QUESTION NOT IN ARCHIVES ; WILL DONATE IF ANSWER RECEIVED

Question

Hello Dr. Bob, I appreciate all the excellent work you do here...I searched very diligently for a similar question in the site's archives, but could not find one...I think that my worries are mostly psychological, but I also believe that receiving an answer from a qualified, renowned individual will make my seemingly irrational fears disappear. If you choose to reply to this post, please provide in the response information on how I can make a donation to your organization (preferrably a cheque sent by mail):

Recently, I was walking home late one night, when I stepped in vomit (I think just a little bit got under my shoe but not totally sure). I looked hard and did not see any visible blood in the vomit, but it was very dark so I am not sure. Then 5-10 minutes later, after arriving home, I masturbated. I am scared that if the vomit contained infected blood, I could have got a very small small amount on my hand when I took off my shoe, or by touching my leg against which my shoe had brushed against while walking home. Is there a risk here?? (I definitely did not see any foreign fluid on my hands during this episode, and as far as I know there are no cuts, sores or abrasions on my penis)

Also, I am involved in many sports and spend much time at the gym, so my hands and arms are often covered by bruises, blisters, peeling skin and very small cuts. I work as a cashier, and people often spit when they talk, or pass me money which extremely rarely seems to be stained by dried blood. Is it worth worrying that a very small amount of blood in peoples' saliva or on the money could land on these very small cuts and cause infection? (I know the archives say that the virus is not transmitted this way, but what about the very small cuts? Or does HIV simply not travel through the air or stay alive outside the body long enough to cause infection?)

Thanks for your time, efforts and patience

Answer

Hi,

". . . I think that my worries are mostly psychological . . . ." BINGO! I absolutely agree, except I'd leave off the "mostly."

Regarding the vomit concern, these types of worries are very common (see below). Responding to your specific worry:

  1. Vomit that does not contain visible blood has no chance of transmitting HIV.

  2. Even if the vomit contained visible blood, the chances the blood would be HIV infected is remote at best.

  3. Even if the vomit contained visible blood and even if the blood was HIV tainted, HIV doesn't live very long outside the body. Consequently the chances of HIV transmission would be extremely remote.

  4. Even if the vomit contained visible blood and even if the visible blood was HIV tainted and even if the HIV-tainted blood was fresh, HIV cannot permeate intact skin. The chance you transmitted an adequate amount of blood directly into your urethra is so remote it's nonexistent.

Your fears about spit and blood-stained Ben Franklins are similarly irrational and totally unwarranted. I've discussed these types of issues many times in this forum. Check out the archives (chapter on HIV non-sexual transmission) for additional information.

Donation information for the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. The foundation's address is:

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 145 Los Altos, CA 94024

Be well. Stay well. Stop worrying, OK?

Dr. Bob

$40 cashiers check+ Question! (I STEPPED IN SOMETHING 2009) Jun 11, 2009

Quick question,handsome... I was walking in Las Vegas in some really thin foam sandals. I stepped on what seemed to be semen. I have fairly peeling and dry bottom of my feet. I don't remember if I felt my foot wet, but certainly my sandal was. "If" my foot slightly slipped out of my sandal (which it often does) and onto the so-called semen...would this be an HIV risk if it fact it was HIV infected semen?

$40 will be sent out tomorrow. Good luck in life and love, from me to you!

-Worried well xoxoxoxo

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

This type of question comes up frequently: I stepped in spunk; I stepped in blood; I stepped in vomit: I stepped in "something;" etc. It's becoming a QTND (question that never dies). It certainly already has an ANTC (answer that never changes)!

Your fears are unwarranted for multiple reasons, including:

  1. What you stepped in was probably not "baby batter."

  2. Even if you did clomp through a puddle of spunk (or blood or whatever), the chances it was HIV tainted would be remote.

  3. Even if you clomped through a spunk puddle and even if it was HIV infected, HIV does not survive very long outside the body.

  4. Even if you clomped through a spunk puddle and even if it was HIV tainted and even if it was super fresh (guy in front of you walking down the Vegas strip just unloaded his load), HIV cannot permeate intact skin.

So to sum up Sweetie, whatever you cha-cha-chaed through in Vegas stayed in Vegas!

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation.

By the way, I love Vegas!

Dr. Bob