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HIV anxiety

Worried. I have gingivitis. I recently made out with a girl perceived to have hiv. She isn't on meds so her viral load is sky high. I didn't know she was positive until after the fact. The problem is that I experienced ars symptoms 12 days after the exposure. Ie: sore throat, headache, stuffy nose, raised rash on neck and chest, also thigh and leg pains. I can't tell if I had a solid fever. However, I did feel heat flashes or burning sensations in the face and ears.

My issue is I talked to an hiv doctor at ucsf. The doctor told me there was a tremendous risk for infection with gingivitis or bleeding gums. Also wrote: You said you had gingivitis at time of exposure.  People with gingivitis typically have a small amount of chronic gum bleeding which is a potential route of transmission.  What if your partner also had gingivitis too?

I can only find one documented case of hiv being transmitted in this manner. My worry is because my gums bleed when I brush. Now I'm paranoid. Why did this dr tell me there was a significant risk.

Did I experience ars? Do I need to test?
16 Responses
144586 tn?1284669764
It takes at least six weeks to seroconvert, sometimes eight weeks, so it doesn't pay to get tested before that. Do get tested. That being said HIV is not that easy to get.
480448 tn?1426952138
You didn't have a risk.  Unless you had unprotected vaginal or anal sex with this partner, you didn't place yourself at risk for HIV.  I understand it is frightening to find out after the fact that someone you were intimate with is infected, but don't let fear guide you based on that.  You have to look at the FACTS, and the FACTS are, almost ALWAYS, it takes insertive, unprotected intercourse (a penis in the vagina or anus) to lead to transmission (or sharing IV drug works).  And believe it or not, even mosrt unprotected exposures don't typically lead to infection, HIV is THAT difficult to transmit.

Testing is understandable in your situation, just as a way to put your mind at ease.  A DUO test at 4 weeks will be very reassuring.  If you had been infected, the DUO test at 4 weeks would almost definitively be reactive.  Follow that up with a standard antibody test (ELISA) at 3 months post the incident for a conclusive result.

I have no doubt your results will be negative.  Until the conclusive testing, keep yourself busy and definitely don't search the internet, as that will only fuel your anxiety terribly.

If it will be helpful, you can always pay the nominal fee (I believe it is about $22) to post in the expert forum.  The docs there will put your mind at ease.  They have DECADES of experience working with HIV.


Good luck.
Avatar universal
Why we're the symptoms I experienced so similar to those of ars. I have heard that the viral load plays a large part in risk of infection.  Why did the doctor tell me if my gums were bleeding and hers were too then we could have mixed and I may have been infected.

Is there research or information on how well saliva kills the virus. For instance, let's say she did have high viral load and blood in her saliva. Wouldn't that be a risk. I have a part of my gum that bleed regularly. There is even blood on the q-tip when I press on it. Isn't this an open wound entry point. Please help. I hope none of my symptoms had anything to do with HIV. Everything was so similar to ars and it all came at or around 14 and 16 day mark.
Avatar universal
Are you saying to test since you believe there was a risk with deep kissing?
Avatar universal
There wasn't any sex involved. No cloths ever came off. There was only deep kissing.
480448 tn?1426952138
You didn't have a risk.  Kissing is not a risk, even with the presence of bleeding gums, ulcers, etc.  As for the "symptoms", TRUE ARS is comprised of very basic common symptoms that can be attributed to countless other things.  One can NEVER gauge a risk or assess their HIV status based on symptoms.
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