[Question #1821] Exposure to HIV after oral performing Oral Sex

43 months ago
Gay male in my 40's. Long term relationship. I learned this weekend that an anonymous guy I performed oral sex on last July tested positive for HIV last August. We had 2 encounters. First time, he ejaculated in my mouth and I swallowed but not the second. I realize transmission from oral sex is a low risk activity. His viral load in August was 52,000. I had a mild sore throat and post nasal drip in August/September/October time frame (can't recall exactly). Thought it was due to frequent air travel and a cold. No fever or lymphadenopathy. I will likely have completed an HIV test by the time you respond to this post. Planning to do so after work today. I always get very anxious having this test. Thought about waiting until my next annual physical but for my own psychological well being, I need to put this behind me. Generally speaking, I have good oral health. No bleeding gums except minor when I floss occasionally or during biannual dental cleanings. I am in healthcare and have exhausted a number of references including the CDC website among various blogs. I'm just very anxious about having the test as this is the first time I have been contacted by someone telling me he had contracted HIV and we had been together weeks prior. Any new light to shed on the subject from recent years/experience to ease my anxiety regarding exposure and transmission of HIV during oral sex? I realize that until I have the test, I will continue to obsess with reading blogs, pubmed searches, and such which likely only increases my anxiety. Thanks.   
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be happy to add my comments to the information you have already gleaned from the sources you mention.  The odds are very much in your favor that you were not infected.  As you already mention, the risk of getting HIV from performing oral sex on an infected partner is low, estimated to be less than 1 infection per 10,000 exposures.  Further as you also likely know, the amount of virus you were exposed to also impacts your risk for infection and a HIV viral load of 52,000 is on the lower side of the range of potential transmission risks, transmission becoming somewhat more likely when viral loads get to over 1 in a million.  Your symptoms around the time of exposure are not typical of the ARS associated with HIV seroconversion and post-nasal drip is not one of the typical ARS symptoms.   While I totally agree with your decision to test, I trust that your test will confirm that you were not infected through the exposure you describe.  Please feel free to share your test results with us when they are available.  EWH  
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43 months ago
Thanks so much for your reply. I did receive it prior to going in for testing yesterday evening. Happy to report that it was negative! This forum is great. In some ways, I guess it could be considered a "database" of sorts with the lack of any controls. Although there are many variables which would challenge the scientific rigor, there is a wealth of information and data here! Thanks again for providing this venue for questions, discussion, and comments!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Delighted to hear of your results.  Thanks for sharing.  Stay safe.  EWH
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