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Possibility of HIV risk from non-penetration? "Transmission risk from brief exposure"

Feb 6, 2012

Hi there! Though I've found some answers in this forum on the subject of the risk of brief unprotected sex, I have yet to find an answer to my particular question, and I would really appreciate a response as I'm experiencing some pretty hellacious anxiety. So without further ado, my situation: I am an HIV negative, heterosexual male who makes a rule of practicing safe sex, but recently had a potentially unsafe encounter with a bisexual female of unknown status. My lady friend and I were both undressed, making out, and I told her that we could not have sex because I did not have protection. She agreed that would be a bad idea and we continued making out and masturbating one another. A few minutes later, she climbed on top of me and grabbed my penis, which I thought nothing of since we had just agreed that sex was off the table. I guess she and I had slightly different definitions of what constitutes sex, however, because she took my unprotected penis and rubbed the tip against her vagina very briefly (4-5 seconds at most). I don't think it actually penetrated, but my urethra definitely rubbed against her labia and there is a definite possibility that some vaginal fluids could have made contact. Would an exposure such as this be on par with a condom breaking in terms of risk, or would the brevity and lack of penetration reduce my risk? Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I fully intend to get tested at the 3 month point, but in the meantime I guess I just want to know if this sheer, unrelenting anxiety is warranted. Thank you so much!

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for the question,

Doesn't sound like you have any risk from this situation, for the reason you listed: the brevity and lack of penetration." These two points don't just tell us that the risk was lowered, they tell us that there wasn't any risk.

Contrary to popular belief, HIV is a relatively hard virus to get. There needs to be a significant amount of HIV+ body fluid passing from one person's body directly/immediately into another person's body. This is why unprotected penetration is essential. It's only during this that significant amount of HIV+ body fluid will get pushed up inside your penis.

If you're under the assumption that it's easy to get HIV (which it isn't), then I can understand how the the sex you had would get you worked up.

Hope this helps!


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