[Question #3935] Follow-up to Question #3928] MSM unprotected oral sex - syphilis risk?

33 months ago
Hello again Doctors,

I am going to try very hard and restrain myself after this round of questions, though as you can probably tell I am very anxious about my situation.
I am writing this on 3 July 2018, 11 days after my exposure to syphilis (what stage of syphilis this other person has is unknown to me), through oral sex. I attended the sexual health clinic yesterday, where they gave me an oral exam and didn't see any chancres. They also provided me with two injections of penicillin in the buttocks. I will get test results back on Monday.

I can't help myself and have been performing some oral checks throughout the day - I think one side of my tongue, towards the back, has a couple of unusually large bumps on it, though I'm trying to tell myself it's just a tastebud (foliate papillae?). My questions are:

- Assuming that I did indeed develop an oral chancre from my syphilis exposure, despite it only being 10 days post-contact when I was treated, how long post-treatment will I remain infectious for? Do I need to abstain from sexual contact until it heals? 

- Is there associated a risk of kissing (not deep French kissing, more like pecks on the lips) for passing syphilis on, assuming I do have a chancre? 

Thank you.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
This could have been included in your final follow-up question in your other thread, without a new posting fee. 

You don't have a chancre now -- it would have been seen on exam -- and you have been treated with penicillin. That will abort syphilis if it were getting started. Thus a chancre will never appear and your blood test will remain negative. The tongue bumps are meaningless. Before development of a chancre, there is never any risk of transmitting syphilis by kissing or any other kind of contact, and within a few hours of the shot, the penicillin prevents any possibility of transmission. 

It is time for you to move on and stop obsessing about this sexual exposure. There will be no further discussion on this thread.

HHH, MD
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33 months ago
Thanks Doctor. I know I need to let my anxiety go, and that over-analysis of the situation doesn't help. I guess the only thing still on my mind is that the Doctor told me to abstain from sexual activity (including deep kissing) until my results were back on Monday. Maybe this is standard advice...
33 months ago
The other thing that I noticed before going in for my check-up was a small painful area above one of my front teeth - I assumed I had simply brushed too hard and didn't think anything of it. It still hurts when I brush now. Any chance this could be a chancre? The doctor didn't check my gums.
33 months ago
The reason I am asking about this small spot is that upon inspection I can see a small area of skin missing.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
33 months ago
Undoubtedly your doctor was just being conservative and careful in his advice. Your oral lesion doesn't sound or anything else of concerned.

That completes this thread. Do your best to move on without concern. It is impossible you have syphilis. I hope the discussion has been helpful.
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