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Thought I was playing safe but got shot in eye

Dec 22, 2004

Hi Dr. Bob,

Hope you are doing okay. You're a great guy whom I much admire. I'll cut right to the chase. Mutual masturbation with guy of unknown HIV status, but as you say, must assume everyone is positive. No protection at the time so didn't want to do anything else (thought I was playing safe - not at close range - about 2-3 feet away). He misfired and shot semen right into my eye (and a decent amount - not just a drop). Just a freak accident I guess, but I was really shocked. I tried to wipe away as much as possible, but wearing contacts at the time and couldn't wash out for almost an hour. I swear this is all true - I would never waste your valuable time. Some posts in the archives indicate it's only a "theoretical" and "low" risk, but a risk nonetheless because of the mucous membranes in the eye (Q9683). However, some of the older posts (Q9047) indicate "it would not be surprising if this was how you became infected". Haven't seen your take on this issue - I'm assuming PEP is not appropriate under these circumstances (still have 24 hours to go for that, but I would consider doing it on your advice), but if not, is testing warranted at 3 months? This was my only possible exposure after recently testing negative. Thanks and best for a very happy holiday. Your cock-eyed pal. (trying to keep my sense of humor, but it's really not funny).

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Cock-Eyed Pal,

I don't think I'd call that a "misfire" after all.

The dude spunked a bullseye at three feet! That's real talent! He just might have a career in adult films.

OK, here's the scoop: yes, there is a risk of HIV transmission if infected fluids get into the eye (but not on the outside of the eyelid). So in your case, if your sharpshooter buddy was HIV positive and he jizzed your baby blues, there would be a risk. However, that "if" is indeed a big if. PEP is usually reserved for documented significant exposures. Should you test at three months? Yes, I'd recommend it. Should you freak out with worry while waiting to be tested? Nope, I'd recommend against that.

Finally, as the old song goes, be a "cock-eyed optimist!"

We'll all send you our best karma for a negative test result and a very happy, healthy Holiday Season.

Dr. Bob

Bobby, Bobby, I need to know...
Anxiety about being positive...turned out negative

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