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STD Risk

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  • STD Risk

    Dear Doctor,

    I’m a male and my query is regarding the risk of any STDs from the below encounter:

    Is there a risk of any STD from cuddling/hugging for 20 minutes with another man (his STD status is unknown). I was fully clothed (wearing trousers and half sleeves t shirt) and he was in his underwear. It also involved pecking on the cheek and neck often. There was no mouth to mouth kissing. However, the other person did touch his penis in between but I didn’t touch it. And he did touch my penis for merely 5 seconds.

    Is it easy to transmit Syphillis from such an encounter? I read online that it can spread through skin to skin contact, but am not sure to what extent does this contact has to be.

    I would be grateful for your response, please.

    Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    I do not believe there is any realistic risk of STD transmission through any of the exposure you have described. Don't worry.


    • #3
      Thank you, Dr. Jonathan. Have a great week ahead.


      • #4
        Dear Dr. Jonathan,

        Sorry to bother you again. Further to my question above, I have swollen tonsils and a feeling that something is stuck in my throat. Could you please advise if these symptoms could in any manner be related to (1) the exposure I had, or (2) any STD (including hiv)? Can such an exposure transmit throat gonorrhea?

        It has now been 4 weeks since the exposure, and I have the aforementioned symptoms for the past 5-6 days.

        Is it advisable to consult an ENT specialist?

        I would be grateful for your reply.

        Many thanks.


        • #5
          The risk of HIV from the above scenario is zero. You cannot get throat gonorrhea from the above either.

          I do not think you need to see an ENT just yet, but I would advise you to at least see a doctor who will be able to physically evaluate you and advice you from there.


          • #6
            Thank you, Dr. Grace.

            Have a good week.


            • #7
              Dear Dr. Grace,

              A quick follow up question for peace of mind please, you and Dr. Jonathan have kindly clarified that there is no realistic risk of any STD from my encounter. However, I do have swollen tonsils and the feeling of something being stuck in my throat. Would you advise me to get a Syphillis test done, or is it not possible to transmit through such an encounter? There are varied articles on the web when it comes to Syphillis transmission. Some articles state that even a kiss can transmit Syphillis and Herpes, but it doesn't clarify if it includes a peck as well.

              Are swollen tonsils a symptom of swollen lymph nodes? Please pardon my incessant queries and thank you again for your patience.


              • #8
                To clarify, swollen tonsils can cause swollen lymph nodes, but swollen lymph nodes do NOT cause swollen tonsils. Hope this clears up any confusion. As my colleagues have pointed out, there is no realistic risk of STD transmission from the encounter you have described. The symptoms you are experiencing could be simply due to an upper respiratory infection or a tonsillitis. But there is absolutely no harm in doing a Syphilis and Herpes screening test if you would like to have peace of mind. Hope this helps.


                • #9
                  Thank you very much, Dr. Edwin. This is very helpful.