[Question #5067] Hepatitis B / std risks/exposure from massage

23 months ago
Hello doctors.

A few weeks ago (I am in the USA) I visited an Asian Massage Parlor (in the USA) and received a massage from a Chinese woman (presumably from China, she was speaking Chinese and had an accent). The massage ended in a happy ending, but what I am concerned about is:

1. During the massage (sounded like she had a cold) she had a runny nose and a drop of snot fell onto my chest. Gross but life goes on.
2. She also lightly kissed me on my lips.

Is this any risk for Hepatitis B or anything else (beyond the common cold)?  There was no sex. I touched her breats/nipples but did not touch her below the waist. I know that many Chinese individuals are born with hepatitis B. I have a young child at home and am now concerned I've potentially exposed them to something.

Thank you in advance.
23 months ago
One additional question, I am also thinking back to one time I received a brief blowjob from a woman (who I know was promiscuous).  Was there any risk from this for Hep B? Would testing even be recommended for any of the scenerios I mentioned or should I put it out of my mind and forget about it and move on? Thanks in advance.
23 months ago
PS - the blowjob scenario was not at the massage parlor but someone I met through work. Thanks.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
23 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

You're right that the main infection risk here is catching the massage worker's cold -- from the light kiss, not the nasal secretions on your chest. As for the hepaitits B virus, transmission requires much more intimaate contact than you had. There is no risk from kissing, nasal mucus on skin, fingering, etc. And contacting partners' breasts or nipples is no risk for HBV or any other STD. And while it was once true that many kids in China were born with HBV (congenitally infected),I suspect that has changed. In any case, such chronic HBV infections usually are not easily transmitted. All things considered, I see no risk at all for HBV infection from the massage events. As for oral sex, that also is very low risk for HBV; and if your co-worker partner is female, the chance is very low she has HBV, regardless of how sexually risky she might be. Finally, you cannot transmit HBV or any other STD to your child at home (assuming no sexual abuse, of course). I see no need for testing for HBV or anything else on account of these two events.

Are you sure you were not vaccinated against hepatitis B? It has been a routine childhood vaccine for over 20 years in most countries. If you were vaccinated, then no worries at all. If not, given your concerns about it, I strongly recommend you be vaccinated now. Then you can stop worrying entirely. 

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

HHH, MD
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23 months ago
Thank you so much doctor. this is really helpful. I do see that the other doctor who writes her has stated on other posts that no one has ever received Hep B from receiving oral sex. I was botn in the states in the early 80s. Honestly I am unsure if I am vaccinated from Hep B as a child.

To sum up, you see no reason that I should get tested. It's safe for me to continue to have unprotected sex with my wife with no concerns?

Thanks again this was really helpful.
23 months ago
ps- i do know that the woman i received a blowjob from is positive for type 2 Herpes. I've never had sex with her, only received a brief blowjob one time. Your advice re "no worries-no need for testing or concern" remains the same?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
23 months ago
This is an edited reply -- you wrote the herpes question while I was writing my comments.

Both I and Dr. Hook have said exactly that on this forum:  little or no risk of HBV from oral sex. Assuming your parents were not anti-vaccine when you were young, probably you were immunized against HBV. If you know who your pediatrician was and if s/he is still in practice (or if the same office still exists, even with different doctors), you probably could find out with a phone call. If that's not practical, a blood test can tell if you were vaccinated and are now immune.

The main risks from unprotected oral sex are gonorrhea, nongonococcal urethritis (NGU), and genital herpes due to herpes simplex virus type 1, the HSV type that causes oral herpes. There is no significant from oral sex from someone who has HSV2 or genital herpes due to either virus type. You don't say when the oral sex event with your co-worker occurred, but imply it was a long time ago. If you have had no symptoms since then (penile discharge, painful urination, genital sores), you can safely assume you have no STD from that event. You can continue sex with your wife without worry. 

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23 months ago
Thanks doctor. The oral sex occurred a year or more ago. I wasn't concerned about HSV2 (she said she had gential herpes, not oral). I did not have any complications due to the blowjob. No sores, bumps, discharge, nothing.  I guess Hep B was on my mind which prompted the post.

Thanks, I'll put all of this out of my mind and move right along. lol
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
23 months ago
OK, thanks for the clarification. It's safe for you to move on without worry. But still maybe a good idea for you to sort out your HBV vaccination/immunity status, if you find yourself still worried about it.

I hope the discussion has been helpful. Best wishes.
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