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Receiving oral sex - HIV Transmission

Question: 

 
Hi,
 
Please help, I'm very concerned about my HIV status. 8 weeks ago I had a "situation" with a girl who really might be HIV positive because she is a street worker. She was offering regular or oral sex (WITH NO CONDOM). I chose oral sex 'cause I thought there was no significant risk of getting HIV in that way. She started with a blowjob but after less then 60 seconds I decided to stop her. During this time I didn't have an erection (and actually, I was far away from getting there). I didn't have any cuts or wounds on my penis, at least not a visible one. After 7 days I even went to doctor and he said that there wasn't a sign of even the smallest wound on my penis. Regarding her, I can't know for sure if she had any open wounds in her mouth, but right after this "situation" I thoroughly checked my penis and there was not even slightest trace of blood or so. 2 weeks after that I got a mild sore throat and later some occasionaly pain in my bones and joints...and still feeling same. I didn't have a fever nor swelling of the lymph glands. My questions are: I know that receiving oral sex is almost zero risk to get HIV, especially without wounds or blood, but I need to know is there ANY chance that she had a trace of some former customer's infected sperm in her mouth and is there a way to infect my sleepy penis in that way and in that short time? Do you think I should test myself?
P.S. Since this happened, I am almost all the time under stress, I can't sleep well, I have panic attacks so I spend my days filled with anti depressant pills or alcohol. 
 
Tnx in advance,
 
Alexandar

Answer: 

Hi Alexander,
Thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline as your source of HIV/AIDS related information.
First of all, it is important to note that a sex worker is not necessarily at a higher risk for HIV than anyone else. HIV does not discriminate based on age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or occupation. The risk for acquiring HIV is based not on the person, but on the risky activity involved (for example needle sharing or unprotected anal or vaginal sex).
You are right that receiving oral sex is an activity of negligible risk. This means that although HIV transmission is theoretically possible through this activity, there has never been a reported case. There is no possible way that you could have acquired HIV from a  trace of semen from an earlier customer in the sex worker's mouth. HIV is a very fragile virus that cannot survive outside the bloodstream of a human host for long. In fact, it can only survive seconds to minutes outside of the human host. Another reassuring fact is that saliva actually contains an enzyme that inhibits HIV. Therefore, there is no way for you to have acquired HIV in this way.
Regarding your symptoms, there is no set list of symptoms for HIV. Some people experience flu-like symptoms 2-6 weeks after infection but these usually go away in 8-10 days. Symptoms also mirror those or other viral infections such as the flu and some people never get symptoms at all. For these reasons, HIV can only be diagnosed through testing.
Based on these circumstances alone, it is not necessary for you to be tested. However, we recommend practicing safer sex, as well as regular testing for all STI's (including HIV) for all sexually active individuals. Based on your needs, testing can occur annually, biannually, or every 3-4 months. This will help protect you and your sexual partners. Also, because you mentioned "testing yourself" I'd like to note that is important to get tested by a medical professional. At home HIV tests are available, but we do not recommend using them since they are not as accurate as those done by trained professionals, and there is no opportunity for pre or post test counseling. 
It sounds like you are under a lot of stress; I would suggest speaking to a health professional about your anxieties as the combination of antidepressants and alcohol will only worsen your stress. We can also suggest some support groups to you if you feel you would benefit from that.
I hope I have answered all of your questions but please do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything else.  
In Health,
AlyAIDS Vancouver Helpline VolunteerE-mail: helpline@aidsvancouver.orgPhone (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm): (604) 696-4666Web: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline