[Question #168] Question

37 months ago
The other night, my partner and I fooled around. We did not have have oral or vaginal intercourse, but he did finger me and i gave him a handjob. Now, I know herpes cannot be passed this way. But at one point we were both naked and i'm concerned that his penis may of touched my anus or vagina. There was definitely NO penetration. When the light was on, I did inspect his penis, scrotum and pubic area and do not recall seeing any bumps, sores or lesions. However, I know this doesn't matter when it comes to herpes. My anxiety is causing me so much agony.

Questions: 
What are the chances of contracting herpes from this genital to genital contact or frottage?

Have you ever seen someone acquire herpes from genital to genital contact, but no penetration or intercourse?

Should I be worried?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
37 months ago
Good morning Danielle,
Should you be worried?  NO. 
I'm a little confused about which of you has herpes but it really doesn't matter - the kind of contact that you describe does not present a risk for herpes transmission.  While it is tempting to believe that herpes is extremely contagious, with only minimal contact resulting in infection, that really isn't the case.  A paper published recently out of the University of Washington clearly defines that for adult to adult transmission, a specific amount of virus needs to be present and a touch of his penis to your anus or vagina without active and prolonged rubbing in those areas or penetration is not going to transmit herpes.  I personally have never, in 33 years of practice, specializing in genital herpes, seeing thousands and thousands of patients with this problem over the years, seen a case of herpes transmitted from a penis merely touching an anus or a vagina, no. 

Anxiety can sure get the best of us, but I think you can take this one off your plate in terms of worry.

Terri
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37 months ago
Thank you very much Terri, that relieved me tremendously.

Have you ever seen a case where someone got genital herpes, that did NOT have oral or vaginal/anal sex but just fooled around? 
Not considering auto inoculation. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
37 months ago
LOL, it depends upon what you mean by fooling around - that can have many aspects to it!  If you engaged in prolong and vigorous genital to genital rubbing with no clothing between, I have seen transmission.  That may present even more friction thus more broken skin than intercourse with a well lubricated vagina.  Do you see my point here?

Terri
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