[Question #5703] Exposure Question

19 months ago
Hi Doctors,

I have read these forums which have again answered my queries but for reassurance will ask directly.

I have stupidly had another incident with a sex worker of African origin. In short, she gave me a lap dance, both of us fully clothed, with grinding of her butt on my scrotum area. I touched her vagina on top of her dress whilst we were both clothed. Then, I stayed clothed and she became naked - at which point I touched and played with her breasts, stomach and bottom. I didn’t touch her vagina or anus while she was naked. Afterwards, I first washed and dried my hands and then subsequently masturbated myself without any further touching from her or me to her.  Intellectually I understand that this is zero risk but my seemingly irrational anxiety still seems to get the better of me. Do you agree this is a zero risk event for any STI? Is testing needed?

Thank you 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
 Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question. It is my pleasure to agree with your assessment. The events you describe are absolutely no risk. Even if the dancer had HIV ( you do not know that she did )  HIV  and other STI's are not spread through clothing, even clothing that becomes wet with genital secretions. Similarly infections are not spread by touching or by transfer from one person to another on someone's hands. There is no reason for concern from the events you describe and no need for testing. 

 I hope this information is helpful to you. Take care. EWH 
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19 months ago
Thank you Dr. Hook.

So, as I understand it from reading this forum,  in the absence of direct vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the penis (i.e. male female penetrative sex) there is no ability to become infected with an STD, even for example if you touch/rub your penis with vaginal fluid on your hand (assuming of course the fluid actually carries a virus)? I take it this is because the virus will die on exposure to the atmosphere and alternatively because it has no pathway to enter the urethra? 

I suppose if you only touch other parts of someone i.e. not the vagina, no STI virus is generally carried on those parts so again, combined with washing hands before touching yourself this is zero risk activity?

Thanks again
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
Yes, once again, I am pleased to confirm your assessment. The gonococcus is a fragile, fastidious bacterium which becomes non-infectious on exposure to the environment.  In addition, to cause infection, there must be direct contact with specific types of epithelial cells found only on the inside of the urethra or at the cervix of women.  The organism is not transmitted by transfer of genital secretions from person to person on a person's hands.  EWH---
19 months ago
Thank you Dr Hook.

You say gonnoccus but I assume this extends to all sexually transmitted infections? Ie it is always the case that direct contact between the epithelial cells is required? 

Finally, does any STI present with the symptom of frequent urination?

Thank you 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
Second question first.  Urinary frequency is NOT a symptom of any STI.  It is however a symptom of anxiety.

For the second question, yes direct contact is required for all STD transmission (including HIV).  For some, less common STIs (syphilis, herpes) the type of epithelial cells vary but direct contact is still required.

This is my 3rd response to this set of questions.  Thus, as per Forum guidelines, this thread will be closed shortly without further replies.  Take care.  EWH
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