Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Does this sound like hiv?


Hello Mark,

I recently fingered a girl vagina, but I have a bad habit of biting my nails until they bleed. I also bite the skin around them when I do not have any nails.  I was wondering my chances of catching hiv since there may have been blood from the skin tear on my finger when I fingered her.  I am worried because two weeks later I got a rash on the inside of both my arms where the elbow bends and also on both sides of my neck. Both rashes were very small. The rash on my neck was barely visible. A week later I came down with a cold that lasted for about a week. I bought an oraquick test from walmart and asked the girl to take it and it was negative. I was reading online that it was a 1 out of 12 chance it could miss the hiv virus. Also I read where some people do not develop antibodies so test do not work.  Do you think it is possible for her not to have the antibodies. she told me she have not had sex in over a year because the guy she was with gave her some std that started with a T. and also he been in prison for a while 18 years. I am very worried.

I am attaching a pic of the rash.

Does the hiv rash cover the whole body or is it small? Does this look like the hiv rash.

Thank you for your time Mark.

p.s. the rash on my arm is healing but while it was healing it got darker. At times it itches and then sometimes it does not thank you once again.

Hello Reese,
The rash on your arm looks like it is a contact dermatitis from some chemical, cosmetic, or plant material that caused you to break out. It does NOT look like anything associated with an STD or HIV. This is the fall cold and allergy season, and it is possible that you may have contracted something to cause this rash.

In order for you to stop the nail biting, you may wish to apply the nail lotion/shellac that tastes awful when you put it into your mouth. It is designed for kids or adults who nail bite excessively, like  yourself.

It is very unlikely that you would contract any type of infection from just fingering someone. Oraquick is a fairly sensitive test, but I would be more concerned about hepatitis B or C or syphilis or herpes from a fresh abasion on your finger in contact with the mucous membranes of your partner. If you want more assurance, repeat test in another month or two, even though it seems HIGHLY UNLIKELY that you were exposed.

The infection your partner may have had was trichomonas (starting with a "T") but does not typically cause signs or symptoms in men, although it can be spread from women to men and then back to other women.

Good luck!

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Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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