Anonymous
Hello -

First off I would like to thank and commend your team for the exquisite resources you have produced.

Several days ago I received a handjob from a woman with unknown status in which she spat on her hand several times to lubricate my unprotected penis. She had what appeared to be a cold sore or badly chapped lip. How much more risky would the state of her lip make her applying saliva to my penis during a handjob? I understand that HIV is not transmitted during handjobs and that saliva is not considered a adequately viral fluid, however the presence of lip and the potential blood coming with the saliva is concerning me. Kindly note I am uncircumcised and my penis wasn't exposed to open air for than a minute and I did not ejaculate..

Does this episode alone warrant HIV testing?

With Sincere Regards!
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thanks for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as a source for HIV related information. We're glad you find our resources helpful! We definitely strive to deliver high quality information and resources.

The short answer is no, cold sores do not complicate/increase the risk of HIV transmission. HIV is an extremely weak virus that dies immediately once outside the human body and exposed to the air. Any HIV in the blood from your partner's cold sore would have immediately died on your partner's hand before being applied to your penis. As you also mentioned, saliva contains enzymes that inhibit the growth and transmission of HIV. The combination of these two factors (exposure to air and enzymes in saliva) mean that this situation posed no risk for HIV transmission.

While this scenario does not require HIV testing, we at AIDS Vancouver nonetheless encourage all sexually active people to get tested for HIV and all other STIs on a regular basis as part of their personal healthcare program. The best way to be certain of your HIV status is to get tested!

I trust I have answered your questions. Should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us again.

In good health,

Tiina

AIDS Vancouver Volunteer
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