[Question #273] Please help please

36 months ago
Hi dr. I have read some of your comments on Medhelp but I see your no longer on there so I am soooo happy to find you on this site . I had sex with a girl I met six days ago. It was vaginal and it was protected . However oral sex was not protected. I have read from teak and dr on medhelp that oral sex is safe but I need your advise please help me , I am married and don't know if I need to tell wife due to not having sex or if I can move forward because vagonal WAS protective sex . I am very worried about hiv mainly
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
Welcome to our new forum. It's nice to hear from a MedHelp alum!

Indeed oral sex can be considered safe sex. It isn't completely free of STD risk, but far safer than unprotected vaginal or anal -- virtually zero risk for some STDs (HIV, for example) and very low for all of them. I would judge the risk from protected vaginal and unprotected oral to be roughly the same. From a standpoint of HIV, for sure this was a zero risk event for all practical purposes -- both because HIV remains rare in females in the US, even commercial sex workers, so it is unlikely your partner was infected; and because the nature of the exposure was virtually no risk.

So I would not advise testing and see no reason you should not continue unprotected sex with your wife, and that's what I would do if somehow I were in your circumstance. However, nobody can say the risk is absolutely zero. But I'm not you, and if you remain nervous and negative testing would reassure you, feel free to go ahead. But in the meantime, the risk is definitely low enough that you need not 'fess up to your wife or stop having sex while you await the results. We're talking about a risk in the same order as being hit by a meteorite. Nobody can give a guarantee against such rare events, but nobody should take special precautions to prevent it.

I hope this has been helpful. Best wishes--  HHH, MD


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36 months ago
I gotta say I will actually be able to sleep tonight finally after two nights of no rest and working fourteen hour shifts during day due to freaking out.. Your sent from heaven I believe... The health department here in Mississippi is clueless it seems in regards to hiv. Thank you so much I believe you have saved my marriage because she will not give me another chance after this event if I had to fess up
36 months ago
They rate unprotected vaginal and oral sex for hiv as the same.. But thanks to you I can enjoy my holidays .. Thank you again 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
I don't know who "they" are, but anybody who rates the risk of HIV to be the same from vaginal and oral sex is either badly misinformed or lying. 

Anyway, thanks for the thanks. Have a great Thanksgiving and holiday season.




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36 months ago
Thank you very much you as well. But I am ok even though it was oral giving and taking.???? And it was the health department nurse that told me oral is a good risk for hiv. In your expert opinion I can sleep actually and move on without further panic ??????
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
36 months ago
My replies above were particularly in reference to oral to penile transmission of HIV. Your exposure -- cunnilingus (oral-vaginal) -- has never been documented to have transmitted HIV in either direction. Most public health clinicians probably are not knowledgeable at this detail, and there is a tendency to not distinguish levels of risk. If any theoretical risk at all, they tend to portray all sex (except maybe masturbation) as similar risk.

Yes you can move on without further worry.

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies limited by forum rules, so ends this thread. Best wishes, stay safe (as you have!), and do your best to stop worrying. Happy holidays.


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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
In your new question, you wrote "It was both unprotected oral to penile sex from her and I gave her oral to vagina as well." Sorry I missed that part -- which is why re-opened this thread to add a final reply.

This clarification doesn't change my opinion or advice. There are no proved cases of oral to penile HIV transmission. One estimate from CDC was that if it occurs, the risk is in the range of once for every 20,000 exposures. That's equivalent to receiving BJs by infected partners once daily for 55 years before transmission might be considered likely. And as I said in my initial reply, "HIV remains rare in females in the US, even commercial sex workers, so it is unlikely your partner was infected". If we assume a one in 1,000 chance your partner had HIV and 1 in 20K transmission risk if she did, we're talking one chance in 20 million that you caught HIV. In other words, zero for all practical purposes.

So it's time to move on. Please don't start any more new threads on this issue. Repetative anxiety-driven questions are not permitted and it would be deleted without reply (and without refund, unlike my good hearted reply to today's new question!).

Move on without worry.


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