading the internet makes it worse.  Reading this and other posts greatly helped my condition and made me a lot less ignorant about the disease.  I have also shared this knowledge with others...I have a lot of ignorant (much worse than myself) friends who were really suprised to hear the facts and I am glad I can educate them through this information and from Med Help.  I now come here before I devleop assumptions and irrational fears about any illness.

Thanks for the informative research!

Avatar universal
by shark143, Dec 18, 2009
great article ,,thanxxxxxxx

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by dinesh133, Dec 18, 2009
Great Post...Very educating...but what i observed is that u haven't mentioned anything about frottage, dry humping, rubbing of nude genitals. Or does it mean that only 3 mentioned ways in man to woman case lead to risk which

vignal/anal unprotected intercourse
mother to child
iv drug/needle share

Please if you put some light on my doubt of grinding and dry humping

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by helpmeplsin2010, Jan 02, 2010
Thank you for this information. it is concise and to the point. You definately need to post this answered all of my questions.You have given me a peace of mind back this morning. I am awaiting test results, but this make me feel so much better.

Thanks for taking the time

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by noidea50, Jan 10, 2010
You are clearly a very special lady.
God bless you

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by amiramir, Jan 14, 2010

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by prem84, Feb 05, 2010
Its a general question. what type of cutCuts and puncture wounds or open wound is considered to be risky?
1)in barber shop we often get cutsCuts and puncture wounds most likely, so these type of cutsCuts and puncture wounds are fresh and actively bleeding,i wanna know that weather this type of cutsCuts and puncture wounds are risky if the blood gets into it through razor holder or blood on razor if it comes from hiv infected person just before us
2) are they superficial cutsCuts and puncture wounds or they *** under deep cutsCuts and puncture wounds
3) can these cuts take the virus above mentioned directly to the blood stream so that infection is possible
4) what is the risk i wannna know the figure that 1 in 1000, or 1in 2000
           if one ans in a scitifically this can reduce the anexity among people mainly indian people wher doctors are so much ignorant about hiv transmission
in india i found many HIV Experts says that it is risk and some doctor even suggest PEP in this scenario so far i know , as i visit many hiv consultanat. i m a postgraduate student and try to lessen the anexity among the people here

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by Jozef1989, Jul 08, 2010
Thank you for this! Loved reading it and it made me really happy :)

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by pipo65, Sep 05, 2010
that means things like shaving blades and dental tools are secure? (cuz they're in free air,separated from the host)
i was heard opposite.

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by flow1987, Sep 13, 2010
This is very well put together piece. I have to refer to this journal a lot, and refer other users on the HIV Prevention forum to it as well.

There is such a horrible stigma surrounding HIV. The fear of getting it, the fear of giving it, and it's stuff like this that really helps put the fear to bed, and answer some additional questions in the process.

Thanks so much for your contribution to the community nursegirl, it has not gone unnoticed.

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by Greenpoision, Sep 30, 2010
Great post thanks Nursegirl :)

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by mp2010, Oct 14, 2010
Thanks for the great info! God bless

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by jose883, Oct 14, 2010

This information is very valuable!

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by rotate_1986, Oct 14, 2010
best text i've read on HIV . period.
God Bless you always..

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by mp2010, Oct 15, 2010
thanks so much!

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by NewGuy1983, Feb 26, 2011
Thanks for posting so clearly!

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by mister_o, Mar 01, 2011
Thank you very much..
im gonna paste this and send this to myself and other people.. to educate them

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by ricky_id, Mar 15, 2011
Worth a bookmark ;)

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by Turbocarro, Mar 16, 2011
How come nobody talks about HIV in relation with other STDs as to transmission?

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by sunilalappuzha, Mar 18, 2011

Very good information's. thanks a lot med help team.

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by doubtingthomas999, Apr 01, 2011
great work, very well written , God bless you

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by Geordielthr, May 03, 2011
Fantastic summary and thanks for taking the time to write this, it has helped me massively worrying about a small cut (24hrs old) and possible infection by pre ***. U really are a special person

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by grs779, May 22, 2011
Great post! God bless you!

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by anotherone321, Jun 13, 2011
I just wanted to take the time to say that you guys are doing an incredible job of supporting the rest of us (mostly after we do very stupid things). If anything, being able to read what you put down reduces the (often-time very deserved) anxiety.

Thank you all for it.

And I wanted to say that this particular post by nursegirl6572 is perhaps one of the BESTsummations of all the net; I would encourage you to use it again (and again, and again), perhaps adding just a bit regarding timings for testing (and acuracy) and even giving some links to home tests.

If anything, this should be reworked a bit and proposed to healthcare facilities as a brochure; it'd go a long way to educate everybody and anybody.

Reading this post does not entirely aleviate anxiety for chronic worriers (nothing but a professional can help that, you're quite right), but it goes a long way to get one's head around the FACTS of the virus and does drop down the anxiety a couple of notches !

Thanks again !

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by spear252, Jun 21, 2011
Excellent piece there.

God bless U @Nursegirl and medhelp organization !!

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by joey72, Jul 18, 2011
i have bookmarked this page, every time an OCD episode start playing games with my mind i come back to the page and read it carefully and it helps in an outstanding way, thanks alot guys but i really wish you had mentioned the articles, doctor opinions or source of such helpful information.

Avatar universal
by alwaysworried2011, Jul 21, 2011
Hope you are well. I had sex 3 times with FULL CONDOM. No leakages.

2 TIMES i was given blow jobs without condom. Am I at risk???

1 time I rubbed my penis on the underwear of a woman. No insertion. Am I at risk???

I have started having dandruff and face is itching. Is it related to HIV?????

Please advise.

Avatar universal
by linds12359, Dec 15, 2011
Okay, I am 17 year old female who has been dealing this this fear for over a year. I BELIEVE it started when I saw just THE TITLE of a youtube video called I have aids. Oh my gosh, It's so hard to say it. Oh course my stupid thought's keep telling me that I feel this way because I 'just know' I have it. Iv been in a relationship for two years. Iv had a couple sexual partners before I was with him and they wer almost always protected. I had Appendicitis a year ago, the ER doctor said it could have been a misscairage or std. So he drew my blood, tested it and came back and said it wasn't an std. He never told me exactly what he tested me for but said I had no std. So that was a year ago, Iv never cheated on my bf, so I was faithfully with him when this happened. I just recently went to the doctor and had a blood test because I am so afraid, she took four vials of blood. Four days later when the results came in she said I was completly fine. Of course I sat there and questioned her, 'so I don't have and virus or infection or anything?' 'No' she said. This is so horrable, I feel like if I think about that thing.. Ill catch it, if I say it, Ill catch it. I feel like people are plotting agaisnt me to ***** me with a needle. That people know something about my health that I don't. My boyfriend has a rash on his stomach at the moment, I saw on yahoo answers that thats a symptom.. I had a full blow panic attack. I have no one who takes me seriously and I really need some reassurance right now. Any reply will be greatly appreciated. ;'((

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by pparakh81, Jan 11, 2012
Too good
Out of this world
Worth every word
Excellent POST !!


Avatar universal
by rckstr520, Jan 20, 2012
i think i m in love with thT nursegirl :$! superb post girl...erm can i have ur mailing id?

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by IBKleen, Jan 20, 2012

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by nursegirl6572, Jan 21, 2012
Ewwwww IB?

:0(  I cry.....


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by sony79, May 10, 2012
Because I know there are hiv1 seroneagtive infection, so I think there are seronegative hiv2/htlv infection too. I live in despration everyday. I have no happiness. I hate my doc told me this kind of things. Another doc told me that I can test my immune response. If my cd4,cd8 and cd4/cd8 are all okay, then I am okay. really? Now I have no confidence  in everyone. and I am afraid I can not get me out for the whole life.

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by Lucija13, May 10, 2012
very nice, thank you :)

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by Guptatux, May 12, 2012
very nice, thank you nursegirl6572

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by brulant, May 15, 2012
Thank  you very much for your really great job.

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by littleworriedsick, May 31, 2012
Thank you nursegirl for this excellent post. I am really trying to move on here...

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by jjpatrick135, Jul 30, 2012
Hi nursegirl6572 just saw this journal entry great stuff!

Just a question probably a dumb say that the HIV virus cannot survive in saliva but they have these Orasure swab tests that check your saliva for HIV antibodies...can you clarify?

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by nursegirl6572, Jul 30, 2012
The actual virus and antibodies aren't the same thing.  Tests look for antibodies, not the virus itself.

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by JGF25, Jul 30, 2012
Now I feel like an expert...thank you for the post NG.

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by LIZZIE LOU, Jul 30, 2012
The OraSure test doesn't use saliva. It uses a fluid called oral mucosal transudate, which lives in the cheeks and gums.

Avatar universal
by Teak, Jul 30, 2012
They don't use saliva for oral tests, they use oral mucosal transudate which is found in the gums and the cheeks.

Avatar universal
by jjpatrick135, Jul 30, 2012
Awesome...thank you guys!

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by RubyWitch, Jul 30, 2012
To a very special friend and Co-CL on the Anxiety Forum.........excellent post! Highly educational and reassuring. I know where I will be sending ALL our HIV posts from now on!
Really proud of ya, g/f!

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by ajkalways, Aug 14, 2012
Thank you so much for this post. Very informative of all the risks and non-risks of contracting hiv.

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by hehapu, Aug 14, 2012
Thank you for this excellent post!

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by brad112, Nov 02, 2012
A question many are probally thinking---Does this apply to HCV too??

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by nursegirl6572, Nov 02, 2012
No...this info is specific to HIV only.

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by brad112, Nov 02, 2012
Is there another one this detailed for HCV?

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by Justkr, Jan 21, 2013
Where can I post to ask a few questions? For what I read this site is not for questions. Awesome explanations. Thank you

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by Trinifool, Mar 12, 2013
This journal is world class Nurse girl ! Well done

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by uzair123, Apr 28, 2013
This was a very great post. Mainly because it cuts to the point. The risk of contracting HIV from a 10 second bad decision is what makes people feel worse about the possibility. It is very easy to become obsessive about it, and I must say, I've read hundreds of these posts, this one has to be THE BEST!!!

Thank you for a great post, it certainly is not in vain.

Avatar universal
by george4488, Jun 18, 2013
nice job nursegirl I wish I read this earlier it answers a lot of question that I didn't know the answers to before. I just wish you could of touched on ars a littile bit, but I see how laying out symptoms can be problamatic.

Nice journal entry, sorry about your cat and you guys do a very noble thing on this website helping people with their problems. Thanks again.

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by Anxietyspur, Jan 09, 2014
Very Informative Journal to put the loads of anxieties to rest, thanxz nurse girl

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by meimei520, Feb 24, 2014
Thanks for the great post, there is something else I want to know, if I was giving a ******** to a man and he ejaculated into my mouth, do I have any risk of catching HIV? And Why? Thanks so much for your contributes to the others by writing this articles.

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by sammy_cowboy, Jul 19, 2014
Thank you so much nursegirl, lizzie and teak.

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by 50000downloads, Dec 22, 2014
I'm one of those anxiety driven people. My only flaw was in July this year going for a massage that surprisingly (at that point) ended with a handjob. Since that moment I had 3 colds and got GERD.
I've been searching the net searching for a confirmation that I was perfectly safe. The most positive answer I found, was that it was safe, if no fluids came into contact with the mucuous membrames of the penis. Those were said to be the entire head of the penis, the urethra and the foreskin. Those things probably get touched at some point during a handjob, so there I was, freaking out, not sleeping anymore, avoiding sex with my wife as much as possible.
I'm still concerned, but this is actually the first time somebody clearly states online that handjobs do not present the slightest risk for HIV transmission. I've also read your piece about oral sex.
If oral sex barely presents a risk, than manual sex certainly has to be safe.
Thanks to you, though not totally convinced yet, this will be the first night in 4 months I'll sleep better or even quietly. No waking up in the night and worrying, bathing in sweat because the stress even hits me in my dreams.
I even got the courage to get tested, the response will come in any moment now, and I'm hoping that I will get confirmation from what you are saying.
If I get out of this unharmed, I will never ever get myself in a massage parlour again.
I still can't believe how confident you are that actions like a handjob will never transmit HIV or STD's. Guess you need a medical background to be sure.
Please continue to show the NO RISK sign, it will surely calm down, at least for a little while, people like me.

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by 777help, Sep 27, 2015

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by dreameuro, Sep 27, 2015
I have sex with a prostitite last week. The condom broked on the tip. the next second itself it was noticed and clear it with tissue paper .

Really saying now i cant sleep properly as i was so worried that i have been infected with AIDS.. Please let me know weather there is any chance to get infected in this situation.

Avatar universal
by paranoidstd, Sep 30, 2015
This is not for questions and answers. Please post in the HIV prevention forum.

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by Joshno1, Sep 19, 2016
So once say Precum or semen lands in my hands or fingers during mutual masturbation it is dead? How about immediately after touching Precum I touch a open wound?

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by Nervousfirstimer, Jul 13, 2017
So. Would just like to say, this post put my mind at ease, my situation: married man bored one night in hotel ended up hooking up with another hotel guest. Anyway, I gave and received oral first male to male experience, he told me he was ultra nervous, and I was too, he ejaculated in my mouth I spat out straight away. Anyway 3 weeks later I have the worst sore throat, and convinced I had HIV. Read this post and chances are pretty minimum now, still nervous but feel more confident getting tested.

Would appreciate anyone else have views, although oral very rare surely there is one case out there?

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by superconfused1, Dec 06, 2017
Do all these facts still hold true? Or is there any new study that changes anything?

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by Stressedfornoreason, Mar 20, 2018
No superconfused1, nothing has changed. It isn't possible to get HIV giving Oral. ive worried about it myself, and i did for years because i was unaware of the truth. Look at it this way, if it was even slightly possible sooo many people would have gotten it by now. On top of that studies have proven even more of the same. You're not alone, and neither is anyone else. The truth sets you free, and once again No, you CANT get HIV from giving oral of any kind.

Avatar universal
by Girly124, Sep 21, 2019
I this post still the case? It is so old?

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