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Risk level from performing cunnilingus and genital rubbing

Question: 

Hi,

I have performed cunnilingus only on the woman's clitoris for about 1 minute. There was then a lot of non-insertive genital rubbing (vagina on penis) that lasted about 5 minutes. This exposure happened 6 days ago so I still have a long way to go to the 3-month mark for a conclusive test.

What is my risk of contracting HIV? I am extremely concerned to the point I took time off work and feel sick to the stomach everytime I think back on how careless I was. Thank you so much for reading.

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for your inquiry. From our understanding, you are asking about the HIV transmission risk level associated with performing oral sex on a woman, and from non-insertive genital rubbing.

Performing oral sex is considered to be a low risk activity for transmission of HIV. This means that there is potential for HIV transmission due to an exchange of bodily fluids, and that there have been a few reports of infection attributed to this activity (usually under certain identifiable conditions) Non-insertive genital rubbing is considered to carry a negligible risk, meaning that while there is still a potential exchange of body fluids, there are no reported cases of transmission from this activity. HIV does not survive long outside the human body and it cannot reproduce outside a human host.

Recommendation: Due to the low risk associated with performing oral sex, we do recommend that you be tested for HIV by a healthcare professional, which it sounds like you already intend to do. Consider the following information from the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE): "Fourth-generation HIV tests can detect HIV infection in 50% of people by 18 days after infection; 95% of people by 34 days after infection; and 99% of people by one and a half months after infection. Fourth-generation HIV tests and the INSTI rapid test have a sensitivity of about 99.9%." You don't necessarily have to wait 3 months for a conclusive test.

In the additional resources below we have included a link with information about safer oral sex practices. You may want to consider one of these methods to reduce your risk level as well as your anxiety the next time you perform oral sex.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Dyson