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Author Topic: Question about Oral HIV Testing / Risk  (Read 1901 times)

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Question about Oral HIV Testing / Risk
« on: November 26, 2008, 11:19:50 AM »
First of all, thanks to all who read this post and who are willing to help me.  I am very much aware that I am in a very low risk situation for HIV, but here's my story.  Let me begin by saying that I have struggled with anxiety about medical issues for my whole life, and because of this issue I have sought treatment and received a prescription to help address it.  The last thing I want is to be anxious or unhappy!

About 3 years ago I engaged in unprotected oral sex with a woman whom I believe to be very low risk, if no risk at all - but of course, you never know.  I wouldn't be concerned about this except for the fact that I had my wisdom teeth removed at around the same time.  It's possible that this event occurred within (at the soonest) 5-7 days after the dental work.  It's also possible it happened before the work, or farther after the work, but I don't remember.  I do remember that they healed very quickly and I was extremely obsessive over cleaning them with mouthwash/etc.  After the first occurrence, we engaged in oral sex one more time, but that was weeks later.  We never had vaginal or anal intercourse of any kind whatsoever.

I was never worried about this previously, but recently I have been battling my anxiety in general, and all of a sudden started thinking about this, and became worried.  I went to a local addiction counseling center (who is referred to my by county's health department, in fact.  The exact person I spoke to is right on their official government website) and took the OraQuick Advance rapid HIV oral test, which was done with a swab..

I was instructed to swab my gums and did so.  Since I was in a state of panic and anxiety, I did not watch the time or how long the test was being run for.  She informed me that the test indicator would turn pink while the sample travels up the stick, then turn clear, and there would be either one or two lines.  If there was only one line by the C, then you are negative.  My first test turned out to be what she called a "strong negative," but again I stress I wasn't watching the time.

The person who tested me seemed to believe that once the pink cleared the test was over, regardless of whether it had reached 20 minutes or not.  I do not recall how long the test took - it could have been over 20 minutes, or under - but I don't remember, since I trusted her and wasn't timing it.  I was uncomfortable and took the test again, and it once again showed negative, although again I do not recall if she allowed the full 20 minutes, since I was in a heightened state of panic.

I went back yesterday and got tested once again for the third time, and am confident this time that it did not last the full 20 minutes, but again cleared completely and showed a negative result.  She reassured me that I did not need to wait any longer, and that I did not need to take further tests.  I feel like I made a mistake of not timing it myself.

I was looking for confirmation that I'm OK from anyone who is familiar with this situation or has used the same test.  Reading on the Internet (which will make you crazy) has told me both that this could be and could not be an issue.  Looking forward to hearing form someone educated on the issue and who has experience.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Question about Oral HIV Testing / Risk
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 12:23:21 PM »
Your anxiety is way in overdrive...unnecessarily. You are HIV negative. Period. End of story.

Giving cunnilingus to a woman is strictly theoretical in terms of risk. I've never known of a documented case of transmission in that manner so it's safe to say you won't make history by becoming the first. The real risks sexually regarding HIV are unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse. The rest is all theoretical.

You're good to go so get on with your life. 
Andy Velez

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Re: Question about Oral HIV Testing / Risk
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 12:44:32 PM »
Your response confirms what I have been told by everyone else.  The Internet is a scary place for people who struggle with this sort of thing.

Your advice is well appreciated.  I hope that this topic and post may help others who come to this site.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Question about Oral HIV Testing / Risk
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2008, 02:14:31 PM »
I'm glad you found our exchange to be helpful.

Andy Velez


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