[Question #5095] Am I at any risk for Hep B or C from making out/getting a brief blowjob?

25 months ago
A random though just popped into my head. About two years ago, I met a woman online (we are both in the USA). We hooked up (she is not a sex worker). We kissed a bit and she gave me a brief blowjob. I also fingered her a little.

Am I at any risk for Hep B or C from this encounter? I know that my chances of HIV and other STDs else are essentially zero (I  saw no discharge, rashes, bumps etc after the event) but just wanted to get an expert's opinion. Would like to put this random Hep B/C  thing that is in my brain to rest haha. Any need for testing or should I just move on with my life and forget about it?

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
25 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

That was a very safe sexual exposure. In general, oral sex should be viewed as safe sex, even if not condom protected. It's not completely free of STD risk, but the risk is low (much lower than unprotected vaginal or anal sex) for all STDs and virtually zero for some. The virtually zero group includes HIV and the hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV). I've never had a patient, or heard of a case, of HBV or HCV being acquired by oral to penile exposure. And hand-genital contact, fingering, and kissing for sure are risk free.

If you were raised in the US or most industrialized countries, including China, Korea, or other developed area of Asia (I'm riffing on your username), then probably you wer vaccinated during childhood against HBV. If so, you have lifelong immunity and will never be at risk for it. If not, consider being vaccinated now. As for HCV, it's really not an STD at all in the usual sense, despite what you might have been taught or what you have read online. The only proved sexual transmission scenario for HCV is potentially traumatic (i.e. bloody) anal sex among men having sex with other men. And even then, HCV is rare except in MSM who already have HIV. There is no significant risk from heterosexual sex, including vaginal or anal sex.

So no worries and for sure no need for testing for HBV, HCV, or any other STD on account of the exposure you have described.

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