[Question #5611] What is the risk for HIV infection from sucking balls of a gay postive man

22 months ago
Hello Doctor - Am from Canada. A day back I visited a gay club where I met a stranger and indulged in sucking his balls while touching his penis shaft. I was deeply sucking his balls for nearly 5 minutes until he told me that he was hiv positive. I did not take his penis head into my mouth though I had touched his penis shaft and head with my hands. I stopped and moved away when he told me of his status. Since it was dark inside the room, I am not sure if he had any sores or cuts on his balls. I had brushed my teeth approx 10 hours before the said encountered and there was a little bleeding of the guns then. Am I at risk of hiv infection? Is there anything that I need to do or know at this stage? Thanks,
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
22 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

I certainly understand how alarming it was to learn, after the fact, that your partner has HIV. Nevertheless, this was an entirely safe encounter. Oral contact with skin is no HIV risk, and that includes the scrotum; from a risk standpoint, this is no more risky than it would have been from sucking, say, his elbow. Brief contact with the penis also is risk free. Even if you had performed oral sex on him to completion, with ejaculation in your mouth, there would have been little if any risk:  only a few cases of HIV transmission penis to mouth/throat have ever been reported. Whether or not here were "sores or cuts" on his scrotum makes no difference:  healed or healing cuts are not a risk. Indeed, oral exposure in general is very low if any risk:  I would not recommend swallowing HIV infected blood, but if somehow that happened, the transmission risk would be very low.

From a medical or risk perspective, you needn't do anything -- for example, no need for HIV testing. However, many anxious persons are more reassured by negative test results than by professional opinion, no matter how expert. In addition, all men who have sex with other men should be tested for HIV and other STDs from time to time, e.g. once a year. So if not tested recently, maybe this would be a good time, since it's on your mind. But not because of this particular event.

I hope these comments are helfpul. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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22 months ago
Thank you doctor. Based on your reply it is my understanding, that my encounter was zero risk and hence I do not need to get tested. Also there is no need for me to visit a doctor here locally, to start PreP.  You can consider the question as closed. Thanks again.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
22 months ago
You correctly understand everything. Thanks for the thanks -- I'm glad to have helped. Thanks as well for your offer to close out this thread -- but I'll leave it open a couple of days in case any other follow-up questions or comments come to mind.---
22 months ago
Thank you doctor. I will take the opportunity for one more clarification. Do I need to get tested for any other STD, for the said incident? If yes, at what window time? Thanks.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
22 months ago
As I said above, "all men who have sex with other men should be tested for HIV and other STDs from time to time, e.g. once a year. So if not tested recently, maybe this would be a good time, since it's on your mind. But not because of this particular event."

If you decide to be tested, the standard recommendation, in addition to HIV, is a blood test for syphilis and urine for gonorrhea and chlamydia. 

That concludes this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful.
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