« Go Back

Possible exposure - very worried

Question: 

Hi, recently I was very drunk and made out with someone who is HIV positive. It was deep making out, with tongue. I am on PrEP, however I'm very worried, because the day after I started getting symptoms of a head cold: sore throat, congested nose.
During the time we were making out, my nose also started bleeding.
Is there a chance I contracted HIV? I'm very worried, as it seems too much of a coincidence for the symptoms of a head cold to appear the next day, after making out with someone who is HIV positive. I have been on PrEP for about a year, taking one tablet each night.

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for your inquiry.

We understand that you would like to know your risk of acquiring HIV from deep kissing with someone who is HIV positive, while you are on PrEP.

Kissing with no blood present does not present a risk for HIV transmission (No Risk). You mention that your nose started bleeding during this encounter, but that would only introduce your own blood into the situation, and therefore would not increase your risk of acquiring HIV.

Regarding the effectiveness of prep, Truvada for PrEP provides 92%-99% reduction in HIV risk for HIV-negative individuals who take the pills every day as directed. According to data analysis from the iPrEx study (2), for people who take 7 PrEP pills per week, their estimated level of protection is 99%. (1) This is for situations in which there is a risk of HIV transmission. Remember that your scenario is actually considered a no risk situation.

It would be unusual to experience symptoms of seroconversion on the very first day after an exposure to HIV. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people may experience a flu-like illness 2 to 4 weeks after an exposure to HIV. (3) I was unable to find any resources which described seroconversion symptoms appearing within the first week of exposure.

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

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer, Dyson