[Question #3107] Risk?????

40 months ago
Hello doctors, I'm a 25 years old, female, staying in a motel in Texas for now. Travelling for job interviews. I was using a bathroom and my phone slipped and fell inside the trash in the bathroom I was using. I felt totally gross, but couldnt let go my phone obviously. I picked it out with my bare hands. I did wash it with water and the soap provided, but the soap was dilute according to my knowledge, so i dont know if it was strong enough to clean all the germs. And to my horror, I cleaned my genitals after urinating, and I always insert the fingers a lil into the vagina , as my routine cleaning process. I'm horrified with the thought of putting myself at risk for HIV/HCV. I'm fully immunised against HBV and HPV. I fear somebody's body fluids might have been on the tissue in the trash which i might have picked up while getting my phone.  Do i need to get tested? is hand-genital transmission a risk for spread for hiv/hcv in my case?? ( also please note i inserted the fingers in my vagina ).  Waiting to hear your expert opinion. Thank You.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be happy to comment and hope to provide you with reassurance that the events you describe does not put you at any meaningful risk for STI acquisition of any sort.  Even if the tissue in the trash can your phone fell into had been used by someone with an STI (including HIV) or hepatitis C (which is very rarely sexually transmitted).  STI organisms are fragile and become non-infectious upon exposure to room temperate and the environment.  Further, these microbes would also "stick" to the fibers which made the tissue.  Finally, the transfer of material from the genital to a tissue and then onto your phone and/or hand would also eliminate any chance of infection.  Putting all of this together, I can assure you that the events you describe did not put you at ANY risk for STI of any sort.

Parenthetically, please allow me to congratulate you on having been vaccinated against hepatitis B and HPV.  These are wise practices which I wish more people would do. 

I hope these comments are helpful to you.  EWH
---
40 months ago
Thank you so much for your assistance Doc. Also if i broke a big pimple on my vulva with the same hands, which lead to profuse bleeding, does the risk change??
40 months ago
Also, thank you for appreciating my efforts to get vaccinated. :D
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
that you broke/squeezed a vulvar pimple does not change my opinion.  This practice is not a good idea as it can lead to infection with normal skin bacteria.  It is better to let pimples like this grow and break on their own- hot compresses can help this.  Breaking the pimple however in this situation does not put you at risk for any STI.  Please don't worry about this.  EWH
---