[Question #604] a little guidance

40 months ago
I am a male who 4 weeks ago had protected vaginal sex as well as received oral.  A condom was used for both Oral and Vaginal Penetration and they were used throughout the entire act.  I only glanced at the condom once complete however, it appeared to be intact.  There was also some French kissing for a minute or two.  Nothing extreme but just basic French kissing.  Due to the females occupation , I am extremely concerned.  I wasn't so much at first because I wore protection but at two weeks post incident I became concerned about HIV after internet surfing and went and talked to a Dr. In the ER.  I had no symptoms at the time, I was just nervous and wanted to speak to a doctor.  He wouldn't run a test as he said it wouldn't do any good two weeks from exposure.  When I asked him if I could contract it from kissing, he said it's possible and told me I could test at 6 weeks.  That was where the anxiety really started.  Here I thought I was being safe and then he tells me that.  I shrugged it off at first thinking "if I was likely to contract it through kissing, everyone would have it."  Almost 4 weeks post exposure I haven't had any symptoms other than a slight headache once in awhile, feeling a little light headed and having a bit of a rapid heart beat.  I'm naturally an anxious person so this has been a bit of a nightmare.  Those few symptoms all come and go and seem to definitely be more when I'm not busy or if I'm sitting up late by myself.  These symptoms come and go and I am assuming they are anxiety driven as well as a bit of guilt.  Especially being that they comes and go.  My questions are this.

1. If she had hiv (because obviously we don't know) based on the exposure I had, what is the likely hood I have contracted it?
2.  Could I really have contracted it through French kissing?  My dental is pretty good and I hadn't had any sores that I was aware of other than maybe some chapped lips.  
3. Do you recommend testing for this incident or am I safe to just move on with my life?  
4. If I was going to experience ars would I most likely have done so by now being about 26 days post exposure? 

I appreciate your thoughts and advice in advance.  Thank you very much for all you guys do.  

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago

Welcome to our Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment and complement you for your commitment to safe sex.  Despite what you may have seen on the internet (always a bad idea- while I am sure that nearly all who post on the internet mean no harm, statements there are often taken out of context, are misinterpretations or sometimes are just wrong) or from the doctor you spoke with (who was wrong), all of the activities you describe represent safe sex and as long as your condom was intact.  And if your condom looked intact, it was - when condoms break, they break wide open.  There are no STIs other than perhaps transmission of herpes type1 the cold sore virus that can be transmitted through kissing including French kissing.  Those who maintain that such transmission is "theoretically" possible need to put their theoretical statement into perspective - the likelihood of getting an STI is just as theoretically likely as your likelihood of being struck by a meteor falling from space. 

With these general statements, let me address your specific questions:

1. If she had hiv (because obviously we don't know) based on the exposure I had, what is the likely hood I have contracted it?
Zero.  Most commercial sex workers do not have HIV (or other STIs).  They tend to do a better job of avoiding risks and getting checked on a regular basis than many others who engage in casual sex.  more importantly however, condom protected sex is safe sex and not STI, including HIV is transmitted by kissing of any sort.

2.  Could I really have contracted it through French kissing?  My dental is pretty good and I hadn't had any sores that I was aware of other than maybe some chapped lips.  
See above, this is incorrect.  There are no proven instances in which HIV has been spread by kissing of any sort, by receipt of unprotected oral sex from an infected person, or by cunnilingus.  There are a few instances (very few) in which persons performing fellatio on an infected partner appear to have acquired HIV.

3. Do you recommend testing for this incident or am I safe to just move on with my life?  
I see no need for worry and no need for testing.  I urge you to move on without concern.

4. If I was going to experience ars would I most likely have done so by now being about 26 days post exposure? 
Yes, you would have

I hope these comments are helpful.  In the spirit of providing as much information as is reasonable, I have made some comments that had little to do with the event you described- please don't them cause you to overthink things or worry- the exposure you described did not put you at risk for HIV or other STIs.  EWH
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40 months ago
Dr.  Thank you very much for your quick response.  None of your comments will cause me to over think or worry more.  They were extremely informative and I appreciate your detailed explanation.  when I spoke of the females occupation, I actually meant she is a stripper (which In hindsight doesn't mean she's any more promiscuous  than anyone else I suppose).  Regardless that's all irrelevant because you have clearly answered my questions, made me realize I was being safe even though that other doctors  Response made me question my actions and for that I greatly appreciate it. I have no further questions and appreciate your help more than you know.  You guys provide an outstanding service here.  Thank you.  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
40 months ago
Thanks for your thanks, and thanks as well for pointing out that all strippers and exotic dancers are not necessarily commercial sex workers although there is clearly some overlap as well.  Take care.  EWH
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