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Whats my risk of catching HIV from my roomate

May 28, 2002

I am a college student, and I have a roomate who I have only known for a year. He is extremely sexually active and he got pretty sick one week after he had unprotected sex with a girl he met one night. Being fairly well read on HIV/AIDS, I know that that is a sign. Well, he is a pretty open person about everything, and has admitted before to masturbating in the shower. Well me being a runner, I often have blisters on my feet. Is there a risk here. (We share the same shower) I mean how long does HIV live outside the body and can it live under those conditions. Also, I just recently got a little cold (lasted about 3 days), but so did he and my other roomate as well. Should I be worried. One last thing, as you can tell, I am a pretty paranoid person, which makes me bite my fingers. So, I constantly have open cuts. Am I worrying to much, or should I be tested.

Response from Mr. Kull

Being sick after having unprotected sex is not likely to be a sign that one is HIV infected. People in college get sick for many other reasons (colds, flu, etc.). So you might be jumping to conclusions.

Even if your roommate is HIV infected, you are not at risk for infection unless you have sex with him or come into direct contact with his blood. HIV is not spread through casual contact because the virus cannot survive very long when exposed to the environment (Survival...).

To demonstrate this, there have been several studies that examine the risk of transmission through casual contact among cohabitating families. The family members living with an HIV positive person in these studies did not become infected (this does not include those who had sexual contact). Family members in these studies did not take special precautions to prevent infection and shared beds, clothes, toilets, toys, toothbrushes, food, and baby bottles.

Testing is not indicated in your case.


Time period from exposure to ARS and general health
possible HIV2

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