[Question #4224] Follow up tp question #3986

33 months ago
Hi Doctors, 

I had an alere rapid HIV combo test at day 47(paid for it privately) post strip club incident and was negative.  Is this conclusive enough to leave it alone and move on?

Also at the time my main fear and anxiety was mainly Hiv but now I am worrying badly about syphilis, hep b and c and genital herpes. as well as chlamydia and gonnorhea. And am dabbling whether to test for them for good measure, your thoughts?

I also a couple of days ago noticed a sore like blemish on my penis about under a centimetre away from the pubic hair region on the shaft. It doesnt hurt or itch or tingle in anyway and don't know what to do or whether it is syphilis or herpes. I went to my nhs gum clinic in the UK after work hoping to show them but I walked out as it was full and most likely would've been dismissed by reception. I have a gp appointment booked later today but cant help but think they'll dismiss it as nothing serious or just send me to the busy and the un accesible NHS gum clinic. I dont know what to do and am freaking out. Its affecting my life in a bad way im always anxious not enjoying anything and hobbies like I used to before this incident at the strip club. Do you think it could be herpes or syphilis from the exposure described in the last question I posted and is it worth testing for the rest of the stis mentioned in this question? 

Im trying to rationalise it as a chafe from eg tight underwear or over masturbation or maybe even sweat from not showering quick enough after exercising whilst in the tight underwear.  

Kind Regards and thanks in advance.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
Welcome back, but sorry you found it necessary. You were told in no uncertain terms that the exposure you asked about was zero risk, but you obviously had trouble believing or understanding it. But I'm not going to reexplain that aspect. Should any of your STD/HIV tests ever be positive, now or in the future, it won't be from that event.

Your HIV result is conclusive. I advise against testing for any of the other STDs mentioned. From your description, the "blemish" on your penis undoubtedly is not an STD and has nothing to do with the non-exposure event described earlier. Still, because of your worry about it, it would make sense for you to show it to a health professional. I don't know why your an NHS clinic or your GP would "dismiss" your concerns before even hearing your story. They might might decline to offer testing, assuming they agree with me that the risk was nil. But still, they would be willing to examine the blemish, which would be more reassuring than anything i can say about it.

That you are "freaking out", in view of the reasoned, science based reassurance you have had, is evidence of a mental health or emotional issue. If you cannot shake these worries, professional counseling would make sense.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
33 months ago
Hi Doctor Handsfield,

Thanks again for the promt reply. Yes I am trying to convince myself from testing unnecessarily as all it will do is feed my anxiety and give me undue stress.

I showed my sore/blemish to my gp and she said it looks like dry skin and to use cream or moisturiser, the cream I used was e45 and the dry skin began to come off and underneath was new fresh pink skin. Suppose what worries me is that it was 'painless', common with syphilis sores. 

1. Would you say given that this sore appered nearly 7 weeks after the strip club incident that its unlikely to be syphilis and/or as the sores normally appear a lot sooner if I was actually exposed?

2. also is it true  that syphilis  sores do not disappear in the space of 3 to 4 days like my sores did?

3. I know that hiv virus dies very quickly, would you say the same for herpes and syphilis? I hear hep b and c live longer than hiv and are much more infectious outside the body is that true?

Yes I am seeing a counsellor for my anxiety, and may look to see my gp for treatment if it doesn't help.

I know your advice to see a counsellor is for my own good and i appreciate that. And I am sorry to burden you, feel that's all I am to everyone these days.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
1) 7 weeks is too long for any STD.
2) True.
3) The reason HIV is no risk has nothing to do with the virus dying in the air. Not known for herpes and syphilis. What is known, however, is that exposures like yours never transmit these of any other STD.

32 months ago
Hello Again doctor

Back again and still doing stupid things. I went back again to the strip club a couple of weeks ago, had a lap dance from one of the dancers, no sex whatsoever. I did however touch her buttock and im sure she briefly fingered herself and then touched her butt before I did which means she probably left some vaginal fluid on her buttocks. After this I did lots of things with my hands eg smoked some cigarettes, put on my jacket, went to the casino and played blackjack etc. However 30 minutes to an hour after the strip club encounter I touched a healing cut on my gum with my finger under my front top teeth(it was bleeding profusely a few hours prior, however after touching it with my finger I touched with a tissue and pressed hard and only a small red dot barely 1mm showed on the tissue.

1,Have I put myself at risk from touching this semi healing wound from infections like hiv, hep b, hep c or syphilis if I had small amounts of vaginal fluid on my fingers?

2, would testing be necessary?

3, I'm asking because I keep seeing conflicting stuff online, like hiv dying instantly outside the body and some saying it can live for hours. As well as hepatitis b and c being 100 times more infectious than hiv. Also read somewhere syphilis can also be spread by indirect contact and casual contact. 

Your thoughts?

4, Also read fluids can transmits stis indirectly on cuts to in ways I described re; my 2nd and final strip club encounter.  Is this true?

Thanks in advance Dr and sorry to keep bothering you. Think its best I avoid strip clubs altogether from now on.
32 months ago
Sorry again Doctor i'm only asking because I'm single and would love to start dating but the thought of having an undiagnosed std especially Hiv and passing it onto a woman I well and truly care about terrifies me.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
32 months ago
1) Nope, still no risk. Without a bare penis (no condom) inside another person's vagina, rectum or mouth, there is no STD risk. It's not that complicated!

2) No testing is necdssary.

3) Too much often is made of the possible biological reasons for no known risk from such event, like drying, oxygen exposure, etc, etc. The reasons such exposures carry no risk, and there is also no risk from exposure to HIV or other STDs in the environment (e.g. contact with blood or body fluids on toilet seats, etc, etc), are not well understood. The important thing is not the biological reasons, but the overwhelming data that such exposures are risk free. That's what you should focus on, not the possible biological reasons.

4) Here too, you're focusing on theoretical risks that seem plausible but which occur so rarely that STD/HIV experts rarely if ever see infected patients who only had exposures of this sort.

From an STD standpoint, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot have a healthy and rewarding sex life. Just do it.

Since visiting strip clubs clearly makes you anxious, I agree it would make sense to stop doing it. As the old saying goes, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But not because you will actually reduce your risk of any STD, only because you'll sleep better (and not have to ask about zero risk events on this or other forums!). Just remember that without a bare penis (no condom) inside another person's vagina, rectum or mouth, you will never be at risk for any STD. Disregard all other events that might worry you. 

That concludes this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful. Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. Let's make this your last one on this topic. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers; because experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties; and because such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. Thank you for your understanding.