[Question #3192] STD Exposure

39 months ago
~2 weeks ago visited strip club and fingered stripper for a few minutes. No fresh/bleeding cuts, but I often bite skin on fingers. very anxious about HIV, HSV, and syphillis. fingers have been feeling weird for a week, but i attribute it to anxiety, guilt, and hypersensitivity. Did a blood test at day 11 and was negative for everything. if i don't develop any lesions and have a second blood test done on day 17, can i rest easy (assuming test comes out as negative)? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I'll be glad to comment.  STIs are not transmitted by masturbation of an infected partner.  In your situation, it is unlikely that the dancer you "fingered" had an STI and even if she did, your actions would not put you at risk for infection.  If you had asked me if you needed testing, I would tell you no  Your negative tests support that you were not infected and no further testing is needed.

I should add that exposure of fingers with cuts or scrape to herpes lesions can rarely lead to a "herpetic whitlow" (herpes infection of the finger) which would present as painful sores and blisters on your fingers.  If you were going t o get a whitlow from the exposure you describe, you would have developed new, painful sores on your fingers by now. 

You are in the clear and can move forward without concern and without further testing.  EWH
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39 months ago
Thank you for such a prompt response, Dr. Hook. Your words are very encouraging. As a single follow up, I'd like to get your take on focused anxiety. Dr. HHH has said a lot on genitally focused anxiety, but what about other parts of the body? The fingers that were exposed have been tingling and having a generally weird sensation for over a week now. Is this simply because of hypersensitivity? Can the mind really play such cruel tricks?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
Absolutely  The mind is powerful and "edits" out many sensations which, if we were looking for and focusing on them, we would experience, usually as tingling.  This can occur anywhere on the body.  As an example, take a minute to focus on the sensation of a shirt collar on your neck or where a sleeve touches your arm- most people will suddenly become aware that they can feel these sensations which they do not normally notice.  Tingling of fingers as you are describing in not a sign of any STI but certainly could be brought on by anxiety.  EWH
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39 months ago
Hi Doc, its now 18/19 days post-exposure and i'm still anxious/stressed about this event. I've noticed that the finger in question has been a little bit thicker/swollen than the same finger in my non-dominant hand for at least 7 days; it's not red and doesn't hurt. I'm not sure when it started (may have been before the exposure, but I just noticed since my anxiety has me constantly observing). Occasionally, the finger tip right below the nail where I clip the nail will feel a quick throb that hurts very little. Are these signs of HSV? In my state of anxiety, I also did a HIV/RNA test a few days back for which I have not received results (I'm clearly stressed about this incident). Thanks
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
The area of swelling you describe sounds nothing like a herpetic whitlow and you are now beyond the time when a herpes lesions would be expected to appear.  I am also confident that you will not be the first person to acquired HIV from masturbating a partner and thus, that your HIV test will be negative. 

You really are worrying too much.  Since this is my 3rd reply to your questions, this thread will be closed later today.  Take care and really, please don't worry about any risk related to the events you have described.  EWH
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