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Very worried and confused about possible HIV Transmission : Please enlighten me Dr. Bob
Dec 8, 2008

Hello Doctor,

I recently had a cut on my index finger.(about half a centimetre long and bled enough to use a band aid) About 30 hours later I touched the vagina of a sex worker. I tried to avoid touching her with the finger that had the cut.. but I forgot on which hand I had the cut during the act. I am sure the cut was not bleeding at the time I touched her vagina. I did not put my finger in to her vagina. I just touched it with some lubrication. I read in your forum that if a cut is not bleeding, you can not get HIV through that cut. My questions are 1) Do you think that I am at risk?

2)If you have a non bleeding cut and if it bleeds after you apply pressure on it, is it considered as a cut that could let HIV in to the blood stream?

3)To experiment how fast my cuts heal, I made a cut similar to what I had on my finger on the other hand. It was not bleeding after 30 hours but when I squeezed it I could see some transparent fluid coming out of it. (A very little amount) Does this mean a cut on my finger after 30 hours give access to my blood stream?

I am soo worried about this and it is getting in the way of my work and day to day life. Please answer my question and I will donate $100 to your cause.

Thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

To experiment how fast your cuts heal you purposely cut your finger and then tried to squeeze blood out of it 30 hours later? Dude, have you been adding crazy powder to your protein shakes lately? Put your Swiss Army Knife down! Now step away from the knife!

Let me address your three specific questions:

1. HIV-transmission risk involves HIV-infected fluids coming into significant contact with non-intact skin. Clearly, defining "non intact skin" over the Internet is difficult. If, for instance, I told you a one centimeter non-bleeding 30-hour-old cut would not be considered "non intact skin," my inbox would get flooded the next day with questions from guys who had similar experiences at 25 hours or 22 hours. And then there would be another group writing in about cuts that are 1.5 centimeters or 2 centimeters, etc., etc., etc. So I'm sticking with the formal guideline that uses the term "non intact skin." (Privately, I do not consider you to be "at risk".)

2. No. (If you had to squeeze to get fluid out, you'd have to squeeze to get fluid in! And nobody's "squeeze box" is quite that tight!)

3. This is the scariest of your questions! Self-mutilation is never a good idea. If you continue to be worried about HIV (and clearly you are), get a single HIV test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative and we experts will cause far less physical damage to your skin!

Finally, thank you for your kind offer to make a tax-deductible donation to my foundation, the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, www.concertedeffort.org. It's warmly appreciated during this holiday season. In return, I'm sending you my best good-luck, good-health karma that your definitive HIV test will be negative (I'm certain it will be) and that your HIV fears vanish (I'm extremely confident they will).

Happy Holidays and WOO-HOO (in advance).

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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