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What is my HIV risk?

Dec 11, 2012

Hi there. Thank you in advance for answering my question. You guys do amazing work on this site. Last week, I had a sexual encounter with a man of unknown HIV status (I am also male). I am 23, he is 38. We did not kiss or engage in penetrative sex (oral or anal) because I have been experiencing HIV anxiety for the past couple months and I was afraid of doing anything more than touching. We did engage in mutual masturbation. On the thumb of the hand that touched his penis, I had a small wound from the previous day or two that had already begun healing. I do not believe it came into contact with any pre-cum or cum, but I am not positive. In addition, on the thumb of the other hand that was touching my penis (which he also briefly touched), I had a very small cut that had been bleeding very mildly earlier that day, but had since begun to heal. We both ejaculated, me on my chest, and he on my leg. I wiped the sperm off with a towel, and washed my hands thoroughly. I believe I was careful not to wipe my penis with the same towel I used to wipe off his sperm, but now I cannot remember for sure. Since the encounter, my anxiety has kicked in, and I am worried that some of his sperm might have come into contact with my urethra while I was wiping it off, or that I might have gotten infected through one of the wounds on my hands. I called a helpline to ask whether I was a candidate for PEP, and I was told that I had nothing to worry about, but I have become very anxious. In addition, I came down with a flu-like virus the night after - a sore throat which has since deveoped into a mildly productive cough, without fever. I know there is no way I could already be experiencing ARS symptoms, but I am just very uneasy about the whole situation. I have been experiencing headaches and abdominal discomfort for the past several weeks due to HIV anxiety from a previous low-risk exposure in September (I recently tested negative at 94 days.) Can you tell me my risk of HIV exposure from this most recent encounter?

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

The risk in this situation was negligible. Mutual masturbation is a safer-sex activity. Also, any testing done at 90 days or greater can be considered conclusive. Your test at 94 days is conclusive. You are negative from this incident.

In health,


Should I ask for a test sooner?
Am I infected ?

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