Anonymous
Recently I met a woman and we did not had sex but I fingered her vagina and I am sure that there were no cuts or bruises on my finger but the question I have is that around 30 to 40 minutes after I had fingered her I touched my eyes though I guess my eyelids were not fully open so am I at risk of acquiring hiv? And secondly I have heard from many people and also read that nail scratches are not a mode of transmission of hiv, I wanted to ask you whether it is true or false?.
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Anonymous
Hi there and thanks for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as a source for HIV/AIDS related information.

The simple answer to your question is no, you have not been exposed to an HIV transmission. Let me explain why. Fingering becomes a negligible risk if you had open sores or cuts on your finger. A negligible risk means that, although there may be an exchange of body fluids, there has never been a confirmed report of HIV transmission due to this activity. So, in your case specifically, with no cuts or open sores present, your risk level decreases.

Secondly, it would not be possible, in your case, to expose your eye to HIV. The reason being is that HIV is a very weak virus and dies once exposed to the air. So 40 minutes later the HIV virus would have expired.

In answer to your last question, let me explain what causes a risk of HIV exposure. For a risk to exist, certain HIV+ fluids (anal/vaginal secretions, semen, blood) must come into direct contact with the bloodstream of an HIV- individual. So, a nail scratch would not cause an HIV exposure risk.

I would encourage you to visit the website http://www.smartsexresource.com for a better understanding of HIV risks.

I trust I have addressed your concerns however, should further information be required, feel free to contact us again.

In good health,

Jonathan, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
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