[Question #7072] GW and HIV testing

7 months ago
Hello doctors.
My last question got closed before I had a chance to follow up, so this (hopefully last) time I will be very concise and to the point.

1 - I got a little wart frozen from my penis shaft by a dermatologist (after having many warts on other parts of my body).  I asked him how long should I wait before having non-protected sex.  He said three weeks.  I am aware of your recommendation of waiting for 6 months, but I also have seen that your advise has changed with the years due to new information available.  After how much time without recurrence can I consider myself cured?  Can I actually ever consider myself free of STDs at some point?

2- Depressed and worried after getting diagnosed with my first STD ever (and I am 40 yo) I went  to get tested for HIV and syphilis to an AIDS prevention org that does blood tests in association with an university hospital, in Germany.  This was a duo lab test, which was negative after 6 weeks.  However the person doing the blood draw had to puncture twice, with a delay of about 15 minutes between punctures, and the second time he felt for vein pressing his bare finger once over the previous fresh puncture point (he wasn't wearing gloves.)  I know for a fact he is HIV positive (he is a member of this organization.)  Should I be worried at all because of this, considering the procedure wasn't performed on a clinic/hospital? (this people have been doing this for a loooong time.)

Thanks, and my apologies in advance if the questions seem silly or tiresome.  Trust me: I don't make them for fun.

PS: the reason for the second puncture was to do a COVID-19 rapid antibody test, which turned out positive for Igm (but not Igg)... no wonder I'm going nuts with health worries and paranoia lately :(
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
7 months ago
Welcome back, but sorry you found it necessary to return yet again. In your previous thread, you said one of your many warts was in the pubic area or groin, without mention of one on the penis. That indicated a non-genital wart problem. (Pubic/groin doesn't count as genital.) As we discussed last time, this isn't an STD problem, which is why the other thread was closed. Even having a penile wart doesn't necessarily make it an STD issue; it seems more likely that the penis just happened to be involved along with the other bady areas affected.

There are no good data on time of infectiousness -- i.e. ability to transmit -- after treatment of genital warts. I have ofetn said 6 months, largely to reassure anxious persons, but it's only an educated guess. I have also said that the potential for infection probably is reduced, if not completely eliminated, by eliminating visibaly infected tissue -- that is, by removal or other treatment of an active wart. On that basis, your dermatologist may be right; 3 weeks may be sufficient. But even these wide estimates may not be relevant to your situation. If this is a common wart (e.g. caused by HPV type 1, which is not sexually transmitted) that happens to be on the penis, it may not be sexually transmissble at all, since most adults have had warts in childhood and likely are resistant to new infections with HPV1. As I said last time, your dermatologist is a better source for the advice you seek than this forum. In the meantime, you can consider yourself free of STDs right now.

HIV is never transmitted by having blood drawn. That hasn't happened -- probably not even in devbeloping countries -- for 30 years. That the person who drew your blood has HIV doesn't raise the risk, whether or not his fingers contacted a previous site of attempted venipuncture. You should not be at all worried about this in regard to HIV or any other blood borne infection.

Best wishes--   HHH, MD
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7 months ago
Thanks for your reply.

The small wart on penis was discovered a day after I did the last post, hence it didn't get mentioned.  It appeared not far from the wart that was on the pubis, and I may have provoked it by shaving.  I don't know the HPV strain that caused it, because none of my warts got ever biopsied, but I guess it is possible for it to be a common wart.  Otherwise, it would be too much of a coincidence I guess.  Actually, the derm didn't even look at it with the dermoscope before freezing it.

Anyway, I will wait for a couple of months and if no more warts appear in the genital area, I will just forget about it.  I hope it is a reasonable approach.

Regarding the blood draw, thanks for the reassurance.  I guess I am a bit anxious with all this is happening to me... feels like the ten plagues of Egypt :)
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
7 months ago
I'm glad you understand and I'm happy to have helped. I'll keep the thread open for a few days in case something else comes to mind about htese issues.

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