[Question #3102] HPV risk from Handjob

40 months ago
Hi Drs,

I had an encounter with a CSW recently that is causing me a lot of anxiety and I'm hoping you might be able to put my mind at ease.  Basically I got a hand job and I'm concerned about the risk of HPV from genital - hand - genital contact.

Before the massage the CSW and me took a shower.  There was no soap but the CSW washed her vagina a bit using hot water only and her hand at the end of the shower.  After drying off she then gave me a hand job.  Is there a risk of HPV infection from this experience?  I'm really concerned about risk from contamination from when she washed her vagina to her hand and then to my genitals.  Does this sound feasible and am I now a risk to my regular partner?

Also, I don't know if this will make a difference but I recently had two of the three shots of the Gardasil 9 vaccine (Shot 1 and then Shot 2 about 2-3 months later).  I'm due back for third shot but will this be effective to some degree after two shots?

Many thanks Drs,
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I happened to be on the site soon after your question arrived so you will be receiving a reply a bit sooner than is the norm. 

The event you describe is verylow risk for acquistion of HPV.  The transmission of HPV is not completely understood,  While there is no doubt that most HPV is spread through DIRECT sexual contact, there may be a very small proportion of infections spread by other means such as the sort of indirect contact you describe,  If this does occur, it is quite rare and in your circumstances, acquisition of infection would be rarer than for most persons.   There are several reasons that I say this.  First, and most importantly, you have received the HPV vaccine (good work!) and even after two of the three injections, most people have protective antibodies (the 3rd shot consolidates this protective effect).  Second, genital to hand to genital transmission of STIs is a biologically inefficient process.  With each transfer less infectious material (virus in the situation you describe) is transferred.  Third, even most direct single exposures do not lead to infection and in the case you describe the presence of water in the shower and the fact that your partner dried her hand with a towel would have removed HPV present on her hand.  Putting all of these facts together, your risk of infection is close to, if not zero. 

Several other comments which I hope will further reduce your concerns.  If your regular partner has had other partners and has not had the vaccine, she likely already has HPV as to the majority of sexually active adults.  Personally, I think the events you describe are very, very low risk for HPV acquisition.  Further, since there is no test for accurate diagnosis of HPV in men, there is no way to test to rule out the possibility of infection.

In summary, the event you describe was very low risk for HPV.  I would not worry.  I hope my comments are  helpful to you.  EWH
---
40 months ago
Thanks Dr,

Your reply definitely helps put my mind at ease.  Do you think there is any need I change my normal sexual practices with my current partner or given the very low risk this wouldn't be necessary?

Thanks,
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
No, I see no reason to modify your normal sexual activity with your regular partner in any way related to the event you described.  EWH
---