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Broken skin and risk of STD through massage

Dear Drs,

Many thanks for your help on this forum. I am very worried about a massage yesterday; I went to a Chinese massage place (which looked fine from the outside but rather shabby once inside), and after paying for a massage was invited into a room by a masseuse who opened the door and let another man out as I was entering.

She left for a few minutes as I undressed (I do not know if she washed her hands during this period) then returned and began to massage my back with oil. She removed the towel around my waist and also massaged my backside, quite close to my anus (though not touching). She then climbed on top of me to further massage my back and I could feel her legs around my backside, and she moved down to massage my legs and I could feel her skin again on my leg (she was wearing a skirt and I do not know if she was wearing underwear underneath or not). I told her I didn't want 'that kind of massage' and she got off and did a normal massage for another twenty minutes or so.

Only on leaving did I start thinking about the other man who had just left - if she'd offered him a 'happy ending' and he'd accepted (I've googled this place since and found that's a regular occurrence) and she didn't wash her hands could she have transmitted anything to me through touching my backside like herpes or anything else? Also I have a rather large patch of eczema on my leg which had a few new open scratches on it - if she was sitting on it (or by sitting on my backside) could she have transmitted anything either through (or without) her underwear or through her hands given the other man. Finally I remember the new paper sheet under my arm (also with some eczema) being wet - it could have been oil but what if it had been left over from the previous man?

I've been up all night thinking and am worried sick if this will affect my relationship with my girlfriend? Do I need to tell her about this? Do I need to get tested, and if so what for?

Many thanks indeed for your advice.
4 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  I'll try to help.

Responding first to the title you chose for this question, before reading the question itself:  It is exceedingly unlikely anyone could ever catch HIV from having a massage, despite "broken skin".  STDs are not transmitted by hand--skin contact of any kind.

Now I have read the question.  My initial reply remains correct.  They call them STDs because you have to have sex to transmit them -- and you did not.  Even if your highly unlikely scenarios were true -- if the masseuse had an STD (including HIV), if her previous customer was infected, if she had performed oral sex on him, if she had not washed properly, if the sheet was wet with semen -- none of those things could have resulted in catching any STD.

So don't worry about this.  If this is your only concern about STD/HIV exposure, there is no need for testing and no reason to say anything to your girlfriend; you can continue unprotected sex with her with no risk.

Regards--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Dear Dr HHH,

Many thanks for your reassurance, and this service. Can I just completely confirm that even with her sitting on me with broken skin on my leg (and potentially no underwear) that the above would hold.

If so I'll choose where I get massages much more carefully from now and will aim to move on from worry.

Best wishes indeed.
239123 tn?1267651214
I saw all the details of your question and took them into account, including the detail you describe here.  Don't over-think it.  All is well.
Avatar universal
Dear Dr. HHH,

Great - thanks so much for your advice and the service you provide. It is much appreciated.
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