[Question #3416] Hiv concern from kissing

38 months ago
Dear Doctors, 

I'm a 35 years old male living in Qatar. You might think I have a silly question but I'm very stressed and anxious about it. 

I met an escort on Sunday February 25th 2018, the exposure was very brief and I think it was safe. We French kissed for a maximum period of 20 seconds (on 3 to 4 parts) total kissing time 15-20 seconds. And she performed protected oral on me for about 4 minutes maximum. 

I'm more concerned with the kissing part, I didn't notice any blood in her mouth but I have some holes in my teeth. 

A. On Friday March 2nd 2018 (5 days of the encounter) I had slight sore throat. 

B. Saturday and Sunday 3rd and 4th March 2018 (6-7 days after encounter) I had fever of 100.5 maximum that goes down when I take paracetamol, I also had some rash on my torso and some slight night sweats and mild body aches. 

C. Monday 5th March 2018 (8 days after encounter) no fever at all, and no rash at all. But only sore throat. 

 1. I don't know the hiv status of the escort. 
2. It's flu season now in the area I live in. 

I know that there's only one documented case of HIV that transmitted through kissing however I just wish to get detailed answers to my questions below :

1. What are the chances of me having HIV? 

2. Can ars symptoms come as early as 5 days? And then go away after 2 days (fever and rash gone but sore throat still there) 

3. Does ars fever respond to paracetamol? My fever used to go down to normal levels after taking the paracetamol medicine. And as stated above  the fever lasted only 2 days 

4. Is there anything I have to worry about? 

5. I listed all the symptoms above, I didn't exclude anything from my description as I try to make the case very clear. 

6. Kindly assess the situation I put myself in. 

Many thanks, and your efforts are highly appreciated. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
38 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your confidence in our services.

First, escorts (by which I mean expensive female sex workers by appointment, as opposed to bar pickups, brothel workers, etc) are generally believed to be low risk in regard to STDs, including HIV. Most probably know the soore, care about their health, use condoms, get tested regularly, and have low risk clients (men like you). So it is unlikely your partner had HIV.

Second and perhaps most important, your own assessment ("I think it was safe") is exactly right. Kissing is no risk, as just discussed, and oral sex is no risk either, even without a condom -- and you used one! Even if she had HIV, you definitely were not at risk.

To your specific questions:

1) HIV risk for you? Zero. I'm unaware of one case of HIV scientificaly documented to be acquried by kissing. Feel free to provide whatever details you know. But even if well documented, what does it matter? One event among billions of kissing episodes world wide in the 30+ years of the known HIV pandemic? Who cares? I can't help you much if you're going to worry about health risks in the range of one in a billion or lower!

2,5) Your symptoms started too soon for ARS. 7-10 days is the minimum.

3) Fever of any cause can be reduced by paracetamol (called acetaminophen in North America). This makes no difference one way or the other.

4) I see no reason for worry about HIV or any other STD from this event.

6) Assessment:  Zero risk, as noted above.

You don't need testing for anything and if you have a regular partner, you can safely continue your normal sexual practices without worry.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.


38 months ago
Many thanks  Dr. For the clarification. 

But please excuse me I have some more questions. 

1. If what I'm having is ars, and it started 5 days after encounter with  only slight sore throat and 6 days after encounter i had proper sore throat and fever. But fever lasted only 2 days. Isn't 6 days very close to 7 days for ars to start. 

2. If what I'm having is ars. Can the fever and body aches last only for 2 days. 

3. If what I'm having is ars, is it possible for the fever, rash and body aches to disappear completely but the sore throat still be present. As I'm still having sore throat till today but all other symptoms are gone.  

4. I read about one case of a man who transmitted HIV to a woman through kissing? Still not scientificly proven? 

5. Do you really think my chances of HIV are ZERO?

Sorry for asking alot but I do trust your advice and I'm very anxious and stressed. 

I'm a professional, married man, and I  have a lovely baby boy. If I was your SON what would you advise me ?

Thanks again 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
38 months ago
You are forgetting or ignoring my main comments. HIV is not transmitted by kissing. Therefore, you were not at risk. Your symptoms don't change that.

1-3) These symptoms are not typical for ARS, which generally causes fever for more than a week. Two days is too short for fever and all the other symptoms. 

4) See my comments above. What if one case occurred? In 30+ years among millions and millions of exposures?

5) Yes, zero.

You came here for my advice and reassurance. I have done my best to reassure you, based on scientific evidence. Please do your best to accept it and stop worrying. All is well -- you definitely do not have HIV!!!
38 months ago
Many thanks Dr. 

So you think I don't even need to test for HIV?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
38 months ago
That's what I said above, and I haven't changed my mind! As yes, this is the identical advice I would give my son, or myself, if either of us somehow were in your situation.

That concludes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so concludes this thread. Do you best to accept the reasoned, science based reassurance I have tried to give you. Separate your apparent guilt and shame over a sexual decision you regret from infection risks from that event. They aren't the same. Deal with the former as you need to (maybe discuss with your wife? professional counseling?), but you can disregard the latter.

I do hope the conversation has been helpful. Best wishes.