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Author Topic: Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.  (Read 2522 times)

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Offline onemarct

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Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.
« on: February 15, 2013, 10:43:30 PM »

when I had my first HIV possibly infected panic, you guys helped me so much. After my initial fear, I've educated myself with every resource I could get hold of and for the last nine years, I've managed to go through life without panicking about HIV. I was able to have rational talks about HIV, I was able to be physical despite my OCD. Now the fear has struck again.

A week ago, I went out and met a woman in a bar. At the end of the evening, when I actually just wanted to say goodbye with a kiss on the cheek, we somehow ended up making out passionately. Now - I know that kissing itself is not a risk for HIV transmission, and even though I've had a brief moment of anxiety when a girl bit my lip a couple of years ago and seriously confused her when I instantly went to the bathroom to check for traces of blood, I've generally been able to reassure myself with that rule.

So, basically, I wouldn't ask for advice if it wasn't for an additional factor. The woman I made out with had a little wound above her upper lip on her right side, about the size of a large pimple (I have attached images that were taken about an hour before we kissed). I wasn't there when she got the wound, but she said it was from when she fell on an icy road on the way to the bar earlier that night.

I remember briefly thinking about the risk such a wound could pose when we kissed, but I remembered the mantra that kissing isn't a risk for HIV infection, and so, being a little drunk and feeling a little depressed that night, I kissed her inspite of the little wound. It wasn't an open wound, as far as I remember - she probably would not have wanted to kiss me in that case anyway, and she initiated, in my recollection, and I tried to avoid touching it with my lips by kissing the other side of her mouth. And while I certainly never actually tasted blood while kissing her, I, of course, cannot rule out have touched the wound with my lips. And I don't know if it was actually completely dry, or if there were remnants of either blood or wound secretions that I may have touched with my lips. So, basically, there was a chance for mucuous tissue to have been in contact with small ramaining traces of blood or wound secretions. And the wound may even have reopend a little due to the mouth movements during kissing.

When we eventually stopped and sat down to talk for a bit, I realized what had happened and was very confused and a little angry at me about my carelessness. She, of course, didn't understand that I had to leave at that moment. I went home and slept. The next day, I was initially worried, but a little relieved when I looked at the pictures that were taken an hour before we kissed and the wound didn't look too bad.

These are cutouts of the images I took about an hour before we kissed, they are showing the wound above her lip -

Yesterday, precisely six days after we kissed, I developed a sore throat (or was it a pharyngitis?) And on the way back from the pharmay, where I got something against the sore throat, I remembered that pharyngitis was also a symptom of ARS, and that the kiss was almost a week ago, so I started panicking.

The sore throat has actually become better today (it's on and off, bizarrely), but now I've also developed some kind of elevated temperature. It's not exactly fever, but I don't have a congested nose, so this doesn't seem to be due to a normal cold. So all day, I've been freezing on and off, not really developing fever, but still feeling like shit, suddenly feeling my lymphnodes from time to time.

Sure, part of that is likely due to the stress of the fear I'm developing, but even so, it's not helping with dealing with the fear. My first HIV fear were the worst, most stressful months of my entire life, so I'd really hope that I can find a way to not let this develop into a full blown panic, and hopefully also avoid having to ask her about her HIV status as a first question on the date we're going to have next week.

What is your take? Is this a real risk? Is testing required?

Thanks again for all the amazing work you're doing.
And thanks for a brief reply to my question.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 02:18:49 AM »
You DO NOT get HIV from a kiss.

Even with someone whose mouth was previously cut.

You had NO risk.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline onemarct

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Re: Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 12:53:01 PM »

thank you very very very much for your reply. I can't tell you how relieved I was when I read it. It was almost an instantaneous physical reaction. Most of the symptoms I described above were gone within an hour or two of reading your reply.

So, thank you *very very much*.

Also, for others suffering from this Kind of anxiety and thinking about ARS, here's an interesting link I found on the web yesterday, it looks a Little like a commercial link, but it describes very usefully how anxiety can cause symptoms, and it sounds like a textbook description of what I've experienced since beginning to link the sore throat to ARS...


Offline onemarct

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Re: Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2013, 06:18:56 PM »
Hey everyone-

sorry I need to add a question to this thread. So I'm just coming home from a date with the woman whom I made out with two weeks ago, whose lips are pictured in the inital post.

While pretty much all my symptoms disappeard after I read your reply, JKinatl, when I talked to her today about that night, she mentioned two things that got me worried again.

Firstly, she mentioned that she had put makeup on the wound she retained when she fell on the icy street so it wouldn't look so bad before she kept on partying (and we eventually kissed). So now I'm even less sure about the exact nature of the wound and the possible amount of blood and wound secretions that I may have come into contact with.

So in that respect, my question would be - how much would be a risk worth testing for in this respect? I don't know if there is an answer to that question, but if it is, I'd be grateful for an answer.

Secondly, and this is probably also an intersting aspect for the other OCDers reading this: She mentioned having a bad immune system, because she was down with a cold for two weeks. Now, of course, that set off my alarm bells, I instantly started sweating and it took a lot of mental energy to pretend to stay calm and so I tried asking a little bit further, without directly asking about any specific disease. Eventually she said that she had had Mono once, and that caused said weaknesses in her immune system.

My guess is, and that's also reassuring, that, if she was HIV positive (and aware thereof), given the wound, the kiss, and the story about mono, she would have told me at that point.

Still, hearing the story about Mono and thinking of HIV, I started to feel a light pain in what I considered to be the lymphnodes behind my ears within *seconds*. It was honestly like a light switch. She said Mono, I felt the lymphnodes.

Thanks again!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2013, 06:29:52 PM »
It wouldn't matter if she was HIV positive. It is not a risk.

HIV is transmitted by;
Unprotected penetrative anal and/or vaginal sex
Sharing works with other IV drug users
Mother to child

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Not quite the typical risk of kissing question.
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2013, 07:10:27 PM »
There is still absolutely zero risk to you from kidding a girl who hurt her mouth earlier in the day, put makeup on it, and then went out with you.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread


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