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Bleeding Gums and Toothbrush
Nov 2, 2006

Hi Dr. Bob, First of all, I'd just like to thank you so much for your involvement in this site. You seem to put so many people's minds at ease, and your own approach to life is one that we should all have. Plus, as a musician myself (guitar, mandolin, drums), respect for being such a kickass pianist!

Anyways, my question is this. About six weeks ago, I had unprotected sex with a stranger. I know it was stupid and irresponsible of me, I can't bear to look at myself in the mirror. I was clean, and she swore to me that she was too. However, I began to have symptoms about three weeks afterwards, night sweats, sore throat, weight loss. I've never been so stressed.

I know you've answered symptoms questions about a thousand times. However, I haven't found an answer to this one before. Does the sore throat associated with ARS present itself immediately after exposure, or does it take a couple of weeks? I've heard conflicting reports. I don't mind if you don't want to answer this question, my next one is far more important.

I told my brother about my potential risk, to get him to stay away from my toothbrush/razor etc. What does he do?? He uses my toothbrush. I've been suffering from bleeding gums, although he never has. I used the brush at 11 am, he used it at 8pm and I had rinsed it after I'd used it. Would HIV, assuming I was infected, which I'm praying I'm not, last that long outside the body?

I hope you can answer my question. To be honest, I'm gone beyond caring about myself. Unprotected sex is the most stupid thing an adult can do, regardless of how drunk the person is. But I'm terrified I might have passed it on to my brother.

One last question. Regarding deep kissing, would both people have to have open sores/blood in their mouth to for there to be a risk of transmission? And, even then, would the chances be slim?

Thanks again for everything Dr. Bob. Even if the worst comes to the worst, this website has helped me to prepare. I've donated to your foundation and will do so again in the future. I hope to be emailing you in January with a big WOO HOO!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello January WOO-HOO Guy,

1. "I know you've answered symptoms questions about a thousand times . . . ." Well, actually I passed the thousand mark quite some time ago! Check the archives! All ARS symptoms take weeks, not hours or days, to manifest.

2. HIV does not survive very long outside the body (moments at best). I see absolutely no HIV risk to your brother.

3. Just as the old song says: "A kiss is just a kiss, as time goes by . . . ." Sure, there is the hypothetical situation of blood-to-blood transfer. But when's the last time you played tonsil hockey with someone who had significant active mouth bleeding? It's not exactly a turn on for anyone other than maybe Count Dracula.

Thanks for your donation! I'll be expecting that January WOO-HOO!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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