Jun 23, 2008
I suffer from IBS-related constipation. My stools are often so hard, I have to insert a finger and pry them loose (yes, I wash my hands afterward). I also use public restrooms nearly every day, since I work in retail. Is this a risk for transmission? Should I keep doing this? Should I be tested?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Dude, using your fingers to pry your poop out of your butt is just plain nasty. Stop it and don't bring this topic up in polite conversation ever again. But, you should mention it to your general medical doctor. Constipation and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) are extremely common problems and there are much better therapies than using your fingers for excavating where the sun don't shine. Often something as simple as dietary changes and daily Metamucil will significantly improve problems like yours.
As for your HIV worries related to your sticking your fingers up your butt in public restrooms, you can relax. The risk is nonexistent. HIV testing is not warranted, however thoroughly washing your hands is!
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