White coating on back of tongue

Question

Doctor I can't express enough how awesome you are. I'm sure that you get MANY similar comments but they are all well deserved.

As for me I just had a question concerning a white coating on the back of me tongue. It seems that it is always present in varying degrees of texture (mostly velvet like). Recently I noticed that I slightly bleed (morning) when I brush it off. However, it doesnt totally brush off and a thin layer remains/returns.

My exposure risk is female oral sex (non insertive). Is this indicative of ARS of HIV? Thanks!

Answer

Hi,

Thanks for your very kind comments.

There are many causes for a white tongue. The vast, vast, vast majority of cases have nothing to do with HIV.

The HIV-acquisition risk for oral sex is very low. See the chapter in the archives devoted to this topic. If you remain concerned, get a single HIV-antibody test three months or longer from your last potential exposure. I'm confident your result will be negative. Talk to your doctor about your white tongue. Chances are he will be able to help clear this problem up.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob