Anonymous
Hello: 
 
I am coming up on my 12 week antibody test from what I have been told was a no risk exposure (mutual touching/masturbation). I had about 9 tests, all negative.  I was feeling good about putting this behind me soon, but then I had something happen that has started my anxiety all over again.  I was in a public restroom where I know men were masturbating at the urinal.  I did not masturbate, but I used one of the urinals.  I later noticed some dried whitish spots on the front of my pants.  I am not sure what it was. I just used toilet paper on wet hands and it could have been me wiping my hands on my pants, but of course I am thinking it was from my pants touching semen on the urinal.  When I saw it, I put some water on my hand and rubbed it off.  It came off easily.  I had a cut on my thumb that was about 2 weeks old, and was scaring over.  It was not actively bleeding. I assume this is not a risk for a few reasons, assumning it was semen, and contained HIV, it would not have been active when i touched it as it was drying and exposed to the environment.  Again, I am not aware of any open or bleeding cuts, but just an old one that was partially healed.  Do I need any futher testing from this, or can I conclude my testing in a few weeks from my prior concern.  Has there ever been a confirmed case of such an environmental exposure?  Thank you for your support.
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Anonymous
Hello,
 
Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your source of HIV related information.
 
The situation you described is NOT a risk for HIV. You cannot acquire HIV from an object, such as pants, a urinal and so forth. HIV is a delicate virus and dies very quickly once exposed to air. The cut you described on your hand is not at all a risk for HIV. The skin heals very quickly and it is a great barrier against infections entering the body. The only known case for a person acquiring HIV through a cut is during knife fights where there is a large amount of HIV blood present.
 
For your information in the future, 3 things have to be present for a possible HIV acquisition:
1) HIV+ bodily fluids (blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal secretions, breast milk) AND
2) Activity (unprotected anal sex, unprotected vaginal sex, sharing needles, mother-to-child) AND
3) Direct access to enter the bloodstream (through: vaginal, anus, urethra in the penis, points of needle injection)
 
I also wanted to let you know there are people who only get one test which shows they are living with HIV. If you are negative at 12 weeks there is no need for any further testing. Tests after 6 weeks are a very good indicator of your status, especially considering your exposure. Mutual masturbation is not a risk for HIV. You couldn't have acquired HIV that way or by the new incident you described. I don’t imagine your status will change and you can move on feeling confident your status is negative.
 
If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask.
 
 
In Health,
 
Jordan
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
E-mail: helpline@aidsvancouver.org
Phone (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm): (604) 696-4666
Web: http://www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline
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