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1x oral sex, mouthwash, testing?

Dec 9, 2002


I apologize if I'm acting like a "worried well," but some three weeks ago I had a one-night stand with a student who was significantly older than me, and we performed unprotected oral sex on each other, although neither of us ejaculated in the other's mouth. I noticed no blood in his mouth or in mine, but an hour and a half or so afterwards, I rinsed with mouthwash and noticed some stinging in my mouth, probably indicating tiny abrasions. I saw no blood, but there may have been a couple of tiny abrasions. Later, too, I looked on the internet and found that using mouthwash after oral sex might not have been such a great idea because it can damage the lining of your mouth and throat.

I'm worried about HIV transmission because I've suddenly come down with chills and joint aches, and I don't think it's the flu because I've already had that this year. This is the only sexual encounter I've had all year (last year I had a few one-night-stands solely involving insertive fellatio, but I felt really troubled by them and am trying to get rid of this habit -- I was tested after those and came out negative).

Do I need to get tested for HIV? If I did, do I need to wait longer to do so? I seem to remember that the shortest test for HIV needs to be done at least six weeks after exposure to be accurate.

Response from Mr. Kull

Mouthwash is probably not going to increase your risk for infection in this case. There's actually no evidence that mouthwash will either increase or decrease your risk, so just skip that step. The most reliable way to reduce your risk during oral sex is to reduce the amount of fluids that get into your mouth.

For more about the risk for infection through fellatio, see Real risk of oral sex.


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