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HIV+ ROOMMATE/ WORRIED ABOUT OWN HEALTH
Mar 17, 2009

I am a 22-year old white female, I recently moved out of an apt I was sharing with an HIV+ roommate, who just found out he is positive 2 months ago. While I never thought of myself as the phobic type living with him made me really uncomfortable and I had to get out for a few reasons below.

I want to know what my chances of getting HIV from him are due to the following behaviors: He missed the toilet and pooped on my rug a little (AND LEFT IT TO ME TO CLEAN!), and somehow he got poop on the toilet paper on the roll and when I went for it while using the bathroom myself I touched the poop. Then I got rid of the dirty paper and used the (what appeared to be) clean paper, he also spits a lot when he talks and he spit on me several times. I remember having a conversation with him and his spit hit my lip. Another time I could feel the spit all over my face in little splatters. Gross I know, and I told him to back up many times and he is really reckless with his condition and didn't listen to my requests. He also had diarrhea a lot and I always had to clean the toilet before I used it after him because he would get poop splatters on the bottom side of the toilet seat and I couldn't sit until I cleaned the poop and that is just gross. I used the clorox disinfecting wipes, is that good?

To make matters worse, like 3 days before my roommate told me he just found out his status is positive, I had oral sex with a guy I don't even know. He is 32 and I met him in a club and made a bad choice. I always thought you can't get HIV from oral sex, but this site is scaring me. He gave me oral sex, then I performed it on him for about 5 min. No deepthroating, nothing rough. I didn't let him come in my mouth. I am concerned because I have a tendency to chew on my own cheeks when I am tensed.

So between my HIV+ roommate, and my stupid choice to suck some stranger's d**K I AM REALLY AFRAID FOR MY HEALTH RIGHT NOW. A nurse at my university clinic told me that I need to be tested and that I was at risk. I just came from there and I'm more upset then when I went in.

What is your point of view? How high is my risk? I am freaking out and my friends and saying things like "what if your roommate stuck you with a needle in your sleep" etc. What if he did? Would I feel it? What are my chances? I am PETRIFIED PLEASE HELP I CAN'T EAT, SLEEP, STUDY, I AM PARALIZED.

P.S. This is a really good site by the way.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

First of all, what's up with your poopy ex-roommate??? He missed the toilet and pooped on the rug?" Hmm . . . talk about bad aim (and poor manners!). I certainly understand why he's an "ex"-roommate. Despite the poop, the spittle and the diarrhea splatters, your HIV-acquisition risk is essentially nonexistent. Neither poop (liquid or otherwise) nor spittle is considered a risk for HIV transmission, unless it contains visible blood.

Next, your "friends" are saying things like "what if your roommate stuck you with a needle in your sleep"??? Gosh, what fine friends you have dearie! Your ex-roommate may be careless with some of his habits and hygiene, but I doubt he's a psychotic needle-wielding murderer who would stab you with an HIV-infected syringe while you were asleep! (Your friends have been watching too many horror movies lately!) Would you feel it? Care to take a guess? Shall we try an experiment? You go to sleep and then I'll stab you with a needle. I can assure you that you won't like it!

Regarding your oral encounter, oral sex carries only a very slight risk for HIV transmission/acquisition. Take a read through the chapter in the archives devoted to oral sex. You should find the information there enlightening and reassuring. If you remain worried, get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. I'm confident the result will be negative.

Now, stop worrying and start eating, sleeping and studying. And I'd also recommend getting some new and better friends!

Dr. Bob



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