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In a panic
May 13, 2008

I recently performed oral sex for the first time on another man. It was only for about 30 seconds and there was no exchange of fluids. What would be my estimated probability of getting HIV? How long should I wait to be tested ? I am very concerned as I am married and this was a one time slip.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello In a Panic,

The risk of oral sex is very low. Your very brief (30 seconds) encounter without "exchange of fluids" takes that very low potential risk and lowers it even further. You can review the information in the archives of this forum (we have an entire chapter devoted to blowjobs) for more details and reassurance.

Regarding HIV testing, HIV-antibody testing should be done at three months or longer after a potential exposure. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive or conclusive.

As for being "in a panic," there are two things I would recommend in addition to your three-month HIV test:

1. Level with your wife. It's not only the best way to confront your panic and guilt associated with this "one time slip;" it's also the right thing to do.

2. Get psychological counseling to explore sexual orientation issues. This may have been a "one time slip," but it was driven by deep-seated feelings and desires. Your ultimate mental and physical health could depend on how you deal with your innate sexual orientation. Whether you're straight as a lawn dart or gay enough to bottom for Liberace doesn't matter to me, but being honest about your true sexual orientation can be critically important to your future health and happiness.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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