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is it my fate? please help!
Jun 20, 2001

Dear Ryan,

I am nearly crazy thinking about whether I got hiv transmitted by receiving a body massage. I feel upset because it is my first experience and I realized I shouldn't have engaged in such activity to bring me such torture. Both of us were nude but we didn't have sexual intercourse of any kind and we didn't touch each other genital area as I remember. But the day after I discover two small scratches with dried blood clots of mine on my back. I was very worry since then.can't sleep much and poor appetite for over a month

Dr. RyanMy questions are as follow:

1) What is my chance of getting infected this way? I suspect the scratches are from her and I am afraid her finger tips would have touch her sexual body fluid and then scratched on me. 2) Is the superficial scratch a reliable route for transmission? 3) Has there been any case that HIV is transmitted through scratch? 4) I did have some sore throat one week after the incident( last for two weeks)and flu-related pharynitis as told by doctor five weeks after incidentbut not fever at all.was it likely to be the HIV related symptoms based on my risk?

Dr. Ryan, I know there may be some similar question before, but if you have time, would you give me some professional opinion here rather than referring to the posted scenario of others. Thank you so much for your advice!!!!

Response from Mr. Kull

From a scientific perspective, there is no such thing as fate. HIV is not transmitted magically, nor is it a punishment for certain lifestyles or behaviors. HIV is transmitted when infected fluids (like semen, vaginal secretions, and blood) come into contact with a person's mucous membranes or bloodstream. The way HIV is transmitted in the world is through sexual contact (vaginal, anal, and oral contact), blood-to-blood contact (injection needles, transfusions), and from mother-to-infant.

While it is possible that HIV could be transmitted through a superficial scratch, there is no evidence that HIV is transmitted through body massage that doesn't involve sexual intercourse. Convincing yourself that it is your fate that you will be infected and that your situation is that different from the countless numbers of people who share your experience may have more to do with some underlying negative feelings about your experiences (guilt, anxiety???) than the inevitability of infection.

RMK



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