Hi Doctor Bob, I hope you had a great vacation!
Me, not so much. I ended up going to an S&M party two weeks ago and, while I was the one flogging and didn't engage in any sex play with anyone that would have caused fluid transfer (unless you count 5 guys in a hot tub displacing 60% of the water which you probably don't) I did touch a neuropathy wheel to see what it felt like. It felt like pins but when I looked at my thumb, there were no cuts or anything I could see. It still felt like there was and it especially concerned me when I found out the guy with the tool was poz. Still, I know there was no cut there should be no problem, right?
Well, I'm slightly freaked out because almost two weeks to the day, I've come down with the flu. So the hypochondriac I am is bloody nervous. Should I worry? Should I get tested in a few months over this? Should I go with the flannel or the hoodie? Oh wait, wrong doctor for that one.
Neurotic In London
Hello Neurotic in London,
Gosh, I was in London all last week. I could have made a house call. Oh wait, maybe not. I was on vacation and way too occupied with happenings in the West End. Loved the new production of All My Sons and War Horse, by the way; Oliver, not so much, but Sweet Charity was "fun, laughs, good times." Your S&M party with the flogging and "neuropathy wheel" doesn't sound like much "fun, laughs, good times" to me. But to each his own. I'm not here to judge. Besides, the five guys in a hot tub certainly could have some appeal. (And you're correct: it's not an HIV risk.)
Your concerns about HIV transmission from the porcupine wheel are unwarranted for two reasons. First, you didn't break the skin and second, HIV doesn't survive very long at all outside the body.
Regarding your "flu" symptoms, remember, the vast, vast majority of flu symptoms have absolutely nothing to do with HIV. They are caused by flu viruses and common colds. I see no cause for concern or HIV testing. Go take a rid on London's Eye or have a nosh at the Food Hall at Harrods and stop worrying. As for the flannel versus the hoodie, I'd recommend the hoodie, definitely the hoodie. It's a better fashion statement for hypochondriacal types.