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Semen eye
May 5, 2014

Hi Shannon,

I am a gay guy in western Europe. I had a sexual encounter with a guy of unknown status. I got a negative test like a month before this encounter. I performed prolonged oral sex to this guy, when he was going to ejaculate, he did it on my face. I closed my eyes but I felt a bit of semen on my eye lid and I might have opened it a bit. I cleaned with a towel, went to the toilet and wash the area. I did sting a bit but not that much and the eye became red and went back to normal after a couple of hours. I also felt irritation on my inner upper lip, I realized I had some small abrasions there, I guess after doing oral sex for an hour or so... I entered in panic since then. I know that oral sex risk is minimal and that there are no documented cases of transmission with semen through the eye. This was 3 weeks ago. Since yesterday my body is itchy but I don't have any visible rash. Sometimes I think about this too much and I enter in panic. When this happens, I get a rash around my nech, chest and arms, but that's just my nervous rash, I have had since I was a child, and it goes away as soon as I calm down. Is anything of what I am describing related to HIV seroconversion? Is testing recommended? Every time I go to get tested I am in panic and I experiment nausea and insomnia. I am in constant fear of getting HIV :(

I forgot to mention, I talk with the guy and he said neither he have any STDs nor practiced unsafe sex. That makes me calm for a while but still... maybe he hasn't got tested. I don't know. I couldn't fall asleep after two housr last night, I cannot keep with this panic attacks, it's the second time on the year

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi My first comment is "breath"! You are correct in knowing how HIV is and is not transmitted. The risk of HIV transmission with oral sex is extremely low. It is even reasonable to state that for the person receiving oral sex (that is on whom oral sex is being performed) the risk of acquisition of the virus is practically zero. For the person placing his or her mouth on someone else's genitals, the risk may be slightly higher but still very very low. Theoretically, obvious cuts, wounds, sores, or infections in the mouth could raise this risk. But relatively speaking this is still considered to be a low-risk sexual activity as the mouth is not a hospitable place for the HIV virus. Please note that other sexually transmitted infections are readily spread via oral contact and you may need to be checked for these. If this was HIV the symptoms you are experiencing are too soon. There are other sexually transmitted infections out there that are much easier to get than HIV. It is good to know that you have spoken with him and he says he's negative. But it is even better to know your own status. As for testing, The testing guidelines for HIV are to be initially tested at 3 weeks post exposure and then again at 90 days. As long as there are no other exposures happened during this time frame than the results are conclusive. Because the semen did come in contact with mucous membranes it does raise the risk some, it is still a very low risk of HIV transmission. I would recommend testing, but not just for HIV for all of the STI's just to know your status and be aware. The overall risk though is extremely low.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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