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Lesbian Sex and HIV
Jan 3, 2012

Hi Dr. Thank you for this service. I will be sure to donate right after I finish typing this. I am not sure if I have a case of the crazies or a real scare.

I am a lesbian and have been dating a close friend (girl) for a few months. Recently it came to light that she has never been HIV tested before, as she for some reason thought it was screened in routine blood tests. She told me she had unprotected vaginal and anal sex one time with an African American heterosexual male she met at a bar back in 2008 whom she did not know. He did not ejaculate inside of her.

I pick my lips, bad habit I know and leaves me vulnerable when I perform oral sex on a girl. I am concerned that she may have been exposed to HIV during her one night stand because he obviously doesn't care about using condoms. Should I be worried that she might possible be infected and the vaginal fluids with HIV went into the cuts on my lips? I did have a sore throat within the first month or two of me dating her and had headaches a couple days in a row towards the end of the day. Could these things be ARS? Are just one or two symptoms enough to be ARS or would it be more intense?

Thanks so much for your time I am kind of bugging out.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi there,

There is risk for her having unprotected sex with the man from the bar not just for HIV but for other STI's (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Many women feel that their annual OBGYN exam includes an HIV test. It is a test that needs to be requested. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has highly recommended HIV testing for all persons between 13-65 years old in the US in all health care settings.

Oral sex transmission carries the lowest risk. Any type of opening either on the lips or in the mouth is a way for HIV to enter in. There are ways to add protection for you during oral sex by using a dental dam, cutting a condom in half and spreading it across the labia or even using non porous saran wrap. My husband and I use the old wives tale of don't swim for 30 minutes after you eat, don't do oral for 30 minutes after you brush your teeth also if you have had dental work done or have open cold sores, as these are ways for any type of bacteria or virus to enter the system.

Everyone experiences different signs and symptoms of ARS, some experience no symptoms. The best way to know is to get tested.

I think it is also important to state that it is everyone's responsibility to protect themselves. Both men and women should learn how to use condoms and have access to them for any sexual encounter. My recommendation to you is to have a conversation with your partner, talk about your fears and concerns and ask if you both could go get tested together.

In kindness, Shannon



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