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Chance of HIV?
Sep 6, 2012

Hello Expert,

This question may be ridiculous but I'm still going to ask and an answer would be greatly appreciated as it would put my mind at ease.

Three weeks ago on Wednesday (August 7th) I went swimming in the ocean in my underwear (and a swimsuit obviously). On Friday two days later I went in the ocean again. I showered and then by accident put on the previously ocean soaked underwear from Wednesday. I then masturbated and "cleaned up" by wiping my penis with the ocean contaminated underwear. It was after this that I noticed a small cut on the tip of my penis.

Having HIV anxiety already I began to worry that if there was HIV in the ocean from someone nearby that it could have gotten trapped in my underwear and I might have infected myself through the underwear's contact with the cut or my urethra.

Now here I am and EXACTLY three weeks later (right in the middle of the 2-4 week period for ARS, which is why I'm freaked out) on Friday (August 31st) I began developing ARS symptoms. A sore throat, a stuffy nose, joint aches, a swollen lymph node (only one on the left side of my neck), and a burning/tingling sensation in my pinky when touched by anything. The burning pinky and joint aches started a few days earlier.

So my question is: Is there any chance of contracting HIV through this means? What else could be causing my symptoms with such spot on timing? I also had a cut on my foot when in the ocean, is that a risk?

Once again I know this may be ridiculous but an response would really relieve some of my panic. I'm only sixteen and really freaking out.

Thanks

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi There is no such things as a stupid question, the one not asked is stupid!!!

Your answer is no you cannot get HIV from the ocean! There has to be a direct exchange of body fluid for HIV transmission to occur. The symptoms could be coming from another type of viral infection or illness. If your symptoms continue I would recommend that you see your health care provider.

But rest assured that you cannot get HIV from a swim in the ocean!

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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