STDs Expert Forum
HandJob
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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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HandJob

Hi Dr,

I would like to find out the following:

You have said many times that there is absolutly no risk invole by receiving handjob. However, there are some website that said that there are potential risks esp HSV & HPV. Why is that so??? Please explain. It is very confusing. Also, will there be any risk of STD infection if a person use a shared towel with others eg in a massage paulor.(Not known whther that person have STD or not) Thanks.
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Any website saying there is risk of hand-to-genital STD transmission is going by theory, not proved fact.  It seems logical that if someone has hand warts or a herpes infection of the finger, transmission might occur. It also seems logical that a person could have touched his/her own herpes lesion or wart, then immediately touch a partner's genitals and transmit infection.  Also, remember that just coming into contact with HPV, HSV, HIV, etc is not sufficient for transmission; large amounts of virus are necessary.  So for transmission to occur, you have to string together several highly improbable events.  To my knowledge there has never been a reported case of proved (or even suspected) hand-to-genital herpes or HPV transmission, and I know of no SD specialist who has ever seen such a patient.  The same applies to shared towels.

But I have an idea:  Someone who remains concerned about such near-zero risks shouldn't visit massage parlors for sex.

Good luck--  hHH, MD
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, Are you saying that for any sort of fingering activities (eg fingering a women's vagina) testing is not required. I fingered a women's vagina and six days later I broke out in an itchy rash. I am freaked out and thought I might have gotten HIV from fingering her. Is a HIV rash itchy???? I did no other activities but finger her.

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Avatar_n_tn
The skin is an organ of the body and is the first line of defense against all infections, INCLUDING HIV.  God (or who/whatever) gave it to you to protect you from disease!  It functions as well as any other healthy organ you have in the body... ie. the heart, lungs, etc...  or else you would be sick all the time from germs.  HIV can't penetrate the skin to get inside your body!!! It is not even like herpes or warts which can be transmitted by friction and skin to skin contact.  HIV has to go through a (very significant) cut or mucous membrane such as the mouth (rare), genitals, anal canal, eyes (blood splash for health care workers), etc... and even then it has trouble getting inside your body and causing infection for whatever reason.  Relax about touching body fluids with your hands.  It must be safe or else most nurses would have HIV (and they don't).  I promise you I've undoubtedly touched significantly more body fluids than you have over the years.  It is always unintentional for nurses, and I don't have HIV and I rarely consider it an "exposure" when I touch body fluids. HIV just isn't transmitted that way.  My hands are safe.
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Avatar_n_tn
So are you saying that testing is not required even though I got this itchy rash. Is a HIV rash itchy. I read somewhere that it wasn't.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've never had an itchy rash from touching body fluids and HIV doesn't infect a person like that anyway. You might see a doctor for the rash if you want but I don't think you should be worried about HIV from fingering. That's all I was trying to say.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have read that nobody has ever been proven to have gotten HIV from fingering. (as a good example, HIV is extremely rare in lesbians)
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Avatar_n_tn
I would like to know what the bottom line is on testing. If you finger a vagina and you weren't aware of any cuts on your hands (meaning there could have been one, but not a fresh one) would you still need test/recommend testing? OR should you just get on with your life instead of being filled with anxiety about the test.
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239123_tn?1267651214
The latter.

HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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