I know you are tired of fingering questions

Question

I am tired of feeling so scared. Perhaps we can meet in the middle. You answer my question and I follow your advice. A donation is on the way regardless of whether you reply. One thing I have learned from my fear is more needs to be done to support organiztions like yours which raise public awarness of HIV issues.

As the title suggests, I have a fear of fingering. I had a drunken night in a strip club approximately 3 weeks ago which resulted in a very brief period of fingering. I do not believe I had any cuts. My skin is always dry and my cuticles short. When I sobered up the next day I awoke terrified. I was overwhelmed by the fear I had exposed myself to HIV. I started reading and have found some conflicting information regarding risk. The majority of informartion seems to suggest no risk. I would like to know from your mouth a conclusive answer am I at risk. I have also been reading about symptoms. I have been monitoring my body and presently I am concerned about tingling feet and hands. The tingling started minor and has been increasing. It goes away when I exercise and 1 or 2 other times during the day. What does it mean that tthe symptoms did go away on occasion yet now might be increasing. I started with other symptoms such as possible swollen glands in neck which I can't compare to before exposure as I don't recall feeling myself up. I also started feeling other gland areas, not a great idea in public and they start to hurt. Doc. Bob I am hurting sad and scared. I explained the sitiuation to my wife and she thinks my behavior was sophmoroic and my fears unjustified. She wants me to let go of my worry as it is getting in the way of happy feelings. I need to know what you think. Am I at risk, are my symptoms evidence. Do I need to test. Is it safe to let go of my worry and fears, Thanks for considering my question.

Answer

Hi Finger-Guy,

I agree with "the majority of information." Fingering is not a risk if the skin is intact.

Your symptoms are not consistent with HIV ARS. Stop searching for symptoms!

I do not feel testing is warranted or necessary; however, if it will set your mind at ease, you can certainly have it done. It only takes 20 minutes.

Stay well. Stop worrying. I agree with your wife: it's unjustified!

Dr. Bob