[Question #1396] hepatitis and vaginal fluid

46 months ago
I know hepatitis is not considered an STI although it can be transmitted sexually. I am married with a child, but ended up fooling around  with another woman in my car. We kissed a bit and twice I briefly felt her crotch over her clothes- the second time I felt a small amount of moisture that immediately evaporated from my hand. My ocd kicked in and I wiped my hand on my pants, even though my hand felt dry.  She then briefly felt her crotch over her clothes, and when I talked to her, she said that yes there was a bit of moisture that immediately evaporated from her hand. I understand that STDs don't transmit through clothes, but do you know if this is the same for hepatitis, (seeing as hepB at least can be transmitted through vaginal fluid)? I'm not worried about my hand which had no cuts, but more surfaces. We went into a restaurant and I washed my hands, but with water only as there was no soap. When I got home, I wiped down most surfaces that I touched in my car but forgot to wipe down her door handle. A day and a half later, my child got in the car on that side. I assume it takes a certain amount of virus to infect, and I have no reason to believe this woman had hepatitis. Do I have any reason for concern, or should I just let this go?  
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
46 months ago
Viral hepatitis almost certainly is never transmitted sexually without genital penetration. Hand-genital contact or other exposure to sexual fluids is not enough. Just as your risks for herpes were nil, as discussed in your three previous threads, so they are for hepatitis and for all STDs. So the answer is no, you hae no reason for concern and should just let it go.

Repetative anxiety driven questions are not permitted on the forum:  we try to avoid temptations to pay money for questions with obvious and unchanging answers, and such threads also have no educational value for other users, one of our main goals. This is your fourth in 10 days. It will have to be your last question about STD risk from this or similar exposures. Future ones will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee.

Best wishes and stay safe.

HHH, MD

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46 months ago
Thank you Dr. Handsfield. I am receiving counselling for my ocd and guilt and understand why this is my last thread. As hepatitis can live for days on surfaces it became the last bastion for my concern. Especially as our contact was through clothes I can see how there would not be enough to transmit. I hope you will answer this follow-up question for my last thread. On  the first of the 2 occasions I got together with this woman, she briefly sucked my finger, then I went to the washroom so touched my penis before washing my hands. I had sex with my wife in the next day and a half or so, and don't know if I showered in the interim. If hepatitis can transmit through saliva, I assume this too would not be sufficient contact to transmit? Thanks for your help. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
46 months ago
I doubt anybody has ever caught the sexually transmissible hepatitis viruses from such exposures. You were not at risk from these events and you cannot infect your wife.

That hepatitis viruses can "live on surfaces" isn't necessarily true, but if so, it doesn't matter. Environmental contamination of that sort is never how anyone ever catches hepatitis. Disregard the biologicl reasons for it, whether drying or anything else. If transmission doesn't happen, the reasons don't matter.

Do your best to move on without worry -- and keep working with your counselor. Best wishes.

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