STDs Expert Forum
Genital-To-Hand Contact
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Genital-To-Hand Contact


I was recently diagnosed with genital warts. I've been using Condylox on it for several weeks and they don't appear to be visible anymore, but I know the virus is probably still lurking in there.  I recently met a girl and she gave me a hand job and I fingered her.  After she was done she washed her hand and we didn't swap fluids, do any genital-to-genital touching, and she didn't touch my genitals and then hers or vice versa.  My question is:  I was under the impression that this makes transmission of the virus from me to her pretty much impossible.  Is this accurate?  The next day I did some more research and it scared me a little.  I probably won't do this again because I really don't want her to get infected, but at the time I was under the impression that this was basically safe.  Thank you for any info you can give me!
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I'll try to help.  First, I'm not sure how you "know the virus is still lurking in there".  HPV is self curing most of the time.  In other words, your HPV infection may or may not be persisting at this time.
And even if the infection persists, once visible warts resolve, HPV probably is less transmissible, because the amount of virus probably is lower than with overt warts.

Second, hand-genital contact is an uncommon route of HPV transmission.  It might happen, and probably explains some HPV infections diagnosed in virgins.  But that is rare, and the vast majority of genital warts and other HPV infections are transmitted the old fashioned way:  you have to earn it (by having intercourse).

So even without washing, and even if your partner had immediately touched her own genitals after the handjob, most likely she would not have been infected.  With the washing and without such contact, it is impossible.

In your searching about HPV, most likely you ran into information about Gardasil, the HPV vaccine.  You should discuss it with your girlfriend (whether or not she becomes a real girlfriend or just "a girl", as you described her).  Every young woman needs the vaccine.  It will protect her against the 2 HPV types that cause almost all cases of genital warts and the 2 most common types that can lead to abnormal pap smears or cervical cancer.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
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