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Feb 11, 2009

I am a gay teen (not out yet) and some friends and I went to a gay club in west hollywood. I had a laminate card that was a V.I.P card used to get in clubs...anywho, one of my friends friend has HIV. He grabbed my laminate card and began to pick his teeth with it (he had food stuck). I then cut his gum with my card so I was VERY careful getting it back and not touching it. I put it in my wallet and forgot about it. Now today, I took it out of my wallet to throw it away because it's expired and remembered he got blood on it!!!!!!!!!! How long does HIV blood last outside the body? From the time he bled on it, till the day I touched it (today), it had been 2 months. Am I safe?

I'm new to the "gay scene" and just turned 18, so I am a bit knowledgeable about HIV. Although I have been reading your archives and have learned so much.

I promise, promise, promise to donate when I get paid. Just PLEASE ANSWER!!!!!!! I'm so scared, and I can't tell my mom I went to a gay club and hung out with a guy who is HIV+ and bled on my card..SHE'D FLIP!! Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going insane, it's hard enough being gay and this is just killing me inside.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Terrorized Teen,

Relax Max! You're fine. The HIV risk for the event you describe is completely nonexistent. HIV does not live very long at all outside the body and certainly not for two months in your wallet! Even if your fingers touched fresh HIV-infected blood, there would be no significant HIV-acquisition risk, assuming the skin on your fingers was intact (i.e. that you weren't bleeding as well). HIV cannot permeate intact skin. Stop worrying, OK?

Good luck with your coming out process. Considering you are already frequenting the gay clubs in West Hollywood, it seems like you are already well on your way to accepting your sexual orientation.

Regarding HIV, I would suggest you spend some time perusing the wealth of information on this site, in its archives and on the related links. Pay particular attention to how HIV is and is not transmitted. We have entire chapters in the archives of this forum devoted to HIV prevention (both sexual and nonsexual), HIV transmission (both sexual and nonsexual) and a variety of other topics. Check them out!

Be well. Be safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob

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