Yesterday, I kissed a stranger (a gay man) for about 5 minutes. I don't know his HIV status and I don't know if his mouth was bleeding or if he had any sores. When I came back home, I washed my mouth with a mouthwash product and I realised I had a sore throat and a sore tongue (I had burnt my tongue with hot food the day before).
I am extremely worried I could have gotten HIV from him through my sores in my mouth and throat. Is it possible for me to get HIV this way? Should I take a PEP treatment?
I'm too stressed, I'm going crazy.
Please help me!!
Thank you for contacting AIDS Vancouver.
There is no need to worry! Kissing is a no risk activity for HIV transmission. For HIV transmission to occur, a bodily fluid must gain direct access to the bloodstream through a closed route during a risky activity (see Transmission Equation below). Saliva is not a bodily fluid that can transmit HIV. This is because the saliva contains enzymes that inhibit the growth of HIV. Therefore, the only (and highly unlikely) way for HIV to be transmitted through kissing is if you had an actively bleeding wound in your mouth that came into contact with the other person's actively bleeding wound in their mouth. This does not include surface wounds such as those you would get from brushing your teeth, etc. An example of an actively bleeding would would be one from recent dental work. Since the sores in your mouth were not actively bleeding and thus did not provide a direct access to your bloodstream, HIV transmission could not have occurred.
To understand how HIV transmission does occur, please refer to the HIV Transmission Equation below. All three factors must be present for HIV transmission to occur.
|• blood (including menstrual)||• unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse||• vagina|
|• semen||• sharing needles||• anus|
|• pre-cum||• mother to child (in specific cases)||• urethra in the penis|
|• rectal secretions||• open cuts and sores (in theory)|
|• vaginal fluids||• other mucosal membranes|
|• breast milk||• points of needle injection|
P.S. No, you do not need a PEP treatment for this case!
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us again.
AIDS Vancouver Volunteer