HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Should I worry?
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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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Should I worry?

Drs - this is my only risk of HIV.  Please assess and answer my questions.

I am a gay male.  I performed unprotected oral sex on another male.  He did not ejaculate in my mouth, but I know that I tasted pre-cum.  My oral cavity isn't the best - irritation/blood often occurs with brushing and flossing.  I also may have had some canker sores or cold sores.  He ejaculated on my face.  It came in contact with my eyes, nose, lips/mouth, and ears.  I am worried about having cuts at the time on my face as I often have them from shaving.  Instead of using a soft surface to wipe it off, I used paper which I am afraid only led to me rubbing it in and creating possibly more cuts on my face.  This is my only exposure to HIV possibly and while I wouldn't normally be worried this happened about a month ago and since then, I've developed a sickness with a sore throat, nausea, diarrhea, cold sore, and stuffy noise.  I am unsure of his status.

In any event, as you can see, this has created worries for me.

1.  What is my HIV risk?  I think it may be very low to zero, but with so many variables of this incident, my mind is racing.

2.  Do I need to get tested?

3.  Is there any other STDs that I should be worried about?
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Welcome to our forum.  I'll try to help. This was a very, very low risk event.  For starters, you do not know your partner's status. thus, it is statistically unlikely that he had HIV.  Less than 10% of men who have sex with other men do.  Even if he did however, transmission of HIV through oral sex is very, very rare.  There are a VERY few cases in which HIV may have been acquired through performance of oral sex (fellatio) on an infected partner and these cases are not well described.  Currently even the highest estimates for this sort of occurrence is that transmission occurs in this way less than once in every 10,000 exposures.  There is no information as to how dental or gum disease, facial cuts influence the risk and if there is any change the increment is quite small.

Bottom line, your risk for infection is not zero but it is quite close to that and not something to worry a great deal about.  Testing for HIV antibodies 6-8 weeks after this exposure, if you feel the need, will almost certainly prove that you were not infected.

As for your specific questions:
1.  What is my HIV risk?  I think it may be very low to zero, but with so many variables of this incident, my mind is racing.
See above- very close to zero.

2.  Do I need to get tested?
Personally, I do not think so but this, of course, is up to you.

3.  Is there any other STDs that I should be worried about?
The only other STD that there is any meaningful risk for is gonorrhea. This could be easily ruled out with testing of a throat swab.

I hope my comments are helpful. EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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