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Pregnant. Came contact with dry secretion, developed rashes. Any chances of contracting STD?

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Hello. I am 24 weeks pregant and am worried about two things. About 6 weeks ago, I wore a pair of underwear the day after I bought them without washing them first. I later noticed that they seemed to have some dried fluid on them that wasn't from me. Could I have gotten any STD from this? I'm concerned mainly about syphilis because I did develop a rash. Also, I was at a hotel and used a pillow that I later found had a small dried blood stain on it that wasn't from me. I had a small cut on my face from popping a zit the night i used the pillow and am worried that the cut could have come into contact with the dried blood. Could I have gotten hepatits? Thanks in advance!
Posted Fri, 19 Apr 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Shanti Vennam 2 hours later

Thanks for writing to us.

I am very sorry to hear what has happened, it was very unfortunate. Dried secretions have resting virus in them in case they are infected. If they come into close contact with your blood or other secretions, they may infect you. Though this is a remote possibility with the pillow, secretions in your underwear should be viewed with suspicion as you have developed a rash. You should see a specialist for a local as well as a blood and systemic exam; you should not take chances as pregnancy lowers the immunity status of the body and predisposes an individual more to the risk of infections.

If available, the secretions should be tested. You may need a vaginal swab and serum tests. Please do not worry; if diagnosed early, management with good outcome is possible. The type of infection cannot be predicted at the present state, it needs thorough investigation. Please maintain genital hygiene.

Hope I have answered your query. If you need further clarifications, please feel free to ask. I will be happy to help.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pregnant. Came contact with dry secretion, developed rashes. Any chances of contracting STD? 25 hours later
Thank you. Your advice is different than what I have heard from another doctor. He said that dried secretions cannot harbor STDs and people do not get infected by the exposures that I have described above. Can you tell me in a bit more detail why you think there is a risk? Can STDs really live outside the body in dried secretions?
Answered by Dr. Shanti Vennam 5 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Bacterial infections may not be passed through dried secretions as they cannot survive in an inanimate phase like viruses do. HIV has not been shown to survive outside the body in fluids as the virus is very sensitive and dies at temperatures higher than the body temperature. Viruses have the capability to survive for years together without the need of a host as inanimate things and grow when they get a suitable host.

HSV and HPV (Herpes Simplex and Human Papilloma viruses) are sexually transmitted conditions. You are as such at very little risk of getting infected, but, since you have developed a rash after using the underwear, it is advisable to get checked for any infection. As I said earlier, pregnancy predisposes one more to infections as the immunity is lowered.

Hope I have answered your query. Please feel free to get back if you need further clarifications. I will be happy to help.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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