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Treatment after unprotected oral sex
Jun 3, 2002

I performed unprotected oral sex on a woman of unknown status. I also kissed her, and touched my penis to her vagina.

I've been experiencing strange symptoms: mild flu that resolved, then some fatigue and what felt like I was going to faint.

I was wondering: I hear you can start treatment right after exposure to make the virus undetectable. Should I do this?

Response from Mr. Kull

It is highly unlikely that you have HIV. The only real risk for transmission based on your questions is during unprotected oral sex with a woman (sexual transmission is only known to occur during vaginal, anal or oral sex). There have been very few documented cases of HIV transmission to a person performing oral sex on a woman. The reasons for this are explained in my response to Cunnilingus....

Since the risk for infection is so low in your case, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is not recommended. PEP--the use of anitviral medications shortly after a high-risk exposure to PREVENT infection--probably needs to be started within 24-36 hours of exposure to be effective. Since the procedure is still not widely practiced, is expensive (and not covered by health insurance), and can cause troubling side-effects for people, PEP is only recommended for individuals who have a significant exposure to HIV. Criteria vary, but PEP is generally warranted when someone has unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse with an infected person or a person from a high-risk group, or for a victim of sexual assault. Programs that provide PEP are developing (mostly in urban areas) and hospitals sometimes have protocols for administering non-occupational PEP.

The bottom line is that PEP is not indicated nor necessary for your case.

You are experiencing some symptoms of unknown origin. Why don't you see a doctor to see if there is some explanation for them?

RMK



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