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Worried Sick (Donation guaranteed when payday finally arrives)
Jan 12, 2011

Dear Dr Bob,

First of all, happy new year to you and yours!

The service you provide here is absolutely fantastic and provides information, peace of mind and reassurance for many.

I wrote to you a while ago regarding this situation but my question didn't get published. I understand you're very busy giving out good karma and whoohoo-ing and i'm hoping i'll get more of the same as I have been really stressed out over the past few months because of this.

I'm a 35 year old male. I went to a local gay sauna about on Oct 6, more out of curiosity than anything else. I wandered around for a few minutes and then a guy approached me and started masterbating himself with one hand with his other hand resting on my chest/shoulder area. I was masterbating myself. We both had towels still on. At one point one of my hands (can't remember which) briefly brushed his thigh for probably less than a second and his hand briefly brushed past my penis although I had a towel on so there was no 'direct' contact. We didn't kiss, he didn't directly touch my genitals/anus and I didn't touch his (we kept towels on throughout). I also felt no bodily fluids throughout. I stopped after probably no more than 30-60 seconds. I went straight to a toilet, masturbated myself until I came, put my clothes back on and left straight away.

My concern is that one of the cuticles on my thumb was bleeding about an hour or so before but had stopped. I also have quite a few cuts on my hands, arms and feet due to severe eczema but none of these were open as far as I could remember.

My big concern is HIV due to the cuts on my hands (i'm very papranoid, I know) but after looking around this forum and others, I realise this is quite unlikely. I know most other STD's are also unlikely as there was no genital contact. I just cannot shake the idea that I may have acquired HIV from this encounter and I am very worried for my girlfriend, whom I have not had sex with since this episode out of concern of infecting her. In particular, i'm concerned that I may have got this mans genital secretions on me without feeling it and, even if it didn't enter through any cuts on my body, when I masturbated afterwards i'm afraid I could have got some onto my urethra and it could enter my bloodstream that way. As I said, I didn't feel any so I don't think this is the case but i'm just a little worried about it.

I really just need to know if I should get tested for this as I have just passed the 3 month mark. Am I being irrationally worried over nothing or is it worth getting myself checked out just in case?

Thanks in advance :-)

Best wishes, WorriedAndScared

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Worried and Scared,

Your STD/HIV-acquisition risk for your uber-quick trip to the gay sauna is nonexistent. Your anxiety is most likely caused by guilt. You have a girlfriend, but went to play in a gay sauna "out of curiosity." I would suggest you consider psychotherapy (counseling) to explore sexual orientation issues. It's the best way to address your curiosity!

Good luck. Be well. Be yourself.

Dr. Bob



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