[Question #4464] Seeking advice.

30 months ago
Hi there! 

On Sept. 26th I gave unprotected oral sex to a man I was dating for about a minute- wasn’t very long. STD status is unknown. He also fingered me and would lick his fingers and then continue fingering me. 

My biggest fear is that I could have contracted HIV from this incident. I do know that he use to use drugs (meth, heroin) a long time ago- approximately 10 years ago. Don’t know if it was intravenous or not. It’s been 5 weeks since the incident and I haven’t had any flu-like symptoms yet. I have read on the internet that contracting HIV through oral sex isn’t that likely, but i would like a professional’s advice. 

1. What is the likelihood I contracted HIV from this single incident? 
2. Should i be worried? 
3. I haven’t had any symptoms yet 5 weeks post-incident, am I in the clear? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
30 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be glad to comment. the short version is that you really have little to worry about.  The odds that he had HIV or any other STIs statistically quite low, even given the information you have about his (possibly past) life style. Further and most relevant however it that the risk for acquiring HIV from performing fellatio on an infected partner is tiny. I have never personally seen a case but it does happen rarely.  The CDC estimates the likelihood at 1 infection per more than 10,000 sex acts (i.e. like performing oral sex on a person with HIV once a day for more than 27 years)This:

1.  The risk is low- see above
2.  I would not worry about this if I were you
3.  HIV can be asymptomatic when acquired but, as discussed above, the risk is very, very low.  If there is any concern at all on your part however, get an HIV test- they are easy to have done and after 4 weeks are 99+% conclusive and entirely conclusive at 6 weeks.

I hope that his information is helpful. EWH
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30 months ago
Thank you for your thorough response, Dr. Hook! Your advice is comforting and helpful. 

1. Would you advise that I get tested for HIV after this incident? Or is the risk so tiny that I’m overthinking this? 

2. I have HSV 1 orally and my partner had licked his fingers and then fingered me. Does this put me at risk for herpes- HSV 1 or 2? 

3. Is there any other information or advice you can provide that would help put this HIV fear to rest? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
30 months ago
Thanks for your follow-up.  Responses below:
1.  The risk is so very tiny that I see no medical reason for testing.  On the other hand if it would give you comfort, then there is no harm to testing to substantiate what I have said.  An even more effective way to but these concerns behind you would be to see if your partner would be willing to test.  If he is negative at this time, there is absolutely no way that you could have been infected in the encounter you describe.

2.  No, HSV is not transmitted through the transfer of secretions from one location to another on someone's fingers.  In addition, since you already have HSV-1 you cannot get it again at any site.  In addition, having HSV-1 infection provides you with resistance to future infection with HSV-2.  Finally, HSV-2 of the mouth is extraordinarily rare so that there is no meaningful risk that his saliva might be carrying HSV-2.  

3.  Overall, for all of the reasons that I've suggested your risk for having gotten any STI, including HIV from the exposure that you have described is virtually zero.  I hope my comments will be helpful to you. EWH
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