#sexual assault
17 July 2003

I have been penetrated with a finger, could I have caught an STD?

Dear Alterheros team, I sent an email asking something that maybe sounds a little stupid but it is worrying me a lot. Last Friday, I was in a sauna and at a point I was flirting with someone older than me, someone I did not know and suddenly being close to him he put his finger through my anus, he did it very roughly and quickly as soon as I realise what was happening I pushed him away, after this incident my rectum was in pain for 3 to 4 days. I have never had any experience like that, so I got worried as soon as I left this place as I have heard that AIDs and other STDs can get into your body very easily. I did not have time to check if this man had wounds on his fingers, maybe not, may be for him this is normal but for me I got scared as never experienced anything like that. Could you please advice me what to do? Do you think I have risked my health with this incident? Thanks in advance.

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

Hello Peter,

First of all, thank you for asking your questions.  No question is a stupid question on AlterHeros, and we take special care in trying to answer all the questions we receive. Your question relates to an important aspect of sexual relationships: STBBIs and HIV.

In your case, the risk of being infected with an STBBI is low. However, as you explained, there might be a very small risk of transmission if the man with whom you had an experience was HIV positive with a detectable viral charge and with had wounds on his fingers. Rest assured, it is likely that the pain that you experienced was due to anal penetration by the use of his finger without your consent AND without using lubricant, especially if this was your time being anally penetrated which may have caused slight damage (tear) to the rectal membrane.  The rectum is a very sensitive area and that’s why using lubricant is a must during penetration.

Although the risk of transmission of HIV or other STBBIs is low, the risk still exists…even if you use a condom (in case it breaks or has a tear).  We suggest that you visit the Clinique L’Actuel website, http://cliniquelactuel.com, which contains plenty of information on HIV and STBBIs.  Also, if you are living in the greater Montreal area, it may be worthwhile to visit this clinic which specializes in helping people with issues dealing with HIV and STBBIs. You will find detailed information on their website. If you live outside Montreal, and you would like to truly know if you might have been infected with an STBBI, the best way is to get tested. Try to contact your local CLSC or clinic for more information.  If you have sex often with different sexual partners, it is recommended that you periodically get tested in order to protect yourself and those that you have sex with.

You may also consider contacting RÉZO, a local French group in Montréal which promotes the prevention of HIV  and STTTIs transmission in the MSM (men who have sex with men) community. The organization provides a wealth of information and resources to the public. Finally, you can also address your questions directly to ACCM, the Aids Community Care of Montreal, a primarily English organization, at www.accmontreal.org.

Wishing you all the best,

AlterHéros Team