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Wet Body Massage-Risk of HIV?
Oct 23, 1996

I took an erotic nude bath with a prostitute, she massaged(with soap) my body while in the tub, However, We DID NOT engage in any type of oral, vaginal or anal intercourse. 1)Was I at risk for HIV transmission, while in the bathtub, with the prostitute? 2)In general, are close contact (where one person is on top of the other) nude massages(without sexual intercourse)dangerous, with regards to contracting HIv?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. HIV is only transmitted in a limited number of ways. The HIV virus must get into the bloodstream in order to infect you. If it doesn't get into the bloodstream, you will not get the infection. Blood, pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, or breastmilk must have direct access to your bloodstream in order to infect you. Activities where this can happen include vaginal intercourse (both partners), anal intercourse (both partners), giving oral sex, sharing needles (IV, tattoo etc), and rarely through receiving a blood transfusion. HIV can also be transmitted from mother to child. HIV is NOT transmitted through any form of casual contact.

In summary, in order for infection to occur, 3 things must happen:

You must be exposed to pre-cum, semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breastmilk.

The virus must get directly into your bloodstream through some fresh cut, open sore, abrasion etc.

Transmission must go directly from 1 person to the other very quickly.....the virus does not survive more than a few minutes outside the body.

No matter what the circumstances are, if you think about these 3 criteria for transmission, you'll be able to determine whether you're at risk for HIV or not. But do remember that other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) can be transmitted easier than HIV, so what might be low risk for HIV may be high risk for other STD's. For example, although physical genital-to-genital contact (without intercourse) is low risk for HIV, it can lead to transmission of herpes, syphilis, or genital warts. These infections are much easier to acquire than HIV.

In your specific instance, because there was no intercourse or oral sex with the prostitute, your risk of infection with HIV was very small. What you were doing is considered very low risk as far as HIV is concerned, since the chance of the 3 criteria for transmission above being met, are extremely remote. Physical contact will not lead to transmission of HIV. It's HIV directly entering the bloodstream that leads to transmission. So again, your risk of infection was very very low.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS



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