[Question #2003] Open Mouth Brief Kiss - HIV Risk

50 months ago
Dear Doctors, 2 nights back I went out for drinks with some friends and started talking to one Asian girl. I had a couple of drinks and we flirted a bit. And then we kissed very softly (but with open mouth) once or twice briefly 2-5 seconds at the most. It was not really deep and we didn't exchange much saliva and I don't remember our tongues touching.  Since it was a cold day my lips were a bit dry and a bit hurt because I had removed some dry skin by hand but not gushing blood out or really wounded. She had lipstick and I didn't see any blood or wound. I made an excuse and left and there was no other contact.  I'm in a committed relationship and regret this mistake. I had recently tested and do not have any std. did I put myself at risk of anything, particularly HIV? Thanks a lot.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
49 months ago
Welcome back to the forum.

In one of your previous threads, Dr. Hook informed you that receiving oral sex carried little or no risk for catching HIV. The reason is that the mouth is rarely a source for HIV transmission. For that reason, kissing also is not risky. There has never been a proved (or to my awareness, even suspected) case of HIV transmitted by kissing. Billions of kisses have occurred between HIV infected and uninfected persons, and it's also obvious that millions and millions of those occurred among people with chapped or dry lips -- and yet no known transmissions of HIV. Among other things, saliva kills HIV and is rarely if ever a source of infection. Further, the chance any particular random female has HIV -- whether Asian or any other ethnicity -- is very low. For those resons, this was a zero risk event. 

This is the third question you have asked about exposures that almost everybody knows are entirely free of HIV risk. Here is all you need to know to avoid HIV for your entire life:  1) Have only safe sex, i.e. a mutually monogamous partner and/or consistent condom use for vaginal or anal sex in non-monogamous settings; and 2) do not share drug injection equipment with other people. That's all. No worries ever about mutual masturbation, kissing, oral sex, or exposure to HIV in the environment. So never again any need to ask about such things, right?

Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or types of exposure. This will have to be your last one; future new questions from you along these lines will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties rather than reducing them. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. I trust you will understand.

Best wishes and stay safe--  HHH, MD


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49 months ago
Dear Doctor Handsfield and Dr. Hook, I really appreciate your help and prompt response here. You are like a lighthouse in the dark ocean for those needing guidance. My apologies for bothering you, but I really didn't know much about this. From what you've told me, I understand (1) it was a completely no risk event, there's no need for testing and I can resume unprotected sex with my partner, (2) there's also no risk for any other STD from this brief encounter. I hope I understood correctly. I am really thankful to you and I hope to pay forward your kind help to other people.  
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
49 months ago
No apologies are necessary -- this forum isn't a bother at all.

And yes, you understand correctly:  1) completely no risk for HIV and no need for testing and you can continue unprotected sex with your partner; and 2) no risk for any other STD either.

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm glad to have helped.

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49 months ago
Dear Doctor, apologies for coming back again.  Your answer was extremely assuring. I have resumed unprotected sex with my lady. However, for the last day or so (almost 10 days after the brief open mouth kiss on the lips) I've been having a bit of throatache, sore throat, really mild feeling of fever and slightly running nose but that may also be the result of change of season as generally happens to me.  Also, my 18 month old nephew who drank water directly (within 5 minutes of me drinking) from the same cold water bottle I was directly drinking from 6 days back (and might have gotten some of my saliva) also has a bit of fever and tummy issues. I understand it was a completely no risk event so there's no reason to worry and I can move on. You can close the thread after you respond. I really very much appreciate your and Dr. Hooks response.  Thanks a lot. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
49 months ago
You are exactly correct that the kissing episode "was a completely no risk event so there's no reason to worry" and that it is time to move on. You cannot go through life attributing every ache and twinge -- the sorts of minor symptoms and body sensations experienced by everyone -- to any particular event in your life, sexual or otherwise. The sympotms you and your nephew are experiencing having nothing to do with the kiss.

Please note the warning in my initial reply above:  no more questions like these, plesae. Best wishes and stay safe.

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