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Would Hiv survive on a lollipop?
Jun 28, 1996

At a friend's bachelor party I recently attended, there were two strippers hired for entertainment. While they did not offer or initiate any direct oral or vaginal sex, they did play certain "games". One involved a small lollipop that she had inserted up her vagina. To cut to the chase, one such lollipop was pulled out and after a few seconds, plopped in my mouth. It was in my mouth for just a few seconds, and I immediately rinsed my mouth out with water and 45 minutes later, with listerine also (30% alcohol). Am I being paranoid? I am pretty sure the girl was not menstruating, and there was definitely no visible blood or thick vaginal secretions on the lollipop. I had no cuts or sores in my mouth, and have no reason to suspect the girl has HIV. BUT, would transmission be possible from this?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

This is a really difficult situation to answer. If there were vaginal secretions on the lollipop (and let's assume there were), then putting the lollipop in your mouth would expose you to her vaginal secretions. If there were any type of cuts or open sores (like canker sores) in your mouth, even ones you couldn't see, or if you had gum disease, there would be a way for the virus to enter your bloodstream, and you would be at risk of infection. But since this is not a normal situation, there's no way anyone could quantify your risk. Rinsing out your mouth soon afterward may have lowered your risk somewhat. Listerine/alcohol would have no appreciable effect against HIV. The more of her vaginal secretions you were exposed to, the greater the risk. So all I can say is that technically, you were at risk of infection, since her vaginal secretions may have gotten into your mouth, but there's no way I can say just how great a risk you were at. However, I can say that your risk would certainly have been higher had you had intercourse with her, or had given her oral sex. But since you didn't, all I can say is that you could have potentially had been at some risk under these circumstances, but a lower risk than oral sex or intercourse. If you want to give yourself peace of mind, consider getting tested for HIV 6 months after this encounter (when the tests are most accurate). But it would be quite unusual for you to become infected this way.

If you have further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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