STDs Expert Forum
Hand to Genital Risk?
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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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Hand to Genital Risk?

Hi,

I've recently done something I now regret in the extreme. I've looked over the various forums and there are similar questions posted, however like most posters I feel my case to be 'unique'.

A few days ago I visited a prostitute for the first time, something i'm not proud of, but have always fantasied about doing. To be honest when i arrived my fears (regarding STDs) got the better of me, and I decided not to have full sex with the woman but rather what i considered safe fun. Point by point, the encounter happened like this:

• Entered the apartment and shock hands with two different women (both prostitutes), then decided which to see.

• While she was out of the room, I pretty much freaked about STDs, so when she returned just asked her to masterbate herself and I did the same. During this time there was no physical contact between us.

• I came, put on my clothes and left.

Initially I thought this to be a completely safe encounter. However, I've begun to fear it wasn't as safe as I thought. My worry is that whilst shaking hands with both the women I could have got some infected fluid / secretions on my hand, then transferred this to my penis as I masterbated.

The time between me touching their hands then my penis was no more than a few moments and it's highly likely that both girls had seen other clients before me, perhaps only a few minutes earlier.

So to sum up, my question is, could I have transferred an STD from either of the women or a recent previous client to myself, whilst touching myself so soon after shaking hands?

I know from other posts this is unlikely, but I have added anxiety as I'm in a loving relationship which i now truly realise means the world to me and the thought of having caught something is driving me to despair.

I will get myself tested for what seem to be the easiest spread STD's (especially chlamyida) once enough time has passed for an accurate test, but I'd really appreciate your opinion on my risk.

Thanks, J.







Tags: sex, STDs, hand, Women
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239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the STD forum.  Reacting first only to the title you chose for your question, before actually reading it:  STDs are not transmitted by hand-genital contact.  There might be a few rare exceptions, especially for HPV, but that's about it.  

Now I have read the rest.  Guess what?  There are no STD risks of any kind from the events you describe.   If STDs could be transmitted by such contact, they would be common in people who shake hands with one another, who exchange money at cash registers, and who share workplaces.  In other words, they would be no different than colds, influenza, etc and then they would not be classified as STDs to begin with!

No worries, no risk to your romantic partner(s), no need for testing.

Regards--  HHH, MD
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear James, while you probably eagerly await the docs answer I want to give you reassurance that this was a 100% safe!!!! encounter. Look up my question some days earlier and you will realize that my encounters were much riskier compared to yours (numerous contacts and "real hand-genital-contact"). Dr. HHH who has a lifetime experience researching stds and is an internationally renowned expert in the field reassured me that my risk was virtually zero. Yours is about 1,000 times safer, so 1,000 x 0 is undoubtedly ZERO. Concentrate your efforts on the real problem which is dealing with your guilt and try by all means to shake off that destructive negative and unnecessary feelings about possible stds. There is simply no chance for any infection. But from my experience: your feelings might be completely irrational. Nonetheless they can be very dangerous as they might interfere with your work and social life. I urge you not to let that happen and by all means stop worrying. If you cannot do that, counseling might be in order. As the doctors often wrote I too do not mean to criticise you but rather want to help you as I have been through similar worries.

Best,
N.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

Thanks for your response Dr. Hunter Handsfield. I was expecting (hoping I guess) you'd say something along those lines.

To be clear, I fully except that STD's are not passed by casual contact, such as handshakes, as, like you've explained, everyone would have them all the time. I probably didn't explain myself as preciously as I should have, but it was really the time aspect of my contact that's giving me cause for concern.

I've read (perhaps incorrect) information stating some STDs such as Chlamydia can survive for up to 45 minutes outside the body, and it was the potential that i'd brought myself into contact with an STD such as this, then pretty much immediately touched my penis, thats triggered my anxiety. My understanding is that a bacterial STD (like Chlamydia) can survive much longer outside the body than a weaker STD such as HIV (hence why i'm not concerned about a risk from that)?

Certainly don't dispute your answer or experience in these matters, just want to be sure i've explained my situation clearly?

Also, thank you to member Norvet11 for your message of encouragement, it's much appreciated.

Thanks,
J
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239123_tn?1267651214
How long chlamydia or other STD pathogens can survive in the environment is one thing.  Nonsexual transmission is another.  I understood the sequence of events.  In the entire known history of STDs, it is doubtful anyone has ever been infected by the sort of sequence you describe.  Just think it through:  Did you get moisture on your hand?  And did you then immediately rub that moisture into your urethra or vigorously rub your penile skin with it?  STDs evolved to require that level of exposure in order for transmission to occur.

I stand by my reply above.  Please move on.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks doctor,

Genuinely put my mind at ease. You're right (of course) and I realised my suggestion was far fetched. I'd not have been so anxious had I not been concerned for my partners health (more than my own), which as you've explained, is not at risk.

Thanks once again and I leave it there. This site is a great innovation and help, please keep up the good work.

J
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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