STDs Expert Forum
Hep b/hep c
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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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Hep b/hep c

Hi dr hook-
Quick question- I used a public bathroom In a pretty bad neighborhood and when I did so my penis rubbed against the toilet seat and I'm pretty sure the head of my penis touched it as well. My question for u is simply if there was any semen or blood on the toilet and any entered my penis hole or touched a cut I had on my penis from shaving would I be at any risk for hep b, hep c, hiv, herpes 1or 2, or any other type of std?
I hate using public bathrooms for this exact type of situation and it's got me a little worried. Thanks
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Thanks for your question, which came in while I was on the forum.  Most users shouldn't expect immediate replies!

Nobody has ever been known to catch any STD from the sort of contact you describe.  A century ago -- maybe up to 30-40 years ago -- there were frequent stories about catching STDs in public toilets.  It was always an urban myth.  Almost universally these were attempts to save face by explaining the appearance of STDs in people who apparently were not at risk.  In fact, there was always a sexual contact on the part of either the infected person or his or her regular partner; or one member of a monogamous couple had actually been infected for many years but transmission only occurred recently.

Can I imagine a risk in certain circumstances, such as the ones you cite?  Sure.  But what is the likelihood that fresh (still wet) semen or blood would get inside your urethra?  And if it did, that by bad luck it came from an infected person?  For practical purposes, this just doesn't happen.

So no worries for sure.  You are not at risk for any of the STDs you mention (or others that you don't say anything about).  Don't worry about it, do not seek testing, and if you have a regular partner, continue your normal sexual relationship and practices.

Best wishes-- HHH, MD
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That was an extremely quick response. Thank you very much. One last thing that I failed to mention is that my penis head did have some sort of clear fluid on it after It touched the toilet. I know I gave a hypothetical in my previous question since I'm still a little nervous and upset about even thinking about what really happened since I'm thinking the worst scenarios. However, I did notice a clear fluid that I suspect was semen that did touch the head of my penis and my penis hole.
I'm sorry I was vague in my previous question but does this change your opinion and am I at any risk and should I get tested.  I'm scared to infect my girlfriend if there is a risk. Thanks again.  
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Good morning Doctor's- I also included Dr Hook on this question as I didn't know if that was protocol. But if either one of you could answer my specific situation below it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

That was an extremely quick response. Thank you very much. One last thing that I failed to mention is that my penis head did have some sort of clear fluid on it after It touched the toilet. I know I gave a hypothetical in my previous question since I'm still a little nervous and upset about even thinking about what really happened since I'm thinking the worst scenarios. However, I did notice a clear fluid that I suspect was semen that did touch the head of my penis and my penis hole.
I'm sorry I was vague in my previous question but does this change your opinion and am I at any risk and should I get tested.  I'm scared to infect my girlfriend if there is a risk. Thanks again.  
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And one last question I wanted to ask along w my second post and questions is that  I also got a little confused in ur response when u mentioned the part of either semen or fluid getting inside the urethra. Since u now know that my penis hole was in contact w this clear fluid that I suspected was semen- does this mean that it actually enters my urethra and ups my risk level or is that a situation that just never happens by pure rubbing against fluid on a toilet seat.  Sorry for these questions but I wanted toile sure all my questions were posed for you to answer. Thanks again!
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The scant "clear fluid" logically was water or urine, neither of which would be likely to transmit any STD.

In STD and HIV/AIDS clinics, we never see infected patients who did not have the standard risk, i.e. sex, usually unprotected.  Despite the fact that every day there are millions of events like the ones you describe:  using public toilets, sharing eating or drinking implements, and the myriad of personal interactions we all have with our fellow man.  That proves without doubt that events like you have described are risk free for all practical purpose.

Do your best to accept the reasoned, science-based reassurance I have tried to give.  I won't have any further comments about it.
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Dr. Handsfield- I should have been more clear w my words. I apologize for this but can you please answer this bc it's quite different from what u thought I was saying. My apologies and if u could please answer this last question it would clear everything up.
I do believe it was semen bc I noticed it dripping in the toilet. Who knows maybe it was from me bc I had sex a few hrs prior to this experience and it could have been and probably was residual ejaculation that never cleared my system. But it was definitely semen dripping from my penis and I just wanted ur reassurance that if it was semen from the toilet and not mine would there be any risk and should I seek testing or should I not worry bc this is a risk free event and continue my sexual relationship w my girlfriend?
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And I have no problem paying or being charged for this question since I wasn't clear in my previous questions doctor. But if you could please answer that' would be greatly appreciated bc that is why I joined this chat in the first place and just wasn't articulate enough describing it. Please charge my card and extra fee for this bc an answer is needed sir. Thank u and my apologies
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The notion that someone happened to have masturbated or had sex with another person in the public toilet immediately before your use is a bit ridiculous, don't you think?

I have no further comments or advice. And please do not start a new thread with the same questions.  Duplicate, anxiety-driven questions are not permitted; a new one will be deleted without reply, and without refund of the posting fee.  Move on.
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