Anonymous
I was at a strip club 4 months ago and I sucked a strippers nipples, can't remember any blood or breast milk as I was highly drunk am I at risk?
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thanks for contacting us at AIDS Vancouver for your HIV related inquires.

To be direct – no. The situation you described put you at no risk for HIV transmission.

Let me explain why.

First, the virus needs a closed system (ie – the human body) to survive. As soon as the virus is exposed to the air, it dies. The virus is most commonly transferred through sexual or anal penetration where the required bodily fluids are directly injected into the body of the HIV- person. The only reason that sharing needles can sometimes be responsible for transferring the HIV virus is because it provides the closed, air tight system that is necessary.

Second, the specific bodily fluids that can carry HIV need to be present. These fluids are blood, semen, vaginal/anal fluids and breast milk. Even if the woman you mentioned was lactating, simply licking her nipples would not provide enough of the virus to transfer it to you. It is also worth noting that saliva contains an enzyme that prohibits the growth of HIV.

Third, the aforementioned bodily fluids of the HIV+ person need direct access to the blood stream of the HIV- person. Direct access means vaginal or anal penetration, the sharing of needles, or deep, fresh and profusely bleeding wounds (think stab wound). Your mouth is not considered to provide “direct access” unless you have serious, deep cuts (again, think stab wound or recent and serious dental work). The HIV virus cannot fight through any barriers, such as your skin or stomach lining. The HIV virus would die long before it reached a section of your digestive system that would provide direct access to your blood stream – either due to the saliva, the stomach acid or exposure to the air.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that licking a woman’s nipple would not provide the necessary fluids, the closed system, or the direct access to your blood stream that is necessary for the transferring HIV.

I trust this has adequately answered your questions. Feel free to contact us again with any other concerns. You can call us on the helpline at 604-696-4666 or email us at helpline@aidsvancouver.com

In health,
Chantelle
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer.
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