Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Prevention, Transmission and Testing => Am I Infected? => Topic started by: AdventureTime on April 05, 2019, 11:44:41 pm

Title: Picked my username for a reason(!) [MSM, sauna, fresh cut, fingering, risk?]
Post by: AdventureTime on April 05, 2019, 11:44:41 pm
Hooo boy I am weirded out.

I went to a gay sauna this evening, with the express intention of doing nothing to pique my anxiety and to have a good-ol' safer sex time with some naked blokes.

The keys for the lockers at this sauna are attached to elastic bands, which tend to be looped round the wrist or ankle. While taking mine off my ankle to grab something from my locker, it caught my foot, pinged sideways, and the key swiped a 2mm scratch across the first knuckle of my left index finger, near the tip. The wound is so shallow I'm surprised it draws a hair-thin line of blood.

At this point, I go, "Well okay then, that's a tiny open wound, though it's barely bleeding at all. I'll wait for this to stop bleeding and then go back into the fray, and keep an eye on where that goes".

After 10mins, the scratch in question had no visible blood at all even on squeezing, though at 20mins remained (microscopically) damp when pressed against, so I figured that I'd make sure not to do anything with the hand.

I must have been about 35mins post-scrape when I bumped into a guy who seemed keen. The hair-thin scab hadn't visibly formed yet, but there was no blood whatsoever at this point.

Maxing out at oral (safer sex!), he's on his back when I blow across his butt, and then immediately reaches for a hand to finger the mess into himself, despite me repeatedly telling him my fingernails are extremely damn sharp.

Instinctively I pull away the left hand with the cut on it while he grabs my right to do the deed (can't knock him back, he's large), and after a minute or so of insisting we don't do this in a sauna, I break off.

The mess happening re: sweat, fluids, body movement etc. is enough at this point that I cannot guarantee what went where, given the left hand remained in the vicinity. At no point did I push into his body with my injured finger/the cut itself, but ...

... the main reason I'm posting this topic is that I can't find a single piece of information on the internet that clarifies cutaneous risk, even from otherwise reputable (i.e. national, well-established) sources.

"A needle-stick occupational exposure carries a 1.8% average transmission risk with a known HCV+ source", but other (reputable) sources mention the risks from "microscopic bleeding"(?! eh?) and "micro-abrasions on mucous membranes", reporting that "only a tiny amount of dried blood is necessary to infect someone", and having tried to reassure myself, I'm now so confused that I've ended up registering here.

Half of the internet seems to say I'm at no/negligible risk ... and the other half treats HCV practically like an airborne pathogen, which is why I'm even posting.

I know HepC is essentially curable now, and I regularly test at STI clinics, so I'm not hugely anxious about being infected, but re-infection in future circumstances is something I want to actively avoid, and I'm not sure what behaviours I'd even need to nix.  :-\

Thanks very much for your time!  :-X
Title: Re: Picked my username for a reason(!) [MSM, sauna, fresh cut, fingering, risk?]
Post by: Lynn K on April 06, 2019, 01:04:19 am
Hep c requires blood infected with the hepatitis c virus to enter the blood stream of an uninfected person hep c is difficult to contract. If you have concerns get tested in 12 weeks.

Your relative risk would obviously less than the 1.8 odds of a health care worker who experienced a needle stick involving a person with known hep c infection. There is no way to quantify a risk in the circumstances you have described but in general terms this would be considered a negligible risk well below the 1.8% needle stick scenario.

Not sure if you had a question with your story but my best advise is to practice safe sex as has been advised for decades since AIDS became a reality.

No glove, no love. Love yourself, love your partner play safe.