[Question #4972] Hand touched penis during massage - STD / HIV RISK ? Very nervous - PEP or not ?

24 months ago
Dear Doctor 

I was at a 5 star hotel in India last night which is part of the leading hotels of the world. I went for a regular deep tissue massage. I was covered with a towel alone. 

While massaging my quads ( I was lying on my stomach), I definitely felt the back of the hand of the massage touch my Penis 3-4 times . It wasn't intentional, I think but it definitely rubbed past my penis 3-4 times. I saw that the foreskin on my penis had also retracted.

There was nothing else that happened - no oral , hand job , no penetration etc . But I'm sure her hand rubbed past my penis and my skin had retracted. 

1. What if she had cuts on her hand and the blood touched my penis ? Wouldn't that put me at risk of HIV ?
2. Am I at risk of any other STD ? 
3. Should I start PEP ? 
4. What would you advise me to do ? Which tests ?

I am married and im really worried . There was no sexual angle to this whole thing , not from my side at least . but this has really shaken me up . Im so worried . Couldn't sleep last night . Haven't been able to eat . What should I do ? My worry is that her hand may have been bleeding although she massaged my shoulders for 20 minutes with oil before she got to my legs (and penis as a result ) 

Pls help . 


24 months ago
4. Also I had to get a tetanus shot today because I got injured by a knife . Tdap booster . Does it affect hiv window period ? I read it can cause false positives ? - is that true 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
24 months ago
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your question.

You seem to have a common misunderstanding about STDs -- that because they involve the genitals and other body cavities, that any contact with those areas, or fluids from them, can easily be trannsmitted. Not true:  the bacteria and viruses that cause them evolved to require sex itself, or at least massive exposure to infected fluids, for transmission to occur. They're called sexually transmitted for good reason! Nobody ever gets any STD from massage that doesn't include sex (e.g. oral sex for a "haplpy ending").  To your specific questions, so there is no misunderstanding:

1) It makes no difference if the masseuse had cuts on her hands. HIV is never transmitted by such contact, even when sexual fluids are used as lubricant.

2) For sure zero risk for all STDs.

3) You absolutely should not take PEP. I doubt you could find any doctor willing to prescribe it in this situation, unless you misrepresent the exposure or s/he is overtly unethical and in it for the money.

4) There is no point in testing for any of these infections.

5) There are no medications, vaccines, or anything else that have any effect on the modern HIV tests, and tetanus vaccine has no such effect. Also it is flatly false that it could cuase a false positve HIV test.

If and when you have unprotected vaginal or anal sex, you'll need to consider HIV testing. Even oral sex is zero risk for HIV. Don't waste any money, time, or emotional energy on testing. And if you have a regular sex partner, you can safely continue your normal sexual activities without putting her or him at risk for anything.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear. (But please try to avoid "what if" sorts of questions. Almost certainly there is nothing more you can describe about your massage that would change my advice.)

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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24 months ago
Thank you for your detailed reply - 

You have written “ nobody ever gets stds from massages that don’t include happy endings “ 

I just wanted to be sure that you read that her hand touched my penis a few times while massaging my quads - when I was lying on my stomach . Wouldn’t that qualify as hand genital contact - also known as happy ending massage with possible exposure to blood through a cut? 

I assume however that you read it and it doesn’t change your advise.
1. I am not at risk of any hiv through this brief hand genital contact of non sexual nature 
2. No pep required 
3. Continue unprotected sex with my wife 
24 months ago
I mean I assume that this brief contact of my exposed penis with her hand will not put me at any risk . 
24 months ago
My only fear is HIV . I know others are at least curable . I don’t want to pass that onto my family just as we start to plan to have kids. I feel so violated because I didn’t want any sexual contact with this masseuse and I wasn’t looking for it. But her hand grazing past my exposed penis has left me in so much doubt about hiv . Sorry to keep rambling about this 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
24 months ago
I carefully read your original quesition and understood these details. Neither the nature of the contact nor the other informaiton has changed my opinion or advice. No risk, no need for testing, safe to continue unprotected sex at home.

As I said above, try to not ask "what if" or clarification quesitons. There is nothing you will think of that would change the fact that this was no risk for HIV. Believe it and move on.
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