[Question #3709] HPV transmission.

33 months ago
Thanks for answering my previous question on Herpes 2. I have a new question. I have HPV.I was at a party and went to get some ice cream. I couldn't get the ice cream off the spoon, so I used my fork to scrape it off. I forgot I had just used the fork to take a bite of something. I put the spoon back into the ice cream to get a bit more when I realized my mistake. I didn't know what to do, so I replaced the spoon with a new one. If I had an HPV wart in my mouth at the time, and touched it or penetrated it with the fork when I used it, and then used the fork to scrape off the spoon and put the spoon in the ice cream, could I have or did i expose anyone to HPV, via saliva, or Hpv virus on the spoon from the wart?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
Welcome back to the forum.

HPV is only transmitted by intimate personal, sexual contact. It is not transmitted through foods, or shared utensils, drinking glasses, towels, toilets, kitchens etc.

Have you been diagnosed with an oral HPV infection? If not, there's obviously even lower risk than otherwise. If there was any theoretical risk of transmitting any infection to someone else in this way, it would be if you happened to have a cold, the flu, or something like that. Even with that, there would be little if any risk. For sure there is no risk for transmitting HPV, herpes, or any other STD.

This is your third question about nonsexual contact and transmission of HSV or HPV. They are ONLY transmitted by sex (or by kissing, in the case of an oral HSV infection). Everybody knows that other kinds of contact are risk free for these and other STDs. Please keep that in mind before asking any further questions about other modes of transmission.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

---
33 months ago
Dear Dr. , nobody has looked in my mouth for an oral HPV infection, and I am afraid to because I may think something is when it’s not. You said there is lower risk than otherwise with no oral infection, then you say for sure there is no risk for transmitting hpv. So does that include oral hpv or wart? Also, I licked the old spoon. What if someone mistakenly picked that spoon up and used it to their mouth or in their coffee or something. Would they be at any risk at all? 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
I'm afraid you're overanalyzing my comments. With or without overt oral warts, the transmission risk from an event like this is zero, or sufficiently close to zero that you can ignore it -- even if someone "picked up that spoon and used to their mouth". If such events could transmit HPV orally, there would be at least an occasional patient with oral warts whose mouth had not been sexually exposed to HIV. But there are no such persons.

And you can safely assume you don't have oral warts anyway. Most people notice them without having to actually examine themselves in a mirror.

---
33 months ago
Thanks for your reply. My issue is , that when you say sufficiently close to zero, that leaves room in my ocd type thinking that there is a possibility, no matter how small, and thus I fear someone could get oral hpv and thus oral cancer, or cervical cancer, and die, and it would be my fault for not warning people at the party about what happened. I am getting back on medication for ocd , but I don’t want to use my ocd either as an excuse to not warn people if there is any risk. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
I'm sorry, but it is not my or other experts' responsibility to modify or tweak our replies to provide the increased assurances that OCD may require. I guess you'll just have to live with the theoretical possibility that you will experience an event that has never been known to occur previously. But whatever you do, you should NOT warn anybody on account of an event like this, which would be unethical and irresponsible.

That completes two follow-up questions and replies and so concludes this thread. Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure, and I put your two previous questions in the same category as this one. This will have to be your last one; future new questions from you about non-sexual transmission risks of HPV, herpes or any other STI will be receive no reply, without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties rather than reducing them. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. Thank you for your understanding.
---