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Safe Massage?
Aug 14, 1996

A few weeks ago while getting a massage, my therapist started touching my penis. (I am a gay male and have been in a monogomous gay relationship for 8 years.) After getting aroused, I allowed him to continue masterbating me. I started masterbating him and when he ejaculated some semen got on my hand. I masterbated myself to ejaculation. During this activity he inserted his finger (dry) into my anus. I don't know the HIV status of the massage therapist and now I'm worried that I may have become infected. Was this activity considered risky. Thanks for your advice.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Mutual masturbation (which is what you were describing) is considered low risk as far as HIV is concerned. This is because the HIV virus must get into your bloodstream in order to infect you. Although infection with HIV is technically possible by mutual masturbation, this is unlikely to occur under the circumstances you described.

When we're looking at the sexual transmission of HIV between 2 men, there are several requirements that need to occur in order for transmission to take place.

You must be exposed to his pre-cum, semen, or blood.

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.

When he inserted his finger in you, it is unlikely you were exposed to any of his body fluids, so that would not put you at risk. The only way you would be at risk for HIV is if somehow his semen gained a direct access to your bloodstream. This is technically possible based on what you told me happened, but the chances of this actually happening are very small. Your risk would have been substantially greater if you had had intercourse with him, or if you gave him oral sex. But based on what you told me, your chances of infection with HIV are quite small.

If you have further questions, please e-mail me at nvhotline@aol.com or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS (in the USA). I'm glad to help.



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