Aa
A
A
A
Close
STDs Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Autoinoculation

Hello Dr,

I've had oral herpes since I was 17 or so. I am now 31.  I've had very few outbreaks (maybe 4 or 5) total since then.  The other day I noticed a small pimple looking thing right below my lower lip.  I don't think it was a cold sore because it was just red and never has "pussed" or "crusted".  I almost looks like it could be razor burn as well.  But since it was around my lip it raised concern.  A day later or so I decided I wanted to masturbate.  Knowing the risks of autoinculation (which I know is very rare)I washed my hands throughly with soap and hot water.  Then instead of putting my hand directly on my penis to mastubate I wore boxer shorts and sweat pants and rubbed my penis over my clothing.  I fugured this would be the safest way not to infect myself down there.  I've had no symptoms on my penis since then and everything feels fine.  I guess I'm just feeling guilty about even maturbating when I had a cold sore present (if in fact it was even a cold sore) even though I washed my hands and didn't touch my penis directly.  Should I feel pretty certain that I didn't put myself at risk of giving myself HSV-1 on my genitals?  I know the immune system sets up anitbodies and I should be OK but I just wanted to check with you.  thanks.
4 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Even if you picked at your oral herpes lesion and then intentionally scratched your penis and massaged the scratch with oral herpes secretions, you probably could not infect yourself.  Autoinoculation is almost entirely limited to the first episode of an HSV infection, before the immune system has built up defences.

So your concluding sentence is exactly right.  Common-sense hygiene is, well, common sense; but even if you didn't wash etc, the chance of autoinoculation of HSV-1 to your genitals through masturbation is very close to zero.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thanks Doctor.  So no need to tell any future partners about my genitals "may" been exposed to HSV-1 via my hand?

I know I'm overreacting but just want to make sure.

thanks again.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Of course not.  If you can't transfer infection to your penis, you can't transmit infection from your penis.  Common sense--and yes, you are overreacting.

HHH, MD
Avatar universal
A related discussion, can i transmit herpes to my genitals? was started.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 16 facts you need to know to protect yourself from contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease.
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
The warning signs of HIV may not be what you think. Our HIV and STD expert Sean Cummings reports in-depth on the HIV "Triad" and other early symptoms of this disease.