HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Kiss of death
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Kiss of death

Hi doctors,
I recently was involved with an HIV positive man. I am female. We engaged in mutual mastarbation with no visible cuts or fluids. But we did make out while he recently shaved and had many bloody nicks and razor cuts. The blood did enter my mouth. People on the community forum said none exposure. Please help thank you in advance. We also gave each other hickies.
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  I'm happy to help.

I understand your concern, given that your partner has HIV.  However, you really need not be worried.  These events were exceedingly low risk, if there was any risk at all; most likely there was truly no risk.

Do you know anything more about your partner's HIV infection?  When was it diagnosed?  Is he on treatment for HIV?  If on treatment, do you know how well controlled his infection is?  If he is on treatment and has a low viral load (i.e. a low level of HIV in his blood), then he probably is not infectious at all, no matter how "high risk" the exposure was.

Equally important, even if he has a high viral load and/or isn't on treatment, the amount of blood to which you could have been exposed is probably far too low for the infection to be transmitted.  Hand-genital contact is never a risk, and oral exposure to HIV (e.g. swallowing blood or infected semen) rarely transmits the infection.  The tiny amount of blood that you might have swallowed by contact with shaving nicks is not a worry.

From a medical standpoint, or on the basis of risk, you don't need testing for HIV.  However, knowing you are nervous about it, I still recommend testing.  Most likely the negative result will be more reassuring than anything I can say.  But try not to worry while you wait for a few weeks before you can have a reliable test.  There is no realistic chance you caught HIV.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
5 Comments
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He was recently diagnosed. We did not know he had it when it occurred. Is it true that salvia has properties that would kill the virus? I'm not sure that I will test just yet because I don't have insurance and the tests are expensive. Thank you for your advice doctor. You have been helpful.
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239123_tn?1267651214
The biological reasons that oral exposure is low risk really don't matter; the important thing is that it rarely happens.  But it is true that saliva kills HIV.

Your profile says you are in NYC.  You can be tested for HIV at no cost (or very low cost) at any of the city's public health clinics.
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I will look into that thanks. One last question would your advice be the same if the man or person bleeding was of unknown status?
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239123_tn?1267651214
Yes, identical.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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