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frequent mouth sores The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions

Feb 6, 1997

rick. hi,i think you may have addressed this topic before and if you have i apologize but i need to ask anyway. i read somewhere that sores in the mouth, herpes i guess,could be a sign of possible hiv infection,is this true? i ask because lately i have sores inside my mouth and they re-appear from time to time. i have received unprotected oral sex from a few different women,is this a concern from an hiv standpoint? do i have herpes? please advise,thank you.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Having Herpes does NOT automatically indicate a person has HIV. These are two different sexually transmitted diseases. Herpes usually occurs on the lips, not inside the mouth. Your mouth sores may be due to other causes, such as canker sores. You need to see a doctor or a dentist while you're having these symptoms to determine what the cause is. Having frequent mouth sores is not an indication of HIV, in of itself. Because the symptoms of HIV/AIDS looks exactly like the symptoms of many other illnesses, NOBODY can tell you whether your symptoms may be due to this syndrome or not. Only HIV testing can determine if a person has HIV or not. If your only risk was receiving oral sex (exposure only to saliva), your risk of HIV is very low, and it would be unlikely that your mouth sores would be related to HIV.

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

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