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Delayed seroconversion
Sep 24, 2011

Dear Doctor, I request you to answer the question even though it may sound repetitive. Im a homosexual male whose only exposure was unprotected oral sex with another guy. i was the one giving the oral sex. Now i do not know the hiv or hep c status of the other guy but considering he is quite promiscuous, he may have been carrying one or both the viruses. He did not cum in my mouth but i did see some pre cum. Now i know that oral sex is a relatively low risk activity but what worries me is this: about half an hour after performing oral sex i rinsed my mouth with plain water; no brushing or flossing just plain rinsing to get rid of any viruses that may have entered the mouth. and then immediately after rinsing the mouth i had some hot food, which burned my palate. Well, i got tested twice. My first hiv test was 12 weeks (84 days) after exposure which was negative and my second hiv test was 14 weeks (99 days) after exposure which was also negative. It was the hiv duo test which tests the antibodies and p24 antigen as well. Also, along with my 14 week hiv test i also got tested for hep c which too was negative. My liver fucntion tests were also normal after 14 weeks.My concern dear doctor is this: If even after rinsing my mouth some virus did remain and may have entered my bloodstream because of the burned palate, would they not show even after 14 weeks? May be im coinfected with both hiv and hep c and thats why none have shown on the tests so far. For the past few weeks i've had sore throat, occasional pain in armpits and unexplained fatigue. This is 4 months after the exposure. maybe im still seroconverting. Please help. My life is on hold. Please do answer

Response from Dr. McGovern

Whenever I make the decision to offer HIV or HCV testing, I usually carry that out to the recommended time interval of six months.

However, this is just to capture the small minority of patients who seroconvert later. You are probably already "in the clear".

The chance is extremely low in my mind that you were at risk in the first place - there are estimates that HIV risk for receptive oral sex is four transmissions per 10,000 sex acts. Sexual transmission of HCV is associated with anal sex and trauma and genital ulcers.

Your symptoms don't make me think you have any particular disease or infection. Testing is extremely anxiety provoking. I hope this post gives you some relief.

Reassurance over low risk exposure
Freaked out in The Netherlands - HIV

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