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still scared

Dec 16, 2013

Shannon, First thank you for what you do. I had an oral sex encounter which I understand is low risk but had a cold sore at the time increasing the risk. Negative at 6 weeks, coming up on 3 months now and I have reoccurring headaches. I plan to test again in a week but very scared. Also as a general information question, I hear the term un-detectable, does that mean your immune system is not being damaged by the disease.

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi Thank you for your comments. Yes oral sex carries the lowest risk of HIV transmission and yes having an open cold sore increases the risk but only very slightly. HIV transmission can only occur when there is a direct and prolonged exposure to body fluids, semen, vaginal fluid, blood or mother to child through breast feeding. This most commonly occurs through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and sharing of needles. Casual contact, sharing utensils, drinking after someone, etc are not way for HIV transmission to occur. As for the headaches they could be a result of the cold sore and the virus that causes them. You are on the right course of getting tested. But my overall view is that your risk of HIV transmission is incredibly extremely low!

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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