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Author Topic: risk assessment  (Read 1044 times)

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Offline espania87

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risk assessment
« on: April 18, 2013, 05:18:47 PM »
Stupid choice on my part, but I wasn't aware of the risk before I did it.

After mutual masturbation with a partner with unknown HIV status, he ejaculated on my hand and penis, since he was on top of me. i then used his semen as "lube" to finish myself off. So his semen was rubbed all over my penis for probably 20-30 seconds until I ejaculated. definitely had prolonged contact with glans.

I dont known if his semen was exposed to the environment long enough to become inactive or non-transmissible. im worried that the contact with my glands might have transmitted it. as far as i know i didnt have any cuts or abrasions. but glans is mucous membrane so maybe his semen got through?

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: risk assessment
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 05:39:10 PM »
Mutual masturbation, even using your partner's semen as lube, is NO RISK for HIV.

The virus is simply too delicate to withstand exposure to any environment outside the human body. As a matter of fact, I use that very same example (masturbating using someone else's semen as lube) in my HIV prevention education to show how fragile HIV is and how difficult it is to transmit.

HIV is sexually transmitted inside the body, where the perfect storm of viral load, environment, receptive cells, the perfect temperature and pH balance exist.

Your incident was no risk for HIV. You can certainly get other, more robust infections that way (chlamydia, syphilis, etc) but assuredly NOT HIV.


"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline espania87

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Re: risk assessment
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 05:45:26 PM »
I appreciate your response.

based on your response, I assume you guys here claim here that the virus dies instantly upon contact with air. Is this up for debate, or is this proven? From my previous knowledge and research I thought that it could survive for a short amount of time in the air, depending on many factors. This way it could still enter through my glans or urethra, right, given that my partners semen was still pretty "fresh."

Unless it is a fact that the virus dies instantly. I dont mean to question anyones expertise, but what I learned through research is that it could very well survive for many seconds or even minutes in the air.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: risk assessment
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 06:27:52 PM »
I appreciate your response.

based on your response, I assume you guys here claim here that the virus dies instantly upon contact with air. Is this up for debate, or is this proven? From my previous knowledge and research I thought that it could survive for a short amount of time in the air, depending on many factors. This way it could still enter through my glans or urethra, right, given that my partners semen was still pretty "fresh."

Unless it is a fact that the virus dies instantly. I dont mean to question anyones expertise, but what I learned through research is that it could very well survive for many seconds or even minutes in the air.

Well, strictly speaking, we are not talking about survival here. We are talking about the ability to infect. Viruses tend to exist in a Schrödinger -esque situation, neither being strictly alive nor dead, since they fail to meet one of the basic tenets of a life form- that of being able to reproduce on their own.

HIV requires access to specific cells in order to infect. Specifically CD4 ce4lls, certain dendritic cells, and those found within the urethra, vagina, and semi-porous membranes in the anus. However, HIV cannot simply land on one of these cells and infect it.

Essential to transmission is the viral envelope. This is the outer coat of the virus. It is composed of two layers of fatty molecules, called lipids. Embedded in the viral envelope are proteins from the host cell. There are also about 72 copies of Env protein, which protrudes from the envelope surface. Env consists of a cap made of three or four molecules called glycoprotein (gp) 120, and a stem consisting of three to four gp41 molecules.

Using an electron microscope, we see HIV as resembling a round ball studded with little spikes. These spikes represent the GP120 and gp41 molecules.

It is as if the virus has a specific key that only works on the host cell with the right lock. In the case of HIV, the lock is the CD4 cell-surface antigen located on the surface of T Helper cells.

That surface, those spikes, are extraordinarily delicate. ANY exposure to a hostile environment will cause them to degrade. My analogy is that of a spiderweb made from ice. Once it is taken from the freezer and walked across the room, it will have all but vanished. Now reduce that in size to the molecular level and you basically get when happens when HIV exits the body.

The RNA and other elements inside the virus itself can remain viable for seconds, sometimes minutes (depending on the level of fluid and environment,) which was the only way early HIV researchers could even begin to parse the virus and dissect it's components. However, that essential envelope surrounding HIV is long gone, and it's ability to infect vanishes almost instantly.

So in this instance, people are correct in saying that the virus does not completely dissolve when exposed to air. It's ability to infect, however, does. In essence, it is inert at that stage, and incapable of entering a cell. That is where, I believe, people's lack of virological understanding confuses the issue.

Mutual masturbation, even using your partner's semen as lube, is not a means by which HIV is transmitted.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

 


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