Anonymous
January 31st of this year I, a man, received oral sex from another man. It was my only encounter with another man but I do not know how many other partners he has had.

I know that the only way I could get HIV is if he had, open sores, bleeding gums, basically anything that caused him to have blood in his mouth. I took an Oraquick test (antibodies in saliva test) and it came back negative. Oraquick says that it takes 3 months (approx. 90 days) after possible exposure for the test to be completely accurate. My possible exposure occurred about 70 days ago.

- What would you say the risks of me contracting HIV are?

- Would you say my results were accurate?
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I'm sorry that you're feeling concerned about this situation. I hope it might reassure you to know that receiving unprotected oral sex is a negligible risk activity. "Negligible risk" means even though there is a technical risk to this activity (since it involves the exchange of body fluids), there has *never* been a reported case of HIV transmission from this activity. Saliva also contains enzymes that prevent HIV from growing or being transmitted in the mouth, so your partner's saliva was a protective factor against HIV transmission.

Because this encounter was a negligible risk activity, it did not necessarily need HIV testing. Here at AIDS Vancouver, however, we do encourage all sexually active people to get tested for HIV and other STIs regularly for their own benefit -- so I'm glad to hear you did that yourself! However, we also only encourage people to get tested for HIV by a healthcare professional. The tests that healthcare professionals offer are much more accurate and effective than at-home tests, like Oraquick. It's true that most HIV tests require 3 months or 84 days to deliver "conclusive" (i.e. accurate and reliable) results, and if you choose to get retested once this window period is over (even though your situation was not high-risk), I encourage you to choose a professional testing method delivered in a clinical setting. At 70 days, your negative test results are a good indicator of a possibly negative HIV status, but the only way to be certain is to get professionally tested after 84 days.

I hope I have answered your questions and helped you figure out your next step. Thanks again for reaching out. Feel free to contact us back if you have any other questions or concerns.

In good health,

Tiina

AIDS Vancouver volunteer
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