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PEP after blood exposure?
May 30, 2002

In general, I'm very careful about sexual risks, although I have sex frequently. Recently, though, while kissing an anonymous MSM partner in a bath-house, I noticed that my mouth was full of blood. I'm reasonably sure the blood was his, since immediately after rinsing, no more blood appeared. Also, for the record, I have excellent oral health. But blood is blood, and the mouth is mucous membranes, right?

I have no idea of his HIV status (or even his name), and we didn't do anything else that would be considered risky.

Should I consider PEP?

Response from Mr. Kull

This sounds like quite an unusual scenario, and the details seem a bit unclear. If you indeed had your partner's blood in your mouth, and he was HIV infected, then you are at risk for HIV infection. HIV infected blood coming into contact with mucous membranes poses a significant risk for infection.

PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) needs to be started as soon as possible, and is probably not useful if started more than 24-36 hours after exposure. See PEP for more information.

Regardless, if you do believe that you were exposed to your partner's blood, testing for HIV is indicated. You may want to talk with your doctor to explore your options.

RMK



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