[Question #1343] Paranoid about hsv2, hpv

46 months ago

I am a married man who sadly ended up in my car with another woman kissing and groping around, fully clothed.  On 2 occasions I briefly felt her crotch over her clothes. The second time I felt a small amount of moisture that immediately evaporated from my hand.  This triggered my longstanding ocd so I wiped my hand on my pants, although I felt nothing . She then briefly felt her crotch over her clothes. We soon exited the car and went in a restaurant. I know it's probably a bit far-fetched, but my ocd keeps me thinking about the possibility of transmission of HPV or HSV2 not so much to me, but that I could have spread it from my hand, (or she could have), to the door handle of the restaurant, etc. (There was wet snow falling). She is not aware of having an std.  I washed my hands thoroughly as soon as I got inside, but just with water- there was no soap. She held my hand and I handed money to the waitress for drinks. When I got home I first washed my hands and then cleaned most surfaces I touched with antibacterial wipes. I am reassured by ASHA's statement that stds don't transmit through clothes, so can I assume there would not be enough of anything on our hands to transmit indirectly  to someone else? What if a person had a cut on their hand or excema. I think my ocd is overwhelming me here. Please help. Thanks. 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
I'm glad you  were reassured by the ASHA statement that STD's don't transmit via clothes, now your task is to believe it and apply it to your situation.  There is no way there would be enough herpes or HPV virus coming through clothing, breaks in the skin of the hand or not, to infect you.  And it won't get on the door handle of the restaurant.  You may need to work on yourself to get yourself to let this go.  but try to remember that we experts of seen tens of thousands of patients and not once, ever, have any of us seen someone get herpes via anything but substantial sexual contact, and that included hands to genital contact - not a single case.  Please let me know if you have other questions, OK?

Terri
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46 months ago
Thanks for your quick and authoritative  response. With my guilt and ocd I keep thinking of worst case scenarios. Even if she had a fresh lesion, I take it your answer would be the same?  I have an unreasonable fear that something may have stayed on my hand and I could have transferred that once I got home (I have a wife and 11 year old son). Or that  someone could have got some from a contaminated surface and transferred that to a young baby at home...
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
Yes, even if she had a very fresh lively new lesion, there is no risk from the contact that you had.  Herpes virus is no where near as hardy as you give it credit for being!  It would have died on your hand, if it had gotten there, which, of course, it did not.  I know it takes a leap of faith to believe all of this but you must try so you can live a more normal life in the future.

Terri
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46 months ago
Thanks for your continued support. It has been very helpful. Boy the internet can be a scarey place, giving me more info than I want to know... I've read now that herpes 2  can extend to your lower back, and I know that I touched her lower back,  skin to skin briefly with my hand. I certainly didn't feel a lesion there and the contact was no more than a few seconds. Would this be enough to infect my hand or transfer anything off my hand to an object? I also touched just below my eye at one point. Lastly, was washing my hands thoroughly with just water and drying them thoroughly at the restaurant helpful or needed- I handed money to the waitress, and may have touched her hand. I know this all sounds pretty paranoid, but I appreciate your help.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
While some people can have outbreaks on the lower back, usually below the waist, that area does not shed virus when no lesions are present.  Even if she had a lesion on her lower back for a few seconds at the time you touched her, it would not infect you hand nor transfer to an inanimate object.  Washing your hands, just with water, given you situation in the whole, is just fine.  You did not acquire herpes in this situation.

Terri
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