Sexually Transmitted Diseases/risk of transmission


QUESTION: I am Derik and I am from atlanta/USA. I visited a strip club a couple of days back and wanted to ask about an incident and whether I should get tested for HIV because of that visit. I am 23 years old male and some of my friends peer pressured me into visiting a strip club. I don't think I would visit one ever again. I had a couple of lap dances and this is why I am concerned.

I have a habit of biting my fingernails and one day before visiting the strip club I had bitten one of my fingernails quite deeply (you could see some redness after the nail was bitten and it hurt). A few hours before visiting the strip club I had two small cuts on one of my fingers. None of these cuts were actively bleeding at the time I visited the strip club but they were relatively fresh and would hurt. I was not involved with fingering any of the strippers during the lap dances. Could these cuts on my fingers be a risk HIV transmission during the lap dances? One more thing that is bothering me is that during one of the lap dances one of the strippers nipples went in my mouth a couple of times. Could this be a potential risk for HIV transmission?

Should I get tested for these two situations? I have been worrying about them and do not know what to do, please help me with this.

ANSWER: Hello Derik,
You are at very LOW risk for any transmission from your contact.  In order to break the habit of nail biting, you may wish to use one of the bad tasting pain on products designed for children. Good luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Mark, thank you for your answer. I just wanted to mention that I was not involved in fingering any of the strippers. If this is a no risk situation then I should not get tested for HIV but if this is a very low risk situation for transmission, should I get tested for HIV? I am getting worried if I should get tested for this situation or not. Thank you for your advice. Derik.

Hi Derik,

No fingering, no risk! Fingering? Extremely LOW risk. What are you worried about? Little or no reason to be HIV tested, unless you wish to ease your consciousness.

[Sorry for typo previously. My last paragraph should have read:
You are at very LOW risk for any transmission from your contact.  In order to break the habit of nail biting, you may wish to use one of the bad tasting PAINT-ON products designed for children.]

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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