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insertive oral sex with bruised-lip guy
Aug 27, 2002

Dr. Bob, I am aware of this forum's purpose, but my attempts at counsel in Safe Sex and HIV Prevention have not been recognized. Hopefully, you can shed clarity on the quandry I've created for myself. Regretably, and in an act of infidelity, I engaged in unprotected insertive oral intercourse with a man (of unknown status) who had what apeared to be a bruised lip. Realizing my carelessness, I promptly withdrew my penis 5 seconds after inserting it. Though I never visualized any free blood or fluid other than saliva, I am concerned. Ridden with guilt, I confided this in my partner of 4 years, and then subsequently spiraled into the depths of depression (missing work, not eating). At 1 and 4 weeks post-encounter, my boyfriend and I had Elisas (all negative). At the four week mark, I began experiencing a sore throat with neither fever nor lymphadenopathy. Convinced that I am now HIV-positive and have infected the love of my life, I need to know, from the expert, if I have placed myself in any danger. Though I would gladly submit to weekly Elisas for the next six months, I'd rather prefer to adopt a more objective and realistic approach that your feedback will afford. Endless thanks for your time and wisdom. Guilt-consumed Guy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Guilt-Consumed Guy,

Don't be so hard on yourself. We are all only human and we all make mistakes. As I have said before in this column, some of my "mistakes" would probably curl your hair (if it's not already curly). Learn from yesterday's mistakes, live for today, and look forward to tomorrow.

Insertive oral intercourse carries a very low risk of HIV infection. A bruised lip (without active bleeding) does not increase this risk. The episode only lasted 5 seconds and was not associated with visible trauma, which further decreases your risk. Your HIV tests at 5 weeks are negative. Your sore throat is most likely nothing more than that - a sore throat. You may be "convinced that you are HIV-positive," but I'm certainly not. In fact, I'd be willing to bet you are HIV-negative! Have you infected the love of your life? Extremely doubtful because all the odds are in your favor that you are not HIV-positive, and therefore, cannot possibly infect anyone else. Your biggest problem now is guilt. Get some counseling or therapy to help you cope with this. Your partner sounds supportive, which is a real bonus. HIV-test-wise - all you need is a single HIV antibody test at 3 months after the possible exposure. If that's negative, and I'm quite sure it will be, you can shout WOO-HOO!!!

Guilt-consumed guy, I strongly recommend you get help for the guilt feelings, as this is your only real problem. Hang in there. Trust me, I'm a doctor.

I'll be looking for you to write back with a WOO-HOO at the 3-month mark, OK?

Stay well!

Dr. Bob


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