[Question #2167] Massage eye

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85 months ago
Hiya docs: yesterday I had a massage with a transsexual woman. No sexual contact at all. She did massage my face to help my sinuses. After the massage at the front desk, I noticed what looked like some blood on her lips. I also saw a stain on my shirt that maybe was blood from her. I worried what if she got blood from her lips into my eyes while she was massaging my face. If she got blood into my eye while massaging my face, is this a risk? Any other risk from this potential blood contact?
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
85 months ago
The premises of your question sound very unrealistic. How many people have blood on their lips? Blood stains on cloth usually are very obviously blood, not "maybe blood". And then you are worrying she might have blood on her hands; and that somehow that got in your eye, even though your eyes presumably were not directly contacted during the massage. And on top of all this, most transsexual women do not have HIV, so it probably is unlikely your massage lady has HIV.

Perhaps most important, nobody in the world has ever been known to catch HIV during a massge. You don't be the first. I wouldn't worry about HIV or anything else from this event and advise against testing, assuming this is your only potential risk.

HHH, MD

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85 months ago
Thanks dr. Another question which I think I know the answer too: I often get large pimples which can be severe and sometimes bleed. I had some of these pimples at my massage. Would these pimples also not be a risk for me if my massage therapist did have blood or other secretions on her hands or body?

I looked at the forum and I saw you give advice like: no penetration sex and no sharing needles means no hiv. I want to beleive this but it's hard to get my mind and round how my eyes or bleeding pimples and no risk. Any thoughts or advice about this would be most deeply appreciated
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85 months ago
Oh yes, and does snot (from someone's nose) transmit hiv? If the snot is bloody? Thanks
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
85 months ago
Of course there are no data on whether exposure of pimples might be risky. But as I said, there are no known cases by massage -- and a little refelction will tell you there must have been millions if not billions of massage of customers with pimples. But no known transmissions by massage. What does that tell you? As for nasal mucus, again no known cases. Therefore, we have to assume it's no risk, or low enough to be ignored.

You hae correclty quoted the current status of scientific knowledge:  "no penetration sex and no sharing needles means no hiv". I could have said it better myself. Notice that I'm not saying that exposures like you ask about are zero risk. Just that if they are a risk, they are so low that nobody is aware of any such transmissions ever occurring. I can't guarantee it won't happen to you, just as I cannot guarantee you won't be struck by a meteorite someday. But I would not advise you to take any precautions against it.
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85 months ago
Thanks doc. I'm feeling great because of your expert advice. I was hoping I could ask you one more quick question about another matter. 

On December 16th I made out with a female coworker. I don't think anything sexual happened but I was fairly drunk and it may have. I had hsv1 and hsv2 tests on February 14th. I had hsv1 for as long as I can remember so I knew that would be positive. My feb 14th hsv2 was negative. Is my testing on Feb 14th conclusive for hsv2 if December 16th was only potential encounter? The test name was hsv2 igg type specific ab. I never had any noticeable symptoms of an outbreak.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
85 months ago
It takes up to 3 months, sometimes even 4 months, for the HSV2 IgG test to become positive, and you were tested about 2 months after the possible exposure. At that time, the negative result is around 80-90% reliable, so probably you weren't infected. However, on the basis of the blood test alone, it isn't possible to know for sure whether or not you acquired HSV2. It seems likely you were not exposed; it's awfully rare to not remember a sexual exposure, especially with a new partner, no matter how drunk someone is. And not having had symptoms of new genital herpes also is reassuring. Had you asked before being tested, I would have strongly recommended you not do it. But now that you have had one test that was too early to know for sure, you might want do it again now (5 months after the possible encounter). You can expect it to remain negative.

That completes the two follow-ups and replies included with each thread and so concludes this discussion. Take care and stay safe.

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