[Question #5820] Hpv, worry and guilt

19 months ago
I am concerned that I may have given, or will give someone hpv thru sharing of chapstick. I am not certain that I have, or have had oral hpv, but definitely have been at risk. My concern is that chapstick is moist, so would the hpv be active as long as it is moist?

Also, I have had genital hpv in the past. I have masturbated using wearing bracelets. Now other people may have those bracelets. My concern is that baby oil may be on the bracelet from rubbing on my genetalia. Since baby oil never dries, would the hpv still be active since it may not have ever dried out? If the individual now masturbated with the same bracelet they could be at risk.

Same for toilet seat transmission. What if my infected genitalia containing baby oil touches the seat, and it remains oily or moist, could the next person get hpv this way if their genitalia touches the same moist area?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
Welcome back to our Forum although I must say that I am troubled by the fact that you continue to worry about HPV risks, this being your 3rd question over the past month.  I think your worry is out of proportion to your risk.  Your questions about chapstick, baby oil, bracelets and toilet seats all were answered by Dr. Handfield what he said "Among other things, even the busiest STD clinics and dermatology practices never see patients with genital warts or other HPV issues who have not had sex. If toilet seats or other environmental contamination could transmit HPV or other STDs, there would be at least occasional patients without the traditional risks"

HIV is virtually entirely transmitted through genital contact.  Fear of transmission of acquisition on inanimate objects, even when potential factors which might promote local moisture such as occurs with chap stick or skin covered with baby oil is simply not a concern.  

My sense is that you are primarily worried about giving HPV to others.  The most concise advice I can give you is to get over it. The sorts of events and circumstances you have posted about over the past month are simply non issues with NO clinical experience to suggest that these are realistic concerns.  OTOH, if you have concerns about getting HPV, the answer is simple- get the vaccine.  It is highly effective and safe.  If you are having trouble controlling your concerns about HPV, that is a different matter and suggests that you may benefit from discussiong you inappropriate fears with a trained counselor or mental health professional.  
EWH
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19 months ago
Hopefully I can quit worrying soon, but I have recently began ordering thicker cotton shirts. I had a wart that was near my waistline, that my underwear may not cover. These thicker cotton shirts are less see thru, so I am thinking they provide more protection from skin to skin conact.

While wearing thin material, I could hug someone and some of my skin could maybe be coming thru the shirt. If they are not wearing a shirt, or a thin one, that is where my mind starts wondering if it could be putting them at risk.

The shirts are hotter in the summer and I would prefer to wear something lighter or thinner. What should I do?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
A wart near your waistline is probably not a genital wart.  There are over 100 different types of HPV and the majority of them do not cause genital infections.  Different types of warts tend to infect different types of skin.  For instance the HPV types that cause warts on the hands or feet (plantar warts) do not infect the genital tract.  There is no need to worry about transmission of a wart on your abdomen or waist to someone through your shirt.  

You appear to have a profound misunderstanding of HPV, warts and how they are spread.  Once again, I urge you to seek counseling and care by trained professionals.  EWH
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19 months ago
Lets say it were a genital wart, would that still not be a risk? The lighter shirts have small holes in them where the fabric is woven. Also, I used a small object to test the durability of the shirts to see if it would penetrate. Now I am considering throwing out all of those shirts, since small holes may have been created. I can't really tell from the naked eye.
Yes I am in therapy.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
19 months ago
Final answer.  Even if it were a genital wart, there would be no meaningful risk of transmission to others through a shirt through your activities of daily of living including casual contact such as hugging, someone brushing against the area, etc.  HPV is not transmitted through material.  Your concerns are completely misplaced.

As you should know, we provide up to three responses to each client's questions.  This is my 3rd response.  therefore this thread will be closed shortly without further replies.  My final advice to you however is to print this exchange and show it to your therapist.  EWH
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