[Question #5681] Hpv study

21 months ago
The study says " As previously discussed, those relying on hand sanitizers to disinfect their hands would not be effectively killing HPV. It should be noted that in either case, this evidence potentially signals the ability for individuals to self-inoculate with HPV via their hands due to their own improper hygiene or that of others they come in physical, but non-sexual contact with." 

That part, "that of others that they come in physical, but non-sexual contact with."

Are they trying to say that you could pick up hpv from someone elses hand? Link to full article below:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1586/14787210.2014.959497
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
21 months ago
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your question.  I'll do my best to help.  

I reviewed the paper you found and feel that you are over interpreting it.  Nearly all genital HPV is transmitted through intimate sexual contact.  Most experts agree than a tiny proportion of infections may be transmitted in other ways but these should be considered the exceptions that "prove the rule".  The paper you provided was more than 5 years old (it was published five years ago so it was likely submitted even earlier than that) and raised the question about non sexual transmission but certainly did not answer it. As I said above, most experts would agree that this occurs but so rarely that it is simply not a practical concern.  Further the alcohol and other substances in hand sanitizer would damage viral particles, reducing if not eliminating their infectivity to others.  I stand behind my own and the statements that there is simply not sufficient transmission of HPV through and to genital transmission to be a reasonable concern/

the internet is not your friend here.  This older paper is not confirmed and was published in a journal which is not prominent in the field.  Just because a hypothesis was published does not mean that it was true.

I hope this assessment will help you to not worry further about acquisition of HPV through hand to genial contact, with or without hand sanitizer.  EWH
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21 months ago
I think there may be grey area about whether or not hand to genital transmission is possible, however, this is the first scientific study to suggest that hand-to-hand-to-genital is plausible. It mentions hpv on the hands and then plausible transmission from casual contact with someone. I assume this means something like shaking someone's hand who recently touched their infected genitals, then hpv is present on both parties hands. Either party could then masturbate and transmission could occur.

This seems like news to me, and why might a scientific study make such a claim?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
21 months ago
I'm not sure you read my response:
1. This is not a NEW article, it is five years old.
2.  This article does not provide new scientific data, it picks and chooses snipets of work published in other studies.
3.  Neither I nor most othe experts said that hand to genital contact NEVER transmits HPV, we said it was an inconsequential contributor to overall transmission.  that remains the opinion of the vast majority of most experts and the experience of those of us who have taken care of persons with HPV infections for year.

You are welcome to believe what you wish, of course however, as a person who has spent over 35 years doing STI research, going to scientific meetings, and reading the scientific literature on the subject, I can tell you that I do not agree that transfer of HPV from person to person through contamination of hands is a major mechanism of HPV transmission nor do most of my colleagues.  EWH
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21 months ago
Okay, so here is the part I am really interested in, you said "  Neither I nor most othe experts said that hand to genital contact NEVER transmits HPV." 

Okay, since we have established it my be a potential route. Would this have to be the infected individuals hands? Or could it be given to ones self via hand shaking someone with hpv dna on their hands, and then masturbating? 

If I have genital warts and then touch them and don't wash my hands after. Then say I shake hands with my brother. Let's say he does not wash his hands, and touches his genitals. Would that be the same hand to genital contact you are referring to?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
21 months ago
 The sorts of  hand to genital transmission events that you are suggesting are so rare that they have never been studied and likely will never be studied.  Just as it is theoretically possible that you could be struck by a meteorite falling from space while reading my reply it is just about as theoretically likely that  the sort of hand to Genital, hand shaking transmission of HPV and the man are you suggest will occur.  This kind of transmission is not a practical concerns. I really have nothing more to say.

 As per forum guidelines you have now received three replies to your questions.  Therefore this thread will now be closed. I have done my best to address your concerns and hope that I have reassured you that there is not meaningful transmission occurring as the result of Hand to genitall transmission of HPV.  This is not a realistic concern.  EWH
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