Eye contact with semen
Jul 12, 2005
I live in Australia. I work in retail and as part of my duties I am required to check the fitting rooms (where people try on clothes) - while doing this recently I rested my hand on the handle on the inside of the door. I did not realise that it had semen on it until I wiped my eye (which was already irritated from recently having a cold) and my eye began to sting and then I noticed semen all over the back of the door. Thus, unwittingly my eye came into contact with a quantity of semen from an unknown person. This fact is beyond doubt. However, now I am very worried about getting HIV from this exposure to the semen or even Hep C. I am petrified. What should I do? What are my chances of getting HIV or HEP C? When can I reasonably get tested and know that the results are conclusive. Are my chances further increased by the fact that I already had an irritation in my eye? Could you please send an answer to my email address so that it may put my fear to rest as I am starting to feel very stressed about the situation.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Someone spunked the door of your fitting room? Hmmm . . . well, I guess since the airlines have shrunk the onboard bathrooms down to such a tiny size that horned-up hotties (or crazy Republicans see below) have resorted to fitting rooms for their sex in public places adventures.
OK, your risk is presumed spunk in the eye. Assuming the spunker was HIV positive, the estimated risk of acquiring HIV following a mucous membrane exposure is 0.09%. Please note that's direct mucous membrane exposure to HIV-positive spunk! Your estimated risk would be even lower, as we don't know the HIV status of your fitting room phantom.
Regarding hepatitis C, your risk is essentially nonexistent. Even with hepatitis C-infected blood, transmission via mucous membrane exposure is extremely rare.
Bottom line: I see no reason for you to be "petrified."
What should you do?
1. Stop being petrified. Your fears are way out of proportion to any real risk.
2. Regarding HIV, if you are worried, get tested at the three-month mark. However, please note, we do not know if the baby batter on the doorknob was HIV infected or not. And even if it was, HIV does not survive very long at all outside the body. Consequently, your actual risk of HIV contact, let alone transmission, is extremely small. I would consider a three-month test definitive.
3. As for hepatitis C, the risk of transmission based on all the information discussed above is so extremely minimal that no testing or follow-up is warranted or recommended.
4. Put up a sign in all fitting rooms advising patrons that space is to be used for trying on clothes, not rooting like wombats.
Do try to chill out a bit, my dear Aussie. I realize this "sticky situation" can be alarming, but your actual health risks are minimal. In fact, I'd wager you have a greater chance of getting done in by a funnel web spider or choking on a vegemite sandwich than contracting HIV or hepatitis C from this gooey fitting room fiasco.
Republican going crazy! PLEASE RESPOND Jul 10, 2005
The other day me and my wife went out and had sex in a dressing room at Bloomingdale's. Both of us have been tested, but what if we came into contact with blood or some other fluid. She did give me a handjob. Could there be a risk for HIV? PLEASE HELP! Probably staying a Republican but I truly believe the work you do is God's work. Thanks, the check is gonna be in the mail soon
Response from Dr. Frascino
You and your wife went to Bloomingdales and had sex in the dressing room??? Gosh, whoever said Republicans don't know how to have fun? Just please don't tell me you had to go to Bloomies for your nookie because you were afraid, like the last set of Republicans that wrote in, to do it at home under the big velvet Jesus hanging over your bed. OK?
So, on to your question. You're "going crazy" over getting crazy at Bloomies, right? Relax, Dynamic Duo. You are both fine. The only risk from your oh-so-naughty adventure is that all the dressing rooms at Bloomies are monitored by video cameras to prevent shoplifting. Your Bloomies sex-capade is now, most likely, posted on multiple Internet sites. Check out "RebubicansGoingCrazy.com!"
Stay well, even if you stay Republican, OK?
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