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Hello, I am not very well versed in HIV Transmission potential. I have had a monogamous relationship all my life since highschool, got married to the same person and have 2 ...

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Hello, I am not very well versed in HIV Transmission potential. I have had a monogamous relationship all my life since highschool, got married to the same person and have 2 children. I did get an HIV test before marriage and she did as well, along with 2 other standard HIV tests before childbirth. We had an unfortunate break in our relationship, and while I thought things were over, I engaged in some sexual practices that I believed were low to no risk. However, now we are thinking of getting back together, and I am thinking of taking another test to be safe. The potentially risky activities I engaged in are:

1. Had oral sex performed on me by a lady who ended up being a commercial sex worker (long story). I did however wear a condom throughout the activity and checked for leaks afterwards by filling with water (there were none). Concern I have here though is that I have a small skin tag at the base of my penis. Do not think it has ever bled during my life, but it likely wasn’t covered by the condom the whole time as the base can roll up a tiny bit during the act. The woman seemed careful to keep her mouth only on the parts of my penis that were fully covered, but I can’t be sure. Didn’t notice any blood in her mouth or on condom. The oral sex lasted quite a long time (an hour or so before I finished) and was quite vigorous. She mentioned that the condom may have caused “rubber burn” in her mouth during the session. She was nude throughout the session, and I had a t shirt and underwear on, with my penis exposed (with condom on). There was a lot of cuddling, but I didn’t touch her vagina myself, but there could have been incidental contact with my leg during the cuddling.

2. Had a large number of lap dances from many ladies when my friends took me to a strip club after the split up. I remained fully clothed through all of them. The ladies in question pretty much all offered me protected oral sex, but I did not take them up on the offers. Few concerns with this activity. I have bad skin on my face and neck and ears. Dry and sometimes there could be small cuts on them due to dryness. If the ladies in question got some of their vaginal fluids on their hands and their hands came in contact with my poor skin areas, is there the possibility of infection? Also, they nibbled and licked my neck and ears. If their tongues came into contact with poor skin, any chance of infection?

3. Finally, related to the same events above (lap dances), one of the ladies stimulated my penis through my pants with her mouth for a long time. My pants were wet with saliva. Could I be infected by fluids from her mouth going through my pants into my urethra? Or, during the times when the ladies were grinding on my crotch area, would any vaginal fluids be able to infect me through my pants if they made it through to my urethra? I did notice some stains on my pants at the end of the night. Not sure whose fluids they were.

I guess the lap dances worry me as about 2 weeks later I came down with a high fever for 2 days, then a low grade fever that eventually turned into bad chest congestion with lots of yellow phlegm. Perhaps runny nose as well afterwards. Lasted about a week or so. I don’t think it sounds like typical ARS, but it’s on my mind now of course.

Do you think I am at risk and should I get tested? I’ve thought through this very hard, and these are the only risks I can think of (other than casual contact scenarios that I won’t even bring up as I know they are safe after reading about them).




Thanks for your detailed question.  The scenarios that you describe vary from no to negligible risk, and there is nothing in your list of questions that stands out as a high probability of exposure to HIV.

HIV is not transmitted by:

  • receiving oral sex on a penis (with condom, without condom, or with pants)
  • touching a vulva with your hands
  • receiving a lap dance
  • dry or cracked skin
  • cuddling
  • nibbling, licking or kissing skin (even dry or cracked skin)
  • saliva

Condoms effectively protect against STIs like HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV and syphilis. If you or your partner experience irritation while using a condom, you may be allergic to latex. If so, there are latex free condoms available. When sex lasts a long time, using lube and changing the condom after 30 minutes can help prevent the condom from breaking.

Symptoms are not used for diagnosing HIV, as many common symptoms like the ones you describe, may be caused by other viral infections unrelated to HIV. The only way to know your HIV status is to get tested.

We recommend testing for STBBIs (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections) as part of routine health care for anyone who is sexually active. Your idea to be tested before you start a sexual relationship with your partner is a great idea.  That way you can confirm your status, treat any infection that is present, and move ahead without any doubt about the “what if”. You may also want to have a conversation with your partner about the both of you getting tested.

Hope this is helpful.