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Is HIV trasmission possible through oral sex?

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Posted on Fri, 1 Aug 2014
Question: I had oral sex (receiver) from a sex worker and after 3 & half weeks, experiencing mild fever and likely oral thrush. Earlier (within 72 hrs) I consulted a physician in my country and he said saliva will never pass HIV. But now I'm scared and need your help badly.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Oral sex carries a low risk for HIV.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome to HCM
Thanks for posting your query.

HIV risk is very low with Oral sex. Vaginal sex is considered to be a high risk activity. As per CDC, XXXXXXX the risk with vaginal sex is around 5 per 10000. The risk through oral sex is lower than that and considered as low risk. As your doctor told, Saliva would not transmit HIV as the viral load is not adequate to produce an infection, whereas if it is mixed with blood due to oral ulcer or an oral infection there may be a very little chance.
Fever and sore throat can occur with anybody. A common nuisance. So you need not worry. Clear yourself with HIV test after 12 weeks to rule out this low possibility and relieve your mental tension.
DR S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan (11 minutes later)
Thanks sir.

I could not fully type my query as I was very new here. Please find them below. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Hi,



I received UNPROTECTED ORAL SEX 30 days before with a sex worker who claimed HIV Negative. After I got the oral sex, within 72 hours I visited a Physician in my country and he said saliva alone would never pass HIV. I also did not see any blood while she was giving the oral sex. I did NOT give her oral sex. I did NOT touch her genital. Did NOT kiss lip to lip as well. But, my pubic area had slight razor cuts due to shaving around 40 minute BEFORE the oral sex session. The physician here recommended me Aciclovir and another pill for 2 weeks to prevent other STDs except HIV. Now from the 24th day of this incident, I experience just unwell, mild fever and a feeling of something being stuck in my throat and mild headache. In some websites, I read that these are sereconversion symptoms and afraid. Really scaring to death. As far as I'm aware, I do NOT have swollen lymph nodes or rashes (for the time being) in my body. A general doctor gave me some pills and the feeling of something stuck in throat has decreased, but it still exists. I see some white coating in my tongue as well (however I just checked my mother and she too had similar color tongue). Is this Oral Thrush developing ??? Can the feeling of something stuck in throat be Esophagitis caused by HIV ? Really scared and waiting for your clarification. I have not tested myself yet. Please note that I received unprotected oral sex for about 40 minutes and I feel it's a fairly long time. Does this time duration make saliva capable of transmitting the virus ? Thank you for your time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (57 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Symptom unrelated to HIV.Coating differfrom thrush

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
I can understand that you had disturbed mentally much. Don't try to read from web sites. You can not understand the real facts, but developing fear or phobia.

Even the shaving 40 minutes prior to the oral sex did not increase the risk of HIV in the presence of shaving abrasions also. Likewise the longer duration of oral sex for 40 minutes did not augment the risk of HIV through salivary contact as it is not infectious.
Earliest HIV manifestation can occur only after 4-6 weeks of the possible infection, if any and not earlier than that. So your throat infection could not be due to HIV as you had your symptoms around 24 days of the high risk contact. Appropriate antibiotics for adequate duration will relieve your symptoms.

Esophagitis in HIV is a very late manifestation and occurs after the immunity goes below dangerous level. That is after 10-12 years after the infection. All the white coating of tongue is not oral thrush. Only a physician can recognize the oral thrush easily as it is more like a curdy white deposits not only the tongue can occur over inner aspect of cheek and palate.
Don't imagine odd things. Only a blood test can confirm or rule out HIV.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan (37 minutes later)
Many many thanks for your answer. Really much appreciated. I was upset as I started getting these symptoms and still having these symptoms (31st day which ranges the 4-6 week mark).

Further, could you please tell me that in some websites, some research personnel have said that, the saliva also would be highly infectious, if the other person was in his/her window period. Is this true sir ? At times, I think whether I got caught to her in her "window period" when her saliva was highly HIV infectious. Please tell me the insight of this sir. Thank you for your kindness and time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Think of positive points and wait till 12 weeks.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome once again.

Instead of getting confused, think of the positive things, like
1.oral sex carries a very low risk for HIV.
2. Symptoms started quiet earlier than to be expected in a case of HIV infection
3. The symptoms you had are not specific for HIV, and anybody can have a throat infection.

During earlier part of the HIV disease, the viral load would be high both in blood and saliva when compared to the subsequent period following the sero-conversion. That doesn't mean that saliva is more infectious during this period. Still the risk of HIV through salivary transmission is negligible.
In my practice of HIV medicine for the past 25 years ( had come across nearly 4-5 thousand cases) I yet to come across a single case of HIV infection got through oral sex.
The answer for all your questions, is the HIV test only.
Your risk is very low and wait till 12 weeks and get tested for HIV and get relieved with the negative result.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan (19 hours later)
Thank you. Thanks a lot for your precise time. I'd like to have an HIV test using ELISA 3rd Generation. I think it's fairly fine ?

Thanks again for your time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
HIV ELISA 3rd generation is an ideal one.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome once again.
HIV ELISA 3rd generation test is more than sufficient and highly reliable. Go ahead and you will be getting a HIV non reactive result and you will get relieved.
Have a great day.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan (4 hours later)
Thank you sir.

But I'm going to use it to test 33 days after the exposure. Is that OK sir ? At least as a guidance before the 12th week test ? Kindly help me.

Thank you for your support in understanding my situation.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Antibody test done after 12weeks rules out HIV 1&2

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
If the 3rd generation test is a combo test (both Ag/Ab), then it is alright to have the test after a month following high risk contact.If it is only an antibody test then it will be of no use.
But any HIV test done after 12 weeks is more conclusive to rule out both HIV1&2.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2950 Questions

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Is HIV trasmission possible through oral sex?

Brief Answer: Oral sex carries a low risk for HIV. Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to HCM Thanks for posting your query. HIV risk is very low with Oral sex. Vaginal sex is considered to be a high risk activity. As per CDC, XXXXXXX the risk with vaginal sex is around 5 per 10000. The risk through oral sex is lower than that and considered as low risk. As your doctor told, Saliva would not transmit HIV as the viral load is not adequate to produce an infection, whereas if it is mixed with blood due to oral ulcer or an oral infection there may be a very little chance. Fever and sore throat can occur with anybody. A common nuisance. So you need not worry. Clear yourself with HIV test after 12 weeks to rule out this low possibility and relieve your mental tension. DR S.Murugan