[Question #1609] STD's

44 months ago
Good afternoon, I'm directing this question to H. Hunter Handsfield, MD.   > About 4 months ago I asked some question in regards to STD's... I have had these pimple like bumps on my scalp on the back of my head and just above my hair like on the back of my neck on my scalp... I've had these off and on for almost a year... I'm not exactly sure... But could I have gotten something from my visits to a massage parlor? Should I be worried? Also, once and while I get these pimple like bumps on my calf or shoulders... is this related to anything I've talked about to you before or am I thinking to much into this? Also you told me that (No inner course means no STD's or HIV? Even though other websites say other things... I'm assuming that you Doctors have lives too.... so how are questions answered So late at night or so early in the morning all week? These aren't like computer automated answers are they? So no matter how many times one has gone to a massage places... I shouldn't be worried about getting anything? Thanks so much!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
Welcome back to the forum. FYI, it is only by chance I am replying. Dr. Hook and I answer the non-herpes forum questions in turn or randomly, without regard to requests for one of us or the other. We have been close professional colleagues for more than 3 decades and although our forum styles differ from one another, our opinions and advice are always pretty much identical.

As discussed last time, you were at risk for neither HIV nor other STDs from your massage parlor visits. It sounds like you have folliculitis, i.e. hair follicle inflammation/infection. The back of the head and neck are one of the common sites for folliculitis, which is not an STD or related to HIV. (Personal experience:  I have had exactly the same problem in the same location, with variable levels of activity but never completely gone, for 40+ years.) This is a minor inconvenience, not an important health problem, and it has nothing to do with your massage parlor adventures. But if it is severe or bothersome, see a doctor, preferably a dermatologist. Sometimes an antibiotic cream may be helpful, or an underlying skin problem (e.g. seborrhic dermatitis, i.e. dandruff) may predispose to folliculitis.

As for what "other websites", you won't find any scientifically reliable ones that say massage or hand-genital contact to carry any significant risk of HIV or other STDs. I suggest you limit any future online searching to sites run by professional organizations, or that are moderated by legitimate experts. Claims of risk by nonprofessionals tend to be dominated by those with personal agendas or otherwise unreliable sources.

All our answers on this forum are indivdual responses to the questions asked. Sometimes the moderators copy and paste replies we have made previously to similar questions, to save time. But each question is addressed one by one. That replies sometimes are posted at odd hours is explained by the three moderators being in different time zones, working well over 8 hour days (especailly for online responses, often at home), and our have busy travel schedules. Some replies are even posted from outside North America.

I hope this information has been helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

---
44 months ago
 Thank you for your reassurance, with that being said from your reply what  would have to happen to get an STD or be at risk for HIV while getting a massage from a massage parlor at various locations? I know I touched base on this before but during a handjob wouldn't the penis opening have access for any STDs and or HIV? Greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.  Based off of what you said before, if I was to walk into a massage parlor room and lay down on a table moments after somebody else had left with that put me at risk for anything? Even if that person had an STD? 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
What has to happen to catch an STD, in a massage parlor or anywhere else, is to have real sex:  penile penetration into vagina, anus, or mouth. Touching or getting genital fluids on hands doesn't count. I said so in my reply to your question 4 months ago, where I also answered your question about no risk from lying on a massage table used for other clients. Re-read that reply.

STDs are not simply infections that involve the genitals. The bacteria and viruses that cause them evolved to require sex itself for transmission. That's why they're sexually transmitted in the first place. If less intimate exposures could transmit them, we would all be getting infected all the time from genital fluids on people's hands after using the toilet, scratching themselves, etc; they would be far more common than they are; and they wouldn't be classified as STDs.


---
44 months ago
Thank you again for your answer... So when I had those swollen lymph nodes, that wasn't from my visits to the massage parlors/receiving handjobs... also you had touched base on this I think... but would a small cut from shaving be a risk? I'm assuming you know where I'm going with this... this still wouldn't put me at risk? At what point would it put one at risk... thanks again doctor for all that you and your colleges do... 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
44 months ago
If you don't have sex -- penis in vagina or rectum or mouth -- you will never catch HIV or any STD. How many different ways and how many times do you need to hear it???

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so ends this thread. 

Please note that the forum does not permit repeated anxiety driven questions by the same users. This will have to be your last one; future new questions on this topic will be deleted without reply and without refund of your posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers; because experience shows that continued answers tends to simply prolong such anxieties, when the real answer normally should be professional counseling; and because such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. I trust you will understand.

Best wishes to you.

---