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asking again about risk of transmission
Dec 18, 2013

Hi Dr. Shannon, Please help me with this situation, I have been worrying myself sick over this and am in desperate need of some advise. I hope you can help me. I visited a strip club a couple of days back and wanted to ask whether I should get tested for HIV because of that visit. I am 23 years old male and some of my friends peer pressured me into visiting a strip club. I don't think I would visit one ever again. I had a few lap dances and this is why I am concerned. I have a habit of biting my fingernails and one day before visiting the strip club I had bitten one of my fingernails quite deeply - it bled a little, you could see some redness after the nail was bitten and it hurt. A few hours before visiting the strip club I also had two small cuts on one of my fingers. None of these cuts were actively bleeding at the time I visited the strip club but they were relatively fresh and would hurt. I was not involved with fingering any of the strippers during the lap dances. Could these cuts on my fingers be a risk HIV transmission during the lap dances? One more thing that is bothering me is that during one of the lap dances one of the dancer's nipples went in my mouth a couple of times. Could this be a potential risk for HIV transmission?

Should I get tested for these two situations? I have been worrying about them and do not know what to do, please help me with this. I do not want to infect any future sexual partners that I might have.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi You are fine! HIV transmission can only occur when there is a direct and prolonged exposure to body fluids, semen, vaginal fluid, blood or mother to child through breast feeding. This most commonly occurs through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and sharing of needles. Casual contact, sharing utensils, drinking after someone, etc are not way for HIV transmission to occur. If you go to this link HIV101 it will take you to our page that talks about the ways in which HIV is and is not transmitted. There is no way to acquire HIV from a lap dance. HIV can not be transmitted through clothing. And you cannot get HIV from suckling someone's nipple.

You are HIV free from the experiences you have described.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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