936016?1332769204
Dr Sean Cummings  
Male
London, United Kingdom

Specialties: STD/STI HIV prevention

Interests: Hepatitis C, Men's Health, HIV Prevention
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HIV Symptoms

Apr 09, 2010 - 54 comments
Tags:

early hiv

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sero-conversion

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seroconversion

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hiv positive

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new hiv infection

,

spread of hiv

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symptoms of early hiv

,

hiv test

,

dr martin fisher

,

national aids trust

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possible hiv infection

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hiv d

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HIV symptoms

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Hiv Rash

,

HIV Testing

,

4th Generation HIV test



Many of the questions we answer on this Forum and also the Freedomhealth Sexual Health Forum relate to anxiety about HIV and also possible early HIV symptoms.

One of the main problems in relying on HIV symtoms themselves is that they are notoriously vague and almost all the symptoms may in fact be symptoms of a different disease. The best method always of diagnosing HIV is to have a modern HIV test. Diagnosis may be difficult and uncomfortable but in Western Industrialised countires knowing your HIV status - positive or negative is ALWAYS a good thing. Knowing you are HIV positive and engaging in medical care will preserve your life to a normal lifespan.

It sounds obvious, but in order to acquire HIV there has to be a significant exposure. A significant sexual exposure means unprotected vaginal and or anal (or both)  penetrative sex with a person who already has HIV infection.

Dr Martin Fisher of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals in the UK has looked specifically at HIV sero-conversion illness and has found that it occurs much more commonly than is currently thought.

We knew already that early HIV disease provides a short interval at an early stage in the illness to identify new infections. By identifying new HIV infections early we can do two important things.

Firstly we can dramatically alter the health of the person we have just diagnosed. This is because we are in an informed position where we can prevent that person entering a long period of several years chronic undiagnosed infection which ultimately ends in a crisis catastrophic illness where the diagnosis is made. This long period of slowly deteriorating health can be halted by just knowing a persons HIV status. The crisis point where a previously undiagnosed HIV positive patient becomes critically ill will frequently end their life.

Secondly, we can dramatically alter the onward transfer rate of HIV to other people. Dr Fisher, in his contribution to the UK's National Aids Trust Policy Report "Primary HIV Infection", cites some research published by Marks in the Journal of AIDS 2005 where a 50% reduction in risky behaviour was seen in people who were aware of their HIV diagnosis. There was an even greater reduction in risky behaviour when the HIV positive person was aware that their sexual partner was HIV negative.

The possibilities presented by the second of these points are enormous in terms of reducing spread. Imagine if we could successfully reduce transfer rates by greater than 50% without doing anything special ? We can. We just need more people to be aware of their status.

So what are typical HIV Symptoms?

Dr Fishers team looked at 108 people with HIV and found that 70 per cent of them had three classic symptoms - the HIV "Triad". These are:-

Severe sore throat

High Temperature

A body rash

These three classic symptoms and signs in an adult should suggest a possible HIV infection and should generate a suggestion that that person should have an HIV test.

There are many other symptoms and signs such as severe muscle aches, headaches, night sweats, lymph node enlargement, and joint pains.

All of these are valid but the key three features are as given above - 1) very high temperature 2) very sore throat 3) body rash. These three classical symptoms should point to the need for an HIV test, preferably one or a mix of a 4th generation HIV DUO test and/or an HIV PCR test. Both of these will allow us to make an early diagnosis with the option then of stopping a severe seroconversion illness early and preventing early immune damage and also allowing the newly infected HIV positive patient to limit the accidental further spread of HIV.








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Avatar universal
by help12358, Apr 09, 2010
Thanks for posting this Sean.  Can you elaborate on the type of rash?  I posted yesterday and received a response that was what I assumed I would receive but not very informative relative to my rash question.  Thanks in advance if you have anything further to share.


936016 tn?1332769204
by Dr Sean CummingsBlank, Apr 10, 2010
Good Morning,

A good question and one that deserves a decent response. I'm not aware though of any questions to us yesterday from help12358 about HIV rashes. Are you sure you sent this to us?

Avatar universal
by yasensiraj, Apr 10, 2010
hi doctor

it will be a huge favor if you can throw some light on the hiv rash...like its size,where it occurs and how it llok/feels like

thanks

Avatar universal
by help12358, Apr 13, 2010
I am a little confused.  Is this a "pay for the question" area of the site.  If it is I was not aware of it and still cannot determine that it is.  

Let me know if it is as I am not sure I am allowed any more questions given the apparent rules.

If not, my question again is below

Thanks

>>>>>Thanks for posting this Sean.  Can you elaborate on the type of rash?  I posted yesterday and received a response that was what I assumed I would receive but not very informative relative to my rash question.  Thanks in advance if you have anything further to share. <<<<<<



936016 tn?1332769204
by Dr Sean CummingsBlank, Apr 14, 2010
help12358

No, this area is not paid for - but I'm afraid you will need to wait until I have time to answer fully and to avoid confusing anyone else. Again though you say you posted earlier - but I am not aware of any posts prior to your original. If you want a quick response then post in the paid for Forums.

Avatar universal
by LouisaB, Apr 14, 2010
Dear Sean,

The day before my grandfather died I found out he had contracted HepC from a blood transfusion he had during an early heart valve transplant around 1980. (He had some disease everyone is immunised against now that damaged his heart as a child. I forget what it was, but he was in hospital so long he had to learn to walk again at about 8 and was told he would die by 17.) I was absolutely devastated he never told me about the HVC. He was so careful not to transmit anything that he wouldn't even hug us -which was just silly. But he was an awesome grandfather. I loved going down the garden with him and he used to help me with my maths homework, which I was absolutely hopeless at, planning out my 'varsity courses and my thesis. He was a really good teacher. If I'd known that was why he didn't used to hug us, we could have talked about it. He must have been really lonely dealing with that by himself and I wish he hadn't felt as though he had to because he didn't.

Anyway, I am now wondering if he was co-infected with HIV. In the hospital his room had a sign up saying it was an infectious zone. The nurses wouldn't tell me what it was that was infectious -just that it was "complicated" and that I shouldn't take my 3 month old baby in to see him because she'd seen kids in ICU with it and it wasn't good. (If I'd known it was just HVC, or HIV for that matter, I would have ignored them as there is no way it could have transfered to my baby. And then I could have stayed for longer because I wouldn't have had to get back home to feed him.) Anyway, despite her protestations, it can't have been too infectious because I saw her rifling through a clean trolley of linen without changing her gloves after leaving his room.

Grandpa had real trouble keeping weight on, he would get tired easily and his skin would get damaged easily (he started always wearing long sleeved pants and a shirt for around the last 20 years or so). He used to take a mountain of pills -I always assumed for his heart. He had a second transplant after 20 years (the pig's valve was supposed to last for 10, but it did better than expected) and they popped in a titanium one.

I got his medical records from the hospital after he died as everyone was being so obtuse about what was going on (our family is a bit anally retentive like that) and hospice didn't want to accept him (he really wanted to die at hospice). I don't understand much of them except for the nurses notes, but IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN LOOK FOR THAT WOULD INDICATE IF HE WAS CO-INFECTED WITH HIV?

Regards,
LB


Avatar universal
by LouisaB, Apr 14, 2010
PS. He had a really bad rash just before he died. No one seemed to be able to figure out what was causing it. They suggested it was shingles, but his medical notes said that the pharmacist who visited him said it looked like a bad allergic reaction to something. (This could have made sense as he was allergic to crayfish and my silly aunt had taken in a seafood salad that she had bought from some shop as she had an irrational dislike about hospital food -although grandpa didn't. When I mentioned it she made out as if she didn't know, but I don't see how she (a) wouldn't have known and (b) wouldn't have thought about it when she brought in a seafood salad!) But I thought I'd mention it as I notice that a rash is also a symptom of HIV. Would it recur if someone was really sick?

Avatar universal
by Godrelied, Apr 15, 2010
HI,
how much risk does oral carry?....that to when just a little precum entered the mouth? Also is receiving oral dangerours. Also usually when do these symptoms show?....That is....till when do we worry about them???.....Also does everytime we have sex with someone who is infected....do we get it?....say if once???



Avatar universal
by help12358, Apr 15, 2010
Nah Sean I'm cool.  No rush.  Thanks in advance though.  

186166 tn?1385262982
by LIZZIE LOU, Apr 15, 2010
this is not the "ask a doctor" forum.  there are 2 forums here at medhelp where you can ask the doctors your questions.  these forums are on a pay to ask basis and you should be posting your questions there.

Avatar universal
by Boqor, May 02, 2010
I had unprotect sex like 6 days ago. Lately I havent been feeling so feel, I have headache only at night and Im extremely tried. Is it possible that I have HIV, I know that the symptoms dont show this early but is there an exception?


Avatar universal
by lebronbryant2010, Jun 13, 2010
Hi doc,

from your experience or your colleague,
do you know somebody who have had
11 months hiv negative test turn into
positive? the test is rapid blood testing.



Avatar universal
by alliswellguy02, Jun 21, 2010
Can you go into more detail about the severe sore throat and what would a person look for in a throat examination? How long would the sore throat last in symptoms after being newly infected?

Avatar universal
by jones22, Jun 23, 2010
Thank you Lizzie. The doctor has gone out of his way to explain in  great detail. I do not feel it is very respectful to post rather  unrelated comments.

707563 tn?1455827280
by Emily_MHManager, Jun 23, 2010
Lizzie is correct.  Please do not post your questions here.  If you'd like Dr. Cummings to answer a question, go to his forum (HIV International) and follow the steps as it walks you through.  

Emily

Avatar universal
by yorkyeor, Jan 17, 2011
An excellent article Dr. Cummings, but what do you mean specifically when you say a very high fever? Is that over 101 or 102? How long also do these symptoms last?

707563 tn?1455827280
by Emily_MHManager, Jan 19, 2011
Hi everyone -

This is Dr. Cumming's blog, and not an appropriate place to ask questions.  If you'd like to get his answers to your concerns, then please post in his forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/HIV---International/show/383?personal_page_id=207045 - and follow the steps for payment and asking your question.  Also, please search his forum for questions that are similar to yours.  You are likely to find your answer that way.

Emily



1569291 tn?1295607484
by angelic1202, Jan 20, 2011
Dear Sean,

I had a protected sex with a female 2 weeks ago, which can be infected by HIV pos . Since it was just a one night stand. is there a possibility to have it through oral sex. As i am having a really bad throat and general tiredness.

Avatar universal
by firefly623, Jan 21, 2011
hie Doc
excellent job . thanks. please help me on this one.
i was exposed to circumstances that put me at risk of hiv infection three months ago. i tested negative a week after the exposure but hardly a fortnight after the test i developed flu like symptoms. i have an urge to sneeze but i cant and have migrane headache. i have been feeling that way for the whole 2 months now.i now feel pain in the joints and spine. i have good appetite

Doc can this be acute retroviral syndrome. I am concerned. i havent tested again as the doctor said i am still in the '
' window period '

thanks doc

Roy  

Avatar universal
by Vance2335, Jan 24, 2011
People again this is not an area to ask questions, this is only for information. If you have a question then post in the free forum or pay to ask one of the Dr's a question.

Avatar universal
by newgirl124, Mar 08, 2011
Doctor I recently took a Hiv test and my primary doctor has got me scared. When i called to check with them they said that the test results were inconclusive. What does that mean. They said the first part of the test came back a posible but the other two tests they performed came back negative. I'm freaking out because I dont know what the hell that means. Ive got to take the test again this week but I just want to know what does this mean.

707563 tn?1455827280
by Emily_MHManager, Mar 29, 2011
Hi everyone -

This is not a place to ask the doctor a question.  If you'd like his answers for your specific concerns, please post in his forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/HIV---International/show/383

Thanks!

Emily

Avatar universal
by caringstd, Apr 17, 2011
April is National STD Awareness Month. If you got Herpes, HPV, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis or other STDs, you're invited to join HDate.org, the Official STD Support & Dating site.
It offers people with STD unique and safe environment to learn STD medical treatments, get help and advice, find trusted people to talk, meet new friends and partners. All personal information is private and anonymous.

Avatar universal
by f4kew0rld, Sep 14, 2011
My husband have 2 wifes can we get hpv or cervix cancer? my huby have 2 wives.i only had sex with my husband and he had sexy with me and his 2nd wife too. she is very good women she never had sex befor marrige and i also never had sex with someone else.my husband also had only sex with us. i hope we 3 are safe?????? but i dont know y i am upset and scared yesterday was my pap smear and doc said she give me result in 1 week. cervix cancer is STD? if my husband and his wife dont have hpv it means i am safe? sorry my english is not good.

i am married for 9 years.if there would have been nay thing then it would have shown?????

i think 9 years is quite enough time??????? plz reply

Avatar universal
by deezip, Aug 18, 2012
Does slight head ack z count with out the night sweats or sour throughts

3210170 tn?1346888153
by hoping4goodnews, Sep 05, 2012
Thank you for a clear, succinct and informative article!!

Avatar universal
by StealthVirusCCID, Sep 05, 2012
Great article!  What is considered a very high temperature though, >100 F?

480448 tn?1426952138
by nursegirl6572, Sep 05, 2012
Fever associated with new HIV infection is usually 101 or higher.  Symptoms are generally severe enough to make a person take notice, if not have them in bed.

480448 tn?1426952138
by nursegirl6572, Sep 05, 2012
Now, as the moderators have said over and over...this is NOT the pklace to ask questions.  Have respect for the fact that this is the doctor's blog and not one of the Q&A forums.

Avatar universal
by nihi120, Oct 06, 2012
Hi, I have chronic Hepatitis B. Do i have risk to get HIV virus too?

Avatar universal
by tom921, Jan 28, 2013
Does this mean 70% of the 108 people had three of those symptoms at one time, or just one of the three symptoms?

5579991 tn?1377098688
by Eduardo_Romero31, Jun 13, 2013
Thank you doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar universal
by jennifer599, Jun 25, 2013
I just read all these posts and you really have to ask yourself one very important question is having unprotected sex, vaginal, anal,  or oral really worth dying for?????? Give your head a shake people!!!!!

707563 tn?1455827280
by Emily_MHManager, Sep 18, 2013
Hi everyone -

This is not a place to ask the doctor a question.  If you'd like his answers for your specific concerns, please post in his forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/HIV---International/show/383

Thanks!

Emily


Avatar universal
by john3061, Dec 05, 2013
hello doctor,
        I am feeling bad to tell you that form since last 6 months I visited female prostitutes approx ...60-70. Every time I do sex I wear a condom but having oral sex like kissing,hugging I didnt wear condom.
And some of them sucked my pennis.
Before 7 days from this date I had HIV test which is negative and I have done HIV-DUO which is also negative.Pls tell me Is there any chance of HIV?

Avatar universal
by kharenkova, Dec 12, 2013
Hello Doctor,
I've had at the end of April unprotected sex. At the end of September I've done1 +2 HIV test (HIV combi electochemiluminescenta) and was negative. In October I saw on that boy some spots near the nipple. Looks like the link below ...
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/acute-hiv-rash.html
May I have to perform the test again? I am very worried .. please answer me

Avatar universal
by Fudnal, Dec 14, 2013
Greetings. Im 20 years old male. I had unprotected vaginal intercourse with female friend 9 months ago. 2 months after that she find out she is hiv positive. I was freaked out. Then i had soar throat, englared lymph nodes and peripheral neuropathy. I tested negative 2,4,5,6 months after exposure. I still have same sympthoms and doctor dont know why. Should i test again?

480448 tn?1426952138
by nursegirl6572, Dec 14, 2013
Please reread the moderator's post:


Hi everyone -

This is not a place to ask the doctor a question.  If you'd like his answers for your specific concerns, please post in his forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/HIV---International/show/383

Thanks!

Emily

Avatar universal
by SIWEL365, Jan 25, 2014
quick question you say flu like so stop up nose and sneezing a symptom of ARS or primary hiv infection

Avatar universal
by gone84, Mar 10, 2014
Hello all,

Didn't know where else to go about this....?
27 days ago I put myself at risk of contracting HIV from a girl. About 3 days after my head started thinking all sorts so I got on the Internet to check all the symptoms etc...since doing so I have thought of nothing else and every twinge in my body I get on the net again and check for symptoms. I don't know if my body is feeling these through worry or no...?
I have had no flu like symptoms, no rash,. I had a cold sore about a week after and I have had cold sore about a week after, sore fingers and toes, don't think my throat has been sore and my armpits feel weird but again I read this up on the net so dunno if my head is playing tricks...i had a test at 7 and 14 days after and they came up negative. I am due to have another test in 3 days...i am so scared and needless to say this has taken over my life and I think about it all day and wake up through the night and can't get back to sleep for thinking.
Help!!

Avatar universal
by seguy, May 03, 2014
Dear Dr,

thanks on beforehand.

I have sexual risk relations 3 months 1/2 ago (JAN18).
I used condom in a short time penetration (I was top). I was not bottom. I did not make oral sex. We (3) kissed and between the 2 others were oral sex unprotected. I knew later one of them was HIV+.

I received PEP within 72 hs of that.
I am a very healthy person.

Second month from risk (march 18), ELISA ANTI HIV1&2 IgG e IgM (Chemiluminiscence it says, being used since 21.01.2011) and Hepatitis B test were NEGATIVE. At that moment (2 months from risk) I was suffering of joint and muscule pain and fatigue; it last 3-4 days. No fever or very low during second day (1ÂșC above my normal T). March 25th I asked for routine blood analysis and abdominal ecography: everything was normal (values and organs sizes & shapes).

Three months later (April 18), I catch what I thought it was a common mild cold (autumn here in southern hemisphere -first colds and flu season-). No fever, no pharyngitis: just larynx irritation and cough in the nights around bed time for a short while or if I sleep on my back. I feel my larynx as closing. Watery nose the first days. Everything dissapeared, but cough remains in a very lesser degree.

One week ago (ca. april 26) I started feeling my mouth very dry in the nights and in the morning.
And joint pain and muscle aches again since ca. 5 days ago. The pain is is not fix: one day is in one place, the other in a different place...

A few days ago (4-5) I've noticed my tongue went white/yellow. Night sweats? Only one night. Weght loss? No. Since 2 days ago I noticed my ears funny inside... no pain, no itching, but hot and something else I couldn't describe...

My mouth still feels dry from time to time and mostly in the nights.

No lymph nodes swollen. No skin rushes -that I've noticed-.

April 22 I've got my 3rd month ELISA. I am receiving the results next tuesday.

I don't know what to think... :(

Any advice, please?!

Avatar universal
by stylevin, May 24, 2014
Hello Doc,

Nice article for peoples who are confused with the symptoms.

Can you please specify if you say severe Sore throat, High Temperature. On a rating of 1 ( mild ) to 10 ( severe ) how do you rate the severity of the Triad.

Thanks!
Vinay

480448 tn?1426952138
by nursegirl6572, May 24, 2014
Please reread the moderator's post:


Hi everyone -

This is not a place to ask the doctor a question.  If you'd like his answers for your specific concerns, please post in his forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/HIV---International/show/383

Thanks!

Emily


THIS IS NOT THE PLACE TO ASK THE DOCTOR QUESTIONS.  IF YOU WISH TO DO THAT, GO TO THE EXPERT FORUM AND PAY THE FEE:

http://www.medhelp.org/tags/show/266/HIV-Prevention

Avatar universal
by nimitrey3876, Jun 02, 2014
Is oral sex safe or unsafe.. on 4th Dec 2012 I am going to massage center for body massage. A old lady gave me body massage after 10min she start to suck my pennies, I obstruct her but smile and start do. I feel good & continue 10min, but due fear after 10days I take HIV-1 & HIV-2 test which is negative, After Six month I do Same result negative. On 5th Nov 2013 I Take task which is also negative.

But fear here I want confirm that is it I am negative from last few days I face pain in my tonsillitis & I gone to ENT specialist as per his comment its due to long journey or pollution & unbalance food its occur but not a tonsillitis. Pls guide me what to do. sometime i feel pain in my hand & nerves but its for short time. Always i feel uncomfortable.
Now from 1st May 2014 I face tonsils from left side, Pain in neck & fell that gland develop .
===================================================================================
On 14th Jan 2013 accidentally I have food poisoning from food and for medical treatment i am hospitalized, during the treatment nurse put rubber hose in my nose to remove poison from my lungs. She forcefully put hose in my nose which is painful. From the same time onward I have a pain in my throat. Please tell me the said symptoms is due to STD or GERD or due wrong treatment.

Avatar universal
by AAFROZE, Jul 14, 2014
I AM UNPROTECTED SEX WITH A GIRL BEFORE 4 MONTHS NOW FROM 2 MONTHS I HAVE A DRY COUGH AFTER TB TEST IT IS NEGATIVE .AND IN DRY COUGH NO IMPROVEMENT SO I FEAR OF HIV . WHETHER DRY COUGH IS HIV SYMPTOMS R NOT PLEASE REPLAY ME AS POSSIBLE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLAY

Avatar universal
by zackcheuz, Jul 17, 2014
hello good day,i have frnd this early july 13 she shared something secret of her boyfrnd and its all about that they had suffer a the same infection.and i dont know what kind is that..all she said that her boyfrnd is had another sex with other grl last october 2012,and after that she notice that early november she rashes on her vigina and its hurt when she going jingle.,and that case her boyfrnd notice about what she felt on her body,and thats the  time that her boyfrnd tell her the truth.that the same symptoms they feel and boy boyfrnd started to tell her that he had a grl in a one nigth stand..and thats maybe the cause..until they decided to go to the doctr for the check up both of them..the doctor said in their situation  they will bring there sick until they die both..and it has a possibility that it will spread if they dond use condoms.if they had sex with other person..and now i was wonder if what kind of disease they have now?and what kind of midicine can they take for that kind of illness..and im started worry about bcoz both of them we are living in one house..and she tell about that i started worrying about..can u pls tell me what kind of disease they have now..

Avatar universal
by ramkino, Aug 02, 2014
Hi..my penis have a wrinkle..its a symptom of hiv?

Avatar universal
by ramkino, Aug 02, 2014
I was worried..i suffered gornea..i take self medication..afyer that my gornea was one..then the wrinkle on my penis come out

Avatar universal
by Sk06123, Aug 29, 2014
Hi,
I see red spots on my penis from past 6 months but they r not paining. I saw 2 bumps spots but not possibly red. They just look like Normal bumps. I went to doctor today n he suggested me to apply lobate GM on the skin.
My history is tht i had both oral n Norma sex. N from past 6 months i haven't done anything. Please suggest me a cure as i m a government servernt n wud get married soon. So dont want her to get affected.

Please help me.

Regards

Avatar universal
by ajman001, Jan 19, 2015
Hi i had protected sex  with sex worker 16 days ago from 3 days i felt sore throat and then runny noise and tired im so afraid and scared i had no temperature im on antiputics for 2 days

Avatar universal
by vermakkd, May 16, 2015
Hi doctor, I had sex with a prostitute last night . I don't know if she has any HIV .. I have seen 4-5 rashes on her body below the chest. Does these rashes mean she has HIV. I had a sex with condom.. Does HIV transfer through skin to skin touch. She sucked my pennis with out condom too. Do I get infected with HIV..

Avatar universal
by Blondguy621, Oct 17, 2015
Hi I had oral sex with a guy about 5 weeks ago and I have Ben sick latly no rash or redness but my skin has Ben a little itchy no fever no sore throat it was only one time and I do not know if you guy Evan has any thing I don't know if I should get tested or not I a really scared to even take a test what do you think all I have is a light cough itchy skin and chest congestion and a stuffy nose

Avatar universal
by shaksham, Mar 27, 2016

I kissed a call girl lip to lip kiss for 2 minutes I only had bleeding gums her status is unknown her hiv status is also unknown but while kissing I dint felt any blood in my mouth we dint used tongue only lip to lip kiss and now I have site spits around my upper lips. They are painless and I have sores under my tongue I don't know what to do feeling like dying help me please I never had these kinds of oral problems before after the kiss I have these symptoms


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