Anonymous
Hello There,

Thank you for dedicating your time to help people remove their anxiety and get the proper help.

My story is different than whats posted in the forums, I had a deep wound in my hand resulted by holding the cable-railway sport while moving in high speed. The wound gets reopen as it's location is on the edge between my finger and palm of my hand so everytime I move my hand it gets reopen, everytime I get shower it gets reopen. my concern happened after few days of that incident. as I was with sex worker in the pool at night (which made my wound to reopen) and 10 minutes later I had protected veginal sex. As I was drunk, I had difficulty to ejaculate so I pulled my penis out and masturbated directly (condom still on) with the same hand that I had a wound on. Her veginal fluid was all over my penis while masturbating.

Am I at risk from that incident if the veginal fluid came into direct contact with my wound? Do I need to get tested? As I have severe flu with dry cough after a week of the exposure. Your help is much appreciated as I started to have anxiety.
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Anonymous
Hello there!

Thank you for using AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information.

Before I answer your question, there are several things that I would like to remind you of. First, commercial sex workers are no more likely to transmit HIV than anyone else, as the risk of HIV transmission depends on the activity that you engage in rather than the people involved. Second, there are no clinically defined symptoms of HIV. Some people who have HIV may live for years without experiencing any symptoms, so the presence of symptoms is not necessarily related to the transmission of the virus. Therefore, testing is the only way to know one's status.

Having said that, you are at low risk of transmission, and we do recommend testing for people with low risk or higher. However, it should be noted that this low risk is due to engagement in protected vaginal sex, not due to the possibility of vaginal fluid coming into direct contact with your wound. While open cuts and sores do provide direct access for the virus to enter the bloodstream, this is strictly a theoretical risk, meaning there has never been a confirmed report of HIV transmission this way. This is because HIV is a fragile virus that dies immediately upon exposure to air. Therefore, in the situation that you described, the virus in the vaginal fluid would have died before you engaged in masturbation.

However, as I have mentioned, testing is still recommended, because engaging in protected sex poses low risk of HIV transmission. This means that there have been a few reports of infection attributed to these activities, but usually under certain circumstances, such as condom breaking.

I hope this answer was helpful. Please feel free to contact us again if you have further questions or concerns.

Hani

AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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