[Question #351] Hiv from saliva because of an old STD

35 months ago
6 years ago i had unprotected vaginal sex with CSW.  She swore she was clean via tests from Dr. a few weeks prior.  Who really knows?  I finally tested about a year later it was negative for Hiv.  I did not have the money to have a complete STD panel done.  I have not had sex with anybody since.  A few months back i visited a different CSW who i lightly kissed a few times no tongue or deep kissing.  She spit a strand of saliva on my penis for lube.  Not sure exactly where i landed.  Of course she said she was clean too.  Nothing to back it up. Now i know from your history both of you see this as negligible risk.  I am worried i might have an underlying STD from years ago that might have increased my risk of infection if she was positive.  Used to be no penetration "no risk"  Now too many words like generally, usually, probably not are used to describe risk for hiv without penetration for me to not wonder.  I can say i have never had a herpes outbreak or discharge from penis.  Just slight burning when i pee once in a blue moon.  Not very often.

1.  What is the shelf life of a bacterial STD?  Can it stay with you for years if not treated?
2.  Would you recommend testing in this situation?
3.  I have ordered a 3rd Gen antibody test.  It has been 74 days since it happened.  Would my results be reliable?
4.  If i had an STD like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis would it increase my risk of infection?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
35 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I will try to help. Before I get to specifics, a few general comments.  There is no known risk for HIV or any other STI from exposure to saliva.  This is the case irrespective of how the contact with saliva occurs (i.e. deep kissing, spitting, saliva as lubrication), what sort of STI the source of the saliva might have, or whether the source of the saliva has mouth sores, bad dentition, blood in their mouth.  further, I will point out that in science there are no absolutes so that despite having never been described, something might occur for the first time tomorrow.  Thus when I say there is no known risk to you of being hit by a meteor falling from space and hitting you today, it could happen to someone tomorrow (although I would bet a lot that it would not happen).  Now on to your specific comments.

1.  What is the shelf life of a bacterial STD?  Can it stay with you for years if not treated?

Some STIs can persist but over time most either cure themselves or become symptomatic. This is obviously a generalization of the sort I mention above but, from what you describe, I seen to reason to worry.


2.  Would you recommend testing in this situation?

No, absolutely not.


3.  I have ordered a 3rd Gen antibody test.  It has been 74 days since it happened.  Would my results be reliable?

Yes, 3rd generation tests are accurate at 8 weeks,  74 days is more than 10 weeks. Believe your test results (not that I think you need to be tested).


4.  If i had an STD like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis would it increase my risk of infection?

These infections increase the risk of acquiring HIV transmitted through genital exposure.  They would not increase the risk of getting HIV through saliva exposure since there is no risk to begin with.

I hoe my comments are reassuring and will help you to move forward without concern.  EWH

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35 months ago
Thank you Dr.  I think I will take the test anyway since it is already paid for.   Probably be easier than trying to get a refund.   I feel much better though now.   I should say my only real concern about her hiv status was that she offered unprotected oral I declined cause I didn't have a condom.  If she offered it to me how many others has she given unprotected oral to?  Again, I know you would think it is nothing to worry over.   However; as you said "You can never say never ".  It falls back to the "what if" factor unfortunately.   I will post my last follow up with my results if you like? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
35 months ago
No one has ever been shown to acquire HIV from receipt of oral sex.  if this is the sort of exposure that she takes part in, as I said before, I would not worry.  EWH
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34 months ago
Just letting you know my 3rd Gen antibody test came back NEGATIVE!!!!  I had to wait a few extra days before i could get to the testing center so it was 76 days one day shy 11 weeks since my incident.  Have you ever seen a test turn positive this close to the magic twelve weeks?  Can i move on now?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
34 months ago
No, your negative test result is conclusive.  As I mentioned earlier, 3rd generation tests are accurate at 8 weeks.  There is no reason for additional testing.  Take care.  EWH
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