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Epstein-Barr and Hiv
Sep 22, 1998

I am a gay male. I recently had contact with another male who disclosed the fact that he is HIV+ after much heavy petting and some oral sexual activity. Needless to say, I was devastated since I am HIV-. My question is this: Given the fact that I was tested with the Epstein-Barr virus approximately 10 years ago and he has exchanged bodily fluids with me (i.e., saliva only on my part through kissing), am I susceptible to infection with HIV? I understand that Epstein-Barr is a close cousin to the HIV virus. This has had me totally worried. The only oral sex was this other male to me. I did not reciprocate. This is very important as I have family members who are dependant upon me and my support. An accurate answer would be appreciated.

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello I wouldn't necessarily describe Epstein-Barr as a close cousin of HIV, but it can be transmitted by exchange of body fluids. HIV disease is much more difficult to transmit, and the risk of infection for the type of activity you have described is low.


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