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kissing with bad gums
Nov 19, 2010

Hey Mr. Frascino. I am donating when I get back to the States for Thanksgiving and can more easily pay with USD. I am currently out of the country and stressing out with my recent downturn in health. You can say I am already tense about the possibility of receiving HIV and then when I got sick, my mind starting messing with me. The problem is, I cannot get out of my head the way I feel and think I have HIV despite my efforts.

I have been experimenting with men for about two years now. I have never had anal intercourse and the last time I sucked dick was a year ago, and I've been tested negative for that. I didn't like it, so I don't do it. I have developed perhaps gingivitus while living out of the US this past year, haven't gone to a doctor about it yet but I will be in the US soon, and I am doing better with brushing and flossing. For about three weeks I was seeing blood in my spit everytime I brushed. Thats when the following happened.

My question is Can you get HIV from someone by making out heavily, several hours (don't remember how many, and don't remember seeing blood when i DID brush but it was during the few weeks when that was happening all the time) after brushing? I don't know the guy's status, but I would say he is a high risk. We had been talking for a long while and I got that vibe. Before I left the house that night, I remember telling myself that I would be safe since I had this mouth/gum issue. But then I kissed him and we started making out.Bob, I DON'T WANT to be the rare case of HIV acquisition by making out.

five days later, I'm sick. in other words, Friday i make out with him several times, a couple minutes each time. deep kissing. passionate. Wednesday I don't feel energetic. Thursday I am inside all day in bed. Body aches, fever, sore throat, some pain in arms and legs and weird places like fingers. Doesn't get better. Friday i'm in bed all day again. Sunday I go to doctor and he tells me I have pus in the back of my throat on one side. may have an inflamed node on that side of the neck, towards the back. Gives me antibiotics. Today is tuesday and my body doesn't ache but i have pain in my left eye when i look around quickly. I had a good headache Monday following the doctor's visit. I still have some soreness in throat and I THINK i have white stuff on the back of my throat and tongue!!!! BOB BOB BOB, i'm sooooo scared. SO SCARED.

Please tell me if I can put this aside. There is serious family health issues in my family right now, which makes it better that I will be home soon. But I need to be healthy, physically and mentally and emotionally for them; and right now I am terrified by my own health. I am just certain now that he had some issues with his mouth, had a high virus count, and passed it to me through our making out.

THANKS for responding! JM

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello JM,

Kissing, even with bad gums, is not considered a risk for HIV transmission. Just remember the lyrics to the old song: "You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss . . . As times goes by."

You write: "The problem is I cannot get out of my head the way I feel and think I have HIV despite my efforts." I agree! Your problem is a "head problem," not a virus problem! In other words, your problem is "fear of HIV" rather than HIV itself! From your description, you contracted some type of bacterial (not viral) throat infection. This would account for your symptoms. In addition you are still dealing with psychological issues related to "experimenting with men."

I would suggest you seek counseling (psychotherapy) to explore sexual orientation and guilt issues. Anti-anxiety medications may be beneficial.

Primarily for peace of mind, you could get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark (from the date of your make-out session) to put your irrational and unwarranted fears permanently to rest. The test result will undoubtedly be negative.

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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