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Any Risk with Touching a Prostitute?
Feb 5, 2001

Is there any risk associated with touching the hands or money of a prostitute? Let me explain, my friend sells flowers, and one of the places she sells them is a bar in a bad part of town. She says often, the prostitutes will approach her and then return to buy the flowers with money they've just received from having had sex with someone. I feel nervous that the prostitutes (most of whom have AIDS in our city) have vaginal fluid on their hands and could put us in danger. I often see my friend after she's done work, and have had open cuts on my hands. Is this silly?

Response from Ms. Gabriel

No question is silly -- this one, however, does have a pretty easy answer. HIV dies on contact with heat, light or air. HIV is not the concern in this scenario -- hepatitis could be. The best way to avoid infection is to wash hands often, keep them away from eyes, nose and mouth, and cover any open wounds you may have. This is to help prevent any potential bugs from causing problems.

Thank you for writing,

Lynne Gabriel

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