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At HIV risk

Question: 

I've not have sex with anyone. i read about aids about 6 months ago and how it is caused. i usually masterbate alot and accidently applied toothpaste couple of times to my penis, i've been having a headache for about a week and nothing else. it was usually when i woke up after sleeping for about 6 or 7 hours am i at HIV risk?

Answer: 

Hello, and thank you for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It sounds like you have some concerns in regard to how one acquires HIV.

When it comes to HIV it is important to remember that HIV is a human to human virus. This particular virus weakens your immune system and your body's defences that allow it to fight against diseases and illnesses. For one to acquire HIV there generally has to be a partner, body fluid, a sexual activity such as unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse and a direct access to enter the bloodstream. However, the virus is fragile and once exposed to oxygen it becomes damaged to the point where it is no longer transmissible. It is because of this fragility that one is unable to acquire HIV from inanimate objects that may have been exposed to HIV.

From what you have explained to me, you are concerned that you are at risk of acquiring HIV due to your current sexual practices. Solo masturbation is distinguished as a No Risk activity and there has never been a reported case of one acquiring HIV through that activity. If the symptoms that you are experiencing continue to be a prevalent issue, it might be helpful for you to partner with your personal doctor so the symptoms can be addressed in a timely and proper manner.

Below I have attached an HIV Transmission Equation chart, which is a great chart that you can refer to whether you are concerned about HIV transmission in the future.

HIV TRANSMISSION EQUATION

BODY FLUID
+
ACTIVITY
+
DIRECT ACCESS TO BLOODSTREAM
• blood (including menstrual) • unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse • vagina
• semen • sharing needles • anus
• pre-cum • mother to child (in specific cases) • urethra in the penis
• rectal secretions • open cuts and sores (in theory)
• vaginal fluids • other mucosal membranes
• breast milk • points of needle injection

= RISK OF HIV TRANSMISSION

For more information on HIV you can visit HIV and AIDS Basics.

Regards,

Chris, Volunteer