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young and scared
Feb 15, 2003

I am 17 and scared out of my mind. Will you please take the time to talk to me? Ihaven't done anything like this before. I am not the kind of guy that sleeps around or anything. I have called hotlines and they just say YES you can get infected with that encounter. I am really scared and confused. I recently was fooling around with a guy, just touching and feeling, kissing stuff. he then asked me to perform oral sex. I didn't, but I put his penis in my mouth for a couple of seconds and took it out. There could have been pre cum, but I don't know. I don't know the guy so I am worried about HIV infection. It is driving me insane!! I am constantly worrying and sure I have it. Is my life over at 17?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey "17 and Scared Out of My Mind,"

Relax, relax, relax. Your risk of acquiring HIV from putting your friend's penis in your mouth for a couple of seconds (with or without precum) is extremely, extremely low. The hotlines are just following guidelines. Too many of them, "penis in the mouth" equals oral sex and oral sex does carry a very, very small slight risk of HIV transmission. If you're really "scared out of your mind," you can get an anonymous HIV test at many sites in the U.S. (not sure where you are writing from); however, with the type of exposure you describe, I really don't think it's necessary to have an HIV test. The risk is just too infinitesimally small. Perhaps you'll be comforted to know the results of the most recent clinical study on oral sex for men having oral sex with men. The study tested 239 men who had an average of 3 oral sex partners in the past 6 months. One third reported getting cum into heir mouths and of those, 70 percent swallowed it. Fellatio on known HIV-positive partners was reported by 28 percent of these men; 39 percent of this group reported swallowing the ejaculate. In other words, this was a fairly active group of guys, not just putting a penis in their mouth for a few seconds, but really going all the way, and a significant number were doing it with HIV-positive dudes and swallowing the load. Care to guess how many of these guys wound up contracting HIV? Exactly zero! That's right; not a one! Now statistically, this was a small study (they screened over 10,000 clients to find these 239 guys!), so you can't draw the conclusion that it could never happen. However, you can very clearly draw the conclusion that if these guys with that degree of exposure didn't contract the virus, then the risk is certainly extremely, extremely low.

So, my young friend, I think you can relax. I don't think you even need an HIV test, but if you want one, wait until 3 months after you encounter. The results will be negative, I'm fairly certain of that.

Check in on The Body's Safe Sex Forum for additional safer sex information.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

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