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3 calls to CDC - 3 diff answers - PLEASE help!
Mar 8, 2004

About 3 weeks ago I received protected oral from a high risk individual. I know that since I used a condom, that would be considered an extremely low-risk activity. But in the process, the individual extensively licked an area where I had shaved about 45 minutes earlier - I did not notice or feel any cuts at that time. I called CDC to inquire about the risk from getting infected through saliva if I had a tiny cut or abrasion from shaving that I hadn't felt. The first councilor told me that the risk was very slight if any, and that even if there were a cut that I did not notice, the saliva itself does not transmit the virus. The 2nd time I called (I forgot to ask about possibility of blood in the mouth), I was told that the events as described above presented virtually NO risk, and that I shouldn't worry at all, and that even if my partner had had blood in their mouth, the saliva would neutralize the virus, and would prevent transmission. He said the only way that that would not be the case, would be if the person were bleeding "profusely and visibly" from the mouth. The 3rd time I called (please tell me you understand this bizarre behavior) I was told once again that I was safe with the protected oral, but I might be at risk from the saliva if even a tiny bit of blood was present in the giver's mouth. I said that I was pretty sure I had no cuts after I shaved, and that I had put moisturizing lotion on the area immediately after, but the councilor said I was still at risk, although it was low. So - I can't seem to get a definitive answer. The 2nd councilor seemed to be the most knowledgable, but they all must be somewhat qualified, right? Once and for all - I had a condom on for the oral, I did not have any cuts or abrasions in my shaved area that I noticed, but I can't say for certain - and I did not see or notice any blood in the mouth of the giver - still I'm losing sleep and worried sick, and it's having an effect on my quality of life right now. Should I be worried? 10 weeks until I can get tested and know for sure. How can I possibly make it that long? Please help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I'll back counselor #2 no risk of HIV transmission from the activity you describe. After all, you did say #2 "seemed to be the most knowledgeable," right? Yes, all counselors should be "somewhat qualified," but the operative word there is "somewhat."

Continue to stay safe and you'll stay well.

Dr. Bob



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