HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

oral sex with mouth ulcers


I am sick with worry.  I met another guy of unknown status and gave him fellatio.  There was no ejaculate but there may have been pre-ejaculate.  I thought I was being safe, mainly licking, no deep throat or anything (I don't do this hardly at all).

It transpired I had a canker sore on the front of my tongue and the back gums. 

I am now terrified.  I have read expert advice and phoned helplines.  Each say: a) pre-ejaculate is the same as ejaculate and b) canker sores are portals for the virus, they are openings whose cell biology is vulnerable to HIV.

So, my low risk is not a low risk.  I am so ill with worry.  Should I be?

Andy Velez:
The real question here is whether you will believe me when I tell you that you have no cause to be terrified or even worried about this incident.

Although from time to time we hear reports of a case in which the person was supposedly infected by sucking a dick. They never hold up under scientific scrutiny. On the other hand there are ongoing longterm studies of both gay and straight couples who have lots of unprotected mutual oral and only protected vaginal/anal intercourse. The results have been that not a single sero-negative partner has become infected.

Of course common sense will tell you that if you have a gaping wound in your mouth from say oral surgery or some other wound, that sucking is not a good idea in general. But a canker sore? No, you are worrying needlessly.

In order to avoid worrying in the future you have to decide about your own comfort zone in terms of giving oral. I don't see any need for testing in relation to this incident. In general we do suggest that any who's sexually active ought to regularly have a full STD panel. Other STDs are much easier to acquire than HIV.

This time you're good to go.


Thank you from the bottom of my heart for replying so quickly.  The butterflies have abated a little; I am doing what I can to put the fear behind me and love and laugh again.

My perspective is skewered because of the ulcers.  Experts on helplines/websites do cite these as a portal.  I didn't realize they were open sores.  This makes me feel so scared that such a routine thing could have made me vulnerable.

Andy Velez:
Avoid surfing the net for more "information." On the net you will find (mis)information that will totally fuel your worst fears, all to no good purpose.

You're good to go. The only reason to get tested at 13 weeks is if you can't let go of this concern. Otherwise I don't see any need for testing.



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