Anonymous
Good day,

I had slept with a women of unknown status and before we started anything, she took out a small bit of Gel on her finger and rubbed it on her vagina and then she took out a condom and the same finger touch the inside top of the condom and she then put the condom inside my penis, am I on any risk of being exposed to the virus? Could that finger put me on any risk? Do I need to go on pep? Please help.
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Anonymous
Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver.

It sounds like you're worried about the risk of acquiring HIV from whatever vaginal fluids might have been on the inside of the condom. I hope the following information will help you understand your situation a bit better.

To begin with, no you do not need to go on PEP. Here's why:

In order to acquire HIV there needs to be an activity + a bodily fluid capable of transmitting HIV (blood, semen, rectal secretions, semen, pre-semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk) + a way for the virus in that fluid to get direct access to your bloodstream. That "direct access to your bloodstream" part is really key because HIV quickly stops being transmissible after exposure to air. If a small amount of vaginal fluid got on her finger, it would have been exposed to the air. So we would consider that part of what you did no risk.

That said, protected vaginal sex is itself a low risk activity, which means that a small number of people have acquired HIV after engaging in protected vaginal sex, generally due to certain identifiable conditions that may or may not apply in your case (for example, the condom broke).

Getting back to your question about PEP, it's a medicine that is usually given to people who have engaged in high-risk activities such as unprotected vaginal or anal sex. Additionally it must start being administered within 72 hours of the exposure. In your case, it would be unusual for a doctor to prescribe PEP based on the situation you described. But if you are still interested and your exposure was less than 72 hours ago, you can certainly partner with a doctor to explore your options.

If you have more questions about PEP, [this page on CATIE.ca](http://www.catie.ca/fact-sheets/prevention/post-exposure-prophylaxis-pep) is a good source of information. Additionally, if you would like to understand the risk-level of common activities, our [risk assessment chart](http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart ) is a good resource.

I hope this has helped you understand your situation a bit better.

Yours in health,

Matt, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

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