STDs Expert Forum
Syphilis concern
About This Forum:

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.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Syphilis concern

Dear Doctors

I am a little concerned about something that happened to me recently. Long story short, I hooked up with someone the other night. We only kissed and engaged in mutual masturbation. The person I was with had told me he didnt want to have intercourse due to a cut he had on his genitals. It was not until after everything was over that I started to worry if the "cut" was actually a sore. I have HSV, so I am not concerned about the possibility of getting that (I disclosed my HSV status to this person before we did anything). I am, however, concerned about syphilis. I was masturbating this person and then using the same hand to masturbate myself back and forth. He did the same with his hands. If the cut was actually a syphilis chancre, would this genital to hand to genital contact be a means of transmission?

I have one other general question about syphilis. Because of my "scare" I have been reading a lot about syphilis. One of the things I have read is that the secondary syphilis rash is highly contagious. Insofar as this rash often appears on the palms, can people pass syphilis through hand contact if a palm rash is present? (i.e. shaking hands, etc.)  If the secondary syphilis rash is so contagious wouldnt everyone have syphilis considering how much contact we make with peoples hands in our day to day life?

Thanks you for your time
Related Discussions
239123_tn?1267651214
Syphilis is not known to be transmitted by hand-genital contact.  The secondary stage is particularly infectious because it often includes lesions on moist membranes, like the lining of the vagina, rectum, mouth, etc; those lesions are highly infectious.  However, the infection is not readily transmitted from rash of secondary syphilis on dry skin.  Further, the skin of your hands is not susceptible to syphilis even if exposed to a chancre.  I see no significant risk of syphilis transmission from the event you describe.

Only a limited number of new questions can be accommodated on the forum, which is why MedHelp limits each questioner to 2 questions every 6 months on the professionally moderated forums (see Terms and Conditions, no. 8 I believe).  This is your third since August.  No more before next May, please.

HHH, MD
4 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you Dr Handsfield,

I wasnt aware of the questions limits per user. Sorry about that, but thank you very much for answering my question. I'm not so much concerned about getting syphilis on my hand, but rather my hand acting as a "delivery truck" for any fluid/bacteria from his chancre to my genitals. I guess the bacteria just doesnt last that long in the open air. Does that about sum it up?

Thanks Doctor.
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
Yes, that sums it up.  Even busy STD clinics almost never see anybody with primary syphilis at a site that wasn't directly exposed, i.e. the penis or anus, or once in a while the mouth.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I feel much, much better! Thanks again Dr. Handsfield.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
300980_tn?1194933000
Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank