Infection from being fingered in the anus
by JustAWorriedGuy, Aug 01, 2006
I am very scared that I may have picked up an infection, particularly something serious like Herpes in my anus and I'm finding little or contradictory information on this site about my particular situation.

My exposure was with a female sex worker of African origin (Approx 92 hours ago). Not actually in Africa though.

1. There was no penetrative or oral intercourse but I did finger both her vagina and anus briefly. I didn't have any cuts on my fingers and I know that I can't get HIV this way but what about other STIs?

2. She masturbated me a little and she put what seemed like quite a lot of saliva on her hands for lubrication. Again, I cannot see any cuts on my penis but is there any possibility of STI infection through this? I have no symptoms on my penis and urinating is not painful.

3. My biggest worry is that she stuck 1 or 2 fingers up my anus and moved them in an out fairly rigorously for about 1 minute max. From what I remember, she always had a condom over the ends of her fingers while she did it. She also fingered herself at one time but I can't remember if she did this before putting her finger in my anus. I think it was afterwards but I am not sure.

I now have an irritation in my anus. It looks a little red but not sure if it is actually unusually red. It also stings a little sometimes, other times not. I did have bad diarrhea the day after the exposure because of all the alcohol I had drank the night before (about 20 hours afterwards). I only started to be aware of the irritation after that so it may just be chapped from the diarrhea? I also started to get paranoid about an infection to my anus at this point and I have been 'probing' around there a lot, rubbing antiseptic cream on it and pulling my cheeks wide apart many times each day to try to see in a mirror if there was anything there that might suggest an infection. Therefore could I be causing/prolonging this irritation myself by doing this? I'm trying to leave it alone but I can't help checking all the time. I can feel a tiny lump but I'm quite sure that this looks like a very small raised vein, which I may have felt before anyway. So maybe it is slight hemorrhoids causing the irritation?

In one of your other answers in the link in which a heterosexual guy with an anal irritation had only had vaginal sex you quote the following:

"Unless there was trauma to your anal area during sex-e.g., vigorous manual stimulation--I don't see how your symptoms can be related to the sexual exposure you describe."

By this do you mean that the rough stimulation itself would be the cause of the irritation or that receiving vigorous anal stimulation can cause an STI?

Straight question: Was I at risk of getting herpes or any other STI by being fingered in the anus? And if so does there have to be some particular bodily fluid on the condom/fingers and then rubbed into the anus to do this or can the fingers themselves transmit it? Thks

You can be sure there is no risk of STD by anal fingering, even without a condom--and with a condom the chance clearly is zero.  Common sense tells you it cannot possibly happen, because no STD germs can pass through intact latex or polyurethane.  You correctly interpreted my earlier statement about the potential for trauma from fingering.  See other threads about the essentially zero risk of STD transmission from fingers (search for "hand-to-genital transmission").

Stop examining yourself.  If your symptoms persist see a health care provider.
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Member Comments (3)
by JustAWorriedGuy, Aug 01, 2006

Thanks for the reply Doctor, which when saw it pop up so quickly, I hoped was a sign that it was an easy and positive answer.

Don't worry, I'm not going to be a serial question asker but just for complete clarification and future safety for me and other people reading this forum - is there absolutely no risk of STD by anal fingering at all - even if there was no condom and fresh bodily fluids such as vaginal fluid present on the fingers of the person fingering the anus and what about if they had touched herpes sores beforehand?

Thanks again for putting me at ease.

Can I envision a scenario in which infected secretions could be transferred by hands or fingers, as you describe?  Of course.  In fact, it may happen with some frequency in some settings.  There is reason to suspect the recent outbreaks of the rare STD lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) in gay men has been spread in part by rectum-hand-rectum (or rectum-penis-rectum) transmission, without actual infection of either hand or penis.  But that is a highly specialized scenario, with men having sex with several partners in rapid succession.  Not once in my 30+ years in this business have I ever seen a rectal or anal STD in a person whose only exposure was the sort you describe.  It's just too rare to worry about.

To repeat my main advice:  Stop examining yourself, stop speculating, and absolutely stop seeking answers online, either in this forum or elsewhere.  You won't find them, and most of what you are likely to learn probably will be unecessarily pessimistic or frightening.  See a health care provider.  This is my last response on this thread.