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Please Respond, So Depressed


Had french kiss with sex worker. Was there any risk? I have red gums.



Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the risk of acquring HIV after engaging in french kissing. From the information given, this scenario is determined to be No Risk (transmission of HIV is not possible in the given scenario).

When assessing the risk of HIV transmission, we focus on the activities involved and not the persons involved in said activities. Speculating on an individual's HIV status or focusing on a person's occupation does not provide reliable information when assessing risk of HIV transmission. The activities engaged in, however, provide us with the opportunity to provide an evidence based risk assessment.

The scenario mentioned above does not meet the three components of the transmission equation(1). It does not satisfy the equation because:

  • For HIV transmission to occur, the 3 components of the transmission equation(1) must be met. There must be a bodily fluid containing HIV(ex: blood, vaginal fluids, breast milk, anal secretions, semen), direct access to the blood stream(ex: inside the vagina or anus, mucosal membranes), combined with a risky activity(ex: unprotected vaginal/anal intercourse, mother-to-child, sharing needles).

  • HIV is not transmitted through social contact such as hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toilette or dishes(2).

  • Saliva contains enzymes that inhibit the transmission of HIV(3)

In the scenario that you provided, you state that you engaged in french kissing. Rest assured that all of of the information stated above leads to french kissing being considered a No Risk activity.

We have provided some resources below and we encourage you to check them out to learn more about HIV and HIV Transmission.

Recommendation: No need for HIV test with the scenario provided, refer to a physician for other health related questions.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Hilary