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Mouth sores/ulcers
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Mouth sores/ulcers

Five weeks after a possible exposure with a female, I developed 3 sores in my mouth - on my lip, cheek and soft palate. Here is a photo of one of them: http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j321/johnlyle96/IMG_2382.jpg
I've never had a canker sore before and I was not really overly stressed or anxious (until I noticed these sores). They appeared first as little dark red spots and then turned into these white sores with a red ring around them the next day. From what I've found on the web they look like canker sores, but they were not painful, even if I touched them, and most websites say that canker sores are very painful and uncomfortable. I was gargling with saltwater and they cleared up in about 3 days, but now (at 6 weeks) I have developed another sore on my tongue, and this one is painful.

Many websites list mouth sores as a symptom of seroconversion illness, but they are very vague and I've not been able to find any further information. Are they red or white? Do they bleed or are they painful? Are they flat or elevated? I'm quite worried because my mouth sores look very similar to this: http://hardinmd.lib.uiowa.edu/cdc/6055.html

The only other symptom I have noticed was a mild sore throat at 2 weeks, which lasted for about 2 weeks. I was tested at 3 weeks (urine & blood) and was -ve for all STDs & HIV. I also got a general blood test and all my vitamin levels, etc are normal. I am getting a 6 week HIV test done tomorrow and I will get the results in a week. If these mouth sores are seroconversion symptoms, does that mean I am getting the test done too early, since my immune system is still reacting so would still be producing antibodies?
Tags: ulcer, mouth, sores, HIV
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1024580_tn?1331577721
Hello,
Thank you for your post.  I can see that you have had very good and helpful replies to your post.  Your symptoms do not seem to be typically related with acute HIV sero-conversion.  If the mouth ulcers persist, you need to be examined by a doctor as there are many causes for these, much more common than HIV.  I am confident that your test result will be negative and that will totally exclude that the symptoms described have anything to do with HIV sero-conversion.  By definition, any test performed after sero-conversion symptoms has to be positive if it was indeed HIV sero-conversion.  I doubt that in your case.  Something that you did not mention:  did you perform any oral sex?  Because if you did, these mouth symptoms might be related to an STD and you ought to get tested accordingly.
My advice to you is to get tested; if the results is negative, you can forget about HIV.  If your mouth symptoms persist, you need to consult a doctor about it.
Best wishes,
Dr José
13 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Forgot to mention, my possible exposure was unprotected sex.
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Avatar_m_tn
Chances of a male contracting HIV from a one off encounter with a positive female is 1/1000 via unprotected vaginal sex.

Your picture does NOT resemble classic HIV oral thrush (google it to see yourself). You say you have a sore throat, are you producing any phlegm, if so what colour? White, clear phlegm is usually an indication of a viral infection whilst yellowish phlegm usually indicated bacterial infection.

However please do not diagnose yourself based on symptoms or lack of symptoms.
Anyone who has symptoms due to ARS will usually test positive. 3 month test are considered to conclusive.

Best wishes.
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Avatar_n_tn
No, no phlegm or couching was associated with the sore throat.

I did not suspect oral thrush, but are there other types of mouth ulcers and conditions associated with seroconversion? The second link to the medical picture I posted does not look like thrush either, that's more my concern.
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Avatar_m_tn
You say they cleared up, then reoccured again weeks later? ARS symptoms do not work like that, they appear once (for a week or two) then forever disappear. Therefore your sores are not likely to be from HIV.

Furthermore, ARS symptoms usually consist of fever, swelling of lymph nodes ALL around the body and a non itchy rash on your body (lasting for a week or so). I would suggest you are negative from these lack of symptoms, though it's all a case of guessing and the only conclusive way is to take a test 12 weeks after exposure. Again, the chances of getting HIV from your unprotected one night stand is 1/1000 so statistically you should not be worried about HIV, more chlamydia.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well the mouth sores appeared at week 5, cleared up after 3 days and then reappeared a couple of days later. I'm now at 6 weeks and still have them - the one on my tongue is clearing, but another two are forming on my cheek. I know the statistics for HIV transmission, but I'm just worried because I've never had these before and don't have any other explanation for what they could be, STD-related or otherwise.
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Avatar_n_tn
Do any of the doctors on this forum have any ideas about these mouth sores?
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Avatar_m_tn
There's plenty of viruses and bacterial infections one can get from kissing which can cause these symptoms. HIV is difficult to catch.
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Avatar_n_tn
You indicated that sores appeared 5 weeks after the exposure. Its too late for onset of ARS. It usually starts between 10-14 days. Less commonly, it can start upto 3-4 weeks. But 5 weeks is too late.
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Avatar_n_tn
White, clear phlegm is usually an indication of a viral infection ?

That's mean HIV primary stage would produce clear phlegm?
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Avatar_m_tn
The only way to find out your HIV status is to do test. Drawing some conclusions based on symptoms is a waste of time. Especially these symptoms that can result from many many other states for which are more likely to be than HIV.

I keep you fingers crossed, though I certain that result will be negative.



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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sure you're right...thanks for the words of reassurance.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the reply Dr Gonzalez-Garcia. No, there was no oral sex involved. I saw my doctor today and the 6 week test was negative. I'm still going to get a 12 week test to be sure but he said the 3 week test I did was a duo test, which usually picks up infections in 2 weeks, so I'm feeling quite relieved today. He is sure that the mouth sores were just canker sores not related to an STD and are nothing to worry about.
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