[Question #3899] Nose question

33 months ago
I visited a go-go bar in Thailand where prostitutes dance and do routines which involve fingering themselves. After the routine one of the girls who was doing this called me over and shook my hand, and held my hand for a few seconds. Im concerned about vaginal secretions on her hands being transferred to my hand. Im worried because i had a sore in my nose that night and had a tendency to pick at it and make it sort of ooze and bleed a little bit.  It was like a HSV1 sore, which i usually get on my lip but this time it was like i had one just inside my nostril, or maybe a different type of sore, im not sure. Is there any risk of HIV transmission by me picking at this sore on my nose after the handshakes? I hope such an indirect (and non-sexual) transmission route is simply not possible regardless of the nose lesion, is this right?

I also visited other similar clubs that night and shook hands with girls there but i didnt see them touching themselves first, although they might easily have, as they were sometimes naked.  There was no other contact apart from hand to hand contact.

I did also masterbate after returning home and without washing my hands first.

Is there any hiv risk from these events?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

There is no realistic chance you have HIV or any other STD from this event. First, it is rarely possible to carry enough infected fluid, bacteria, or viruses on the fingers to transmit STDs. For example, direct fingering or hand-genital contact doesn't transmit STDs, even when genital fluids are used for lubrication. Second, the opening and lining of the nose are lined by kinds of tissue and cells (called squamous epithelium) that are completely resistant to HIV and highly resistant to all STDs.

For these same reasons, there was no risk you were infected by masturbating, even with possible small amounts of vaginal fluid still on your hands.

So no worries and no need for testing on account of these events. If you have a regular sex partner, you can safely continue your usual sexual practices with no risk of transmitting HIV or any STD.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD

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33 months ago
Thanks for your reply. Yes, it seemed far fetched to get infected with HIV or anything this way, but i just wanted to be sure. Can i ask, did the presence of the sore in my nose increase the risk at all or is it irrelevant based on the unlikely transmission route? Could I have comprimised the protective lining? Do i need to be careful in such places about touching these sores and making them bleed?
33 months ago
Further to my follow up question regarding the nose sore above, i note in your response  ‘If you have a regular sex partner, you can safely continue your usual sexual practices with no risk of transmitting HIV or any STD’  so is it fair to say you consider this a zero risk event?. Fact is im happily married which is why i didnt engage in any sexual activity that night.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
For sure this was a zero risk event, even if you had an open sore in your nose. The busiest HIV/AIDS and STD clinics never have patients without the standard exposures (sexual, injection drug use).Nobody in the world ever caught HIV from anything like this. The biological reasons don't matter -- even if a theoretical risk can be imagined, it just doesn't happen. Do your best to stop worrying about it.

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33 months ago
Ok, message understood. Thanks for all your help.
33 months ago
Final question, ive been reading through the forum,  so it is correct in summary that as long as i dont engage in unprotected penetrative sex (Including oral - even though very low risk) or do needles, i could never become infected (by any STD) from sorts of casual contacts, like handshakes,cheek kissing, sharing drinks, touching fluids on objects like door handles etc (regardless of cuts or sores) and i dont need to worry about these regardless of the frequency? 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
Yes, that is a correct summary.

That concludes the two follow-up questions and replies included in each thread, and so ends this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful.
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