Risk of French Kissing: Bleeding Gums and HIV

Question

hello. i had protected sex with an hiv + woman just once but we used to kiss deeply yet i had bleeding gums,i dont know if she had bleeding gums too but am really concerned about my health because by the time i had sex with her she had a serious hiv rash on her skin so i think her viral load was high. please help me. i deeply kissed with bleeding gums but had correctly used a condom and i washed my penis with soap and water after removing the condom but am not circumscied. am i infected?

Answer

Thanks for the question,

Typically kissing (even deep french kissing) is not really considered a risk. This is because blood isn't just hanging out in both people's mouths nor is something like saliva going to transmit HIV. However, two things that you mention complicate this: 1) that you had bleeding gums, and 2) your partner was HIV+ with unknown viral load. Of course this all depends on how much you were bleeding, how high your partner's viral load was (if she was in treatment), and if her gums were bleeding at all. I can't tell from your story..

This isn't to say that your risk was high by any means, but it possibly suggests some risk.

Good for you for using a condom correctly (although, you don't need to wash your penis afterward)! That's definitely a way to keep you and your partner safe. Other ways include: -- Talking with your partner ahead of time about status -- Both being tested for not only HIV but also STDs -- Being in treatment if HIV+

We recommend for all sexually active people to be tested regularly for HIV and STDs. Sounds like it'd be a good idea in your case to get tested, for peace of mind and to cover any low level risk you might have had.

Hope this helps!

Erik