[Question #588] Question for Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield: Herpes from massage by touching outbreak

42 months ago

I got a sensual oil massage from a male in a pretty dark room. As the massage goes, I used my hand to touch his penis, and I felt there were several bumps on his genital area. He used his hand to massage my body and helped me to jerk off for 10 seconds( during the massage he touched his own penis), then I used the hands that I touch his penis to masterbate myself. I asked him what are the red bumps (it touches really tough, and looks really scary) on his genital area, he told me that it was due to masturbating too hard, which sounds totally fake.

1 I would like to know what is my chance to contract Herpes or other stds in such a situation I described
2I m in a stable relationship, should I stop having sex with my partner because of this matter.

3i feel like my situation is very similar to mutual masturbating , and I read some similar posts that you advised people that there was no risk contracting hsv 2 from mutual masturbating. however, my situation is a little bit different considering I literally touched his red bumps ( assume it is herpes outbreaks), and it is super contagious,do u think I am at low risk just like the other mutual masturbating situations?

4 have you ever seen any documented case of contracting herpes similar to my situation during your whole career. 


Thanks

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  Clients on this Forum are not permitted to select who answers their questions and I happened to pick up your question today.  I also note that you have already asked the same question of Terri and suspect that you will have received the same information regarding your risk of having acquired HSV that you would get from Dr. Handsfield or me- despite different verbal styles, we all typically agree and Terri is a world recognized expert in the field. 

As we have said repeatedly on this and our former Forum, there is no known risk from mutual masturbation, even though it is common for partners engaged in mutual masturbation to get each other's genital secretions on one another in the process.  This is in part because the organisms (including HSV) are quite vulnerable to dying on exposure to the environment and because with each non-direct transfer of infected material the amount of infectious material/organisms transferred diminishes markedly.  The same is true, but even more so when were are talking about transfer of infection form one person's genitals to another on their hands.  Further, I would remind you that even when DIRECT exposure occurs in the context of sexual activity (I emphasize, this did not occur from what you say but make this statement for your information and to give you more supporting data for my conclusion that you are not at risk), the majority of such exposures do not lead to infection. 

Thus, considering all of the above as well as the fact that you do not know that this person's penile lesions were HSV, combine to make this a virtually no risk event.  In science one can never say never but just as I am confident that you are not going to be struck by lightning today, I am confident that the exposure you describe did not put you at risk for herpes.  I would not worry if I were you and see no reason for you to consider testing.

Finally, in answer to your other question, I can tell you that I have never heard of a case of HSV being transmitted through transfer on the hands from one person's genital to another on either persons hands.

I hope my comments are helpful to you.  EWH

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42 months ago
Dear DR. Hook,
Thank you so much for your response. I felt extreme muscle pain in my both legs yesterday( day 4 after my exposure), will it change your opinion. 
I have not experienced an outbreak yet. If I did not see an outbreak in 20 days since my exposure, does it mean I did not contract the virus. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago

Muscle pain in the absence of lesions is not a sign of HSV.  It is most likely that the discomfort you have experienced is due to some other cause but not herpes.

The vast majority of person who develop herpes lesions do so within 10-14 days of their exposure.  Thus if have not developed an outbreak within 21 (or even 14) days of your event, this is even more evidence that you should not be worried about the very, very low risk events you have described.  EWH

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42 months ago
Dear Dr Hook,
Thanks again for your response. Your detailed answer really helped me ease my crazy mind. However, I have been reading articles on different sites, and I am still a little bit worried. People say a person can contract hsv 2 through direct skin to skin contact and that's why an uninfected partner from a discordant couple can contract herpes even they use condom all the time.  My understanding is that HSV 2 virus is super contagious, and in my situation we use massage oil( it is very moist). Do you still believe my risk is extremely low?
42 months ago
Sorry Dr. Hook, I just wanna add one point to my last follow up question. If hand to genital then to another genital cannot transmit HSV 2 virus, how can autoinoculation happen, which means some patient with HSV 2 touched their own outbreaks and touched other part of body ,and got the other body part infected.

Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago

As you know, this will be my third and therefore final answer.  If you have further questions (and hopefully you will not, your risk is very, very low and you should not be concerned)you will have to start a new question.

You are not doing yourself any favors by cruising the internet.  Much of the information, while well intended is taken out of context, overly dramatic and all too often just plain wrong.  An example of this is your idea that HSV is super contagious.  That is simply not correct. Direct contact by an uninfected person who is shedding the virus at the time of genital-genital sex is transmitted no more than 1 in 1000 contacts and probably less.  In your case, the any contact that you think happened was indirect, if it happened at all. 

Further, there are no data to even suggest that massage oil will promote transmission of HSV.

Finally, auto inoculation is a rare event which only occurs in particular situations and is in no way relevant to your question or your unwarranted fears.

This thread is now over and will be closed.  EWH

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