HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Putting on condom without washing hands
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Putting on condom without washing hands

Doctor,

I am unsure about my risk during an exposure I had with a Thai CSW
last week. Basically, before intercourse I was fingering her vagina
deeply with my thumb for about 1 or 2 mins. After I finished fingering
she gave me unprotected oral sex for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then I
opened a box of condoms and put one on. My concern is that when I
opened the condom it was the wrong way around so I had to briefly push
the tip of the condom through to correct it. I think I did this with
the same thumb I used for fingering her. I’m sure that my thumb was
fully dry at that stage but unsure if I could have put myself at risk
from transferring some remaining infected material to the inside of
the condom. Also I used my thumb and forefinger to roll the condom
down my penis which may also have transferred infection to the inside
of the condom. After the condom was on we had vaginal intercourse for
about 20 mins.

I’m aware that the chance is low that she was infected but IF she was:

1.Do you think there is cause for concern here in respect to HIV
getting inside the condom?
2.Is it advisable to wash my hands before putting on condoms in future?
3.Do I need to be tested for HIV on account of this event?
300980_tn?1194933000
Welcome to our Forum.  I would not worry about the possibility that you might have transferred some of her genital secretions to the condoms and in that way put yourself at risk for HIV or for other STDs.  The facts that these organisms die on exposure to the environment and that with each transfer, if organisms are present, only a small number of them are transferred combine to not make this a concern.  It is common for small amounts of genital secretions to be transferred on hands and fingers as condoms are applied- this does not reduce their effectiveness for protection against STDs.

I see no reason to wash your hands before applying a condom and no reason for you to worry about the action you have described.  There is no reason to test for HIV related to this exposure.

I hope these comments are helpful. EWH
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Doctor,

Great, that is a load off my mind. Thanks for replying so quickly. I can get on with my life now..
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300980_tn?1194933000
Glad to help. EWH
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Avatar_m_tn

just to clarify, I touched the INSIDE of the condom tip before i put it on so any transferred material would have been in contact with my penis during intercourse. Was this clear from my post?
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300980_tn?1194933000
I did read your question and I did understand that you touched the inside of the condom.  No change in my assessment.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks again and sorry to have bothered you with that follow up question..just wanted to be sure.
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300980_tn?1194933000
Glad to help. EWH
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