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How risky is unprotected oral sex with a gay man?

Hi there,

I’m a 34 year old male. I had an unprotected oral sex with another man (I gave him a BJ, he didn’t) about 48 hours ago. My last test was 1 month ago and everything was negative. I NEVER had any STI whatsoever in the past. I haven’t had any sex since I last tested a month ago. I have not experienced any symptoms following the oral sex. In total, the BJ lasted about 5-10 mins at most. He didn’t *** nor did I. I’m not too sure about precum, nor of his STD/HIV status (he seemed healthy and there were no apparent sores/rash). We also fooled around (kissing, rubbing genitals, humping etc).

Last Thursday, I had dental scaling to treat bleeding gums. After the procedure, my gums stopped bleeding for the first time in a long time. I also have a cavity in one of my teeth. The dentist prescribed a mouth wash after the procedure, which I suspect has given me a mild sore throat. My throat was mildly soar while giving the BJ.

From what I read online, I got the impression that I must have had contracted some STI given the circumstances (being gay in a homophobic environment, unknown status of partner, unprotected oral, mild soar throat…etc). But it seems you have a different opinion on how risky oral sex is.

Unfortunately, I’m in a very homophobic country right now and it’s incredibly risky to get tested or seek treatment. Should I travel overseas, even though it would be an enormous burden financially and otherwise? If I develop symptoms down the road, should I self medicate and take antibiotics, or should I just go ahead and take them now preemptively? Is there any other way to get tested for STI’s without raising suspicions about being gay (e.g., getting a full physical exam instead of specifically testing for STI’s)?

Thank you very much in advance.
2 Responses
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20801659 tn?1520443393
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oral sex exposed you to gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes. It doesn't expose you to HIV, so don;t worry about that. You should test as follows:
-3 weeks after the exposure, for gonorrhea.
-6 weeks after the exposure, for syphilis.
-3 months after the exposure, for herpes.

Those infections can also be transmitted through man-to-woman or woman-to-man oral sex. If you test, nobody has to suspect you performed oral sex on a man. A doctor is always a doctor, and they are there to help us, not to judge us.

If you want, you can check the HIV prevention forum in order to get more infor about how HIV is spread.

All the best.
Helpful - 0
3 Comments
Thank you very much for the advice. I will try to get tested here, even though it's challenging even for heterosexuals to come forward and admit they might have an STI.

Thank you!!
Why do you test for herpes after 3 months? Doesn't the symptoms appear like 1 week after you contract the virus?
Symptoms can appear within 2-20 days after being infected, but not everyone gets symptoms. It can take that long to develop antibodies to herpes, which is what the test looks for.
207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
You can get STDs from performing oral sex on a woman, so you don't need to disclose to anyone that your partner was a man.

That said, in the absence of any sores, you are probably fine in regards to syphilis. A sore needs to be present to transmit it.

If you only gave oral, and didn't receive it, then you really are only at risk for oral gonorrhea. Herpes very rarely transmits from the genitals to the mouth - it's possible, but it's rare.

What kind of mouthwash are you using? Is there an antibiotic in it? What antibiotic is in it? I ask because if you go in for a throat culture, I'm wondering if the antibiotic mouth wash will skew the test.

Oral gonorrhea isn't common enough that I think you need to go to great lengths to test. You're more likely to get it from oral sex on a man than woman, but it's still possible to get it from oral sex on a woman. Not knowing where you are, I don't know how common gonorrhea is where you are.

You might want to ask your doctor about the sore throat and how likely is that to be from the mouth wash. You could maybe have an infection like strep, or something else, so follow up on that. Don't let that linger too long.

Overall, I don't think you have a lot to worry about, but you do need to ask some questions.
Helpful - 0
4 Comments
Thank you so much auntie Jessi. Your response is greatly reassuring and gave me much needed peace of mind, especially knowing that Herpes very rarely transmits from the genitals to the mouth.

How about Chlamydia? I believe that I was vaccinated against Hepatitis B (or at least my partner was), but how much of a threat is Hepatitis B transmission through oral sex when you didn't get the vaccine?

STD stats are scarce here, but I found one study done in 2008 in which Gonorrhea prevalence was estimated at around 1-2% of the general population. (Syphilis was around 1.3%, while HIV rate was 1.4%. A later study estimated that HIV rates had declined to 0.8%.) No estimates for STD rates among MSM were made.

I don't think the the mouthwash that I'm using contains an antibiotic. It says this:

Composition: Sodium Flouride 0.05%, Cetyl Pyridium Chloride 0.05%
Ingredients: Deionized water, Sorbitol, glycerin, Poloxamer 407, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peppermint, Menthol, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium saccharin, Sodium Propylparaben, Citric acid, Sodium Flouride, Cetyl Pyridinium Chloride, C. I. 47005.

Something that might interfere with the test is that I have been taking an antibiotic (500 mg Amoxicillin tablets) twice a day since last Thursday. It was prescribed by the doctor. I'll finish the course today. Is it possible that the antibiotic has been suppressing the appearance of symptoms thus far?

I have discontinued using the mouthwash, so I felt that my sore throat and hoarseness were relieved yesterday. Today, it seems the hoarseness is back and I also feel flu like symptoms. I'll see my dentist again tomorrow and will ask him about the symptoms.

Thank you very much again for taking the time to help. It's highly appreciated.
Chlamydia is rarely, if ever, transmitted orally.

No, your mouthwash doesn't have an antibiotic in it.

However, your amox is good news and bad news. Amox used to be used to treat gonorrhea until there was resistance to it, so it may help prevent a gonorrhea infection from happening. The bad news is that it could affect testing, giving you a false negative.

Hep B can be transmitted by oral sex, but depending on your age, you were likely vaccinated against it, or your partner was. Your doctor can do a blood test to see if you have immunity to it, and if you have no immunity, you can get vaccinated.

I don't know what country you live in, or what country you are in now (you don't need to say and please don't say if it will put you at risk), but to travel, did you need certain immunizations? If you did, my guess is that you've been vaccinated for hep B, but check.

Your sore throat and hoarseness could be from so many things, so please don't freak.

Hi auntie Jessi,

It’s been a month since I had that encounter, and I haven’t developed any symptoms so far. I haven’t gotten tested either. The only “symptom” that I’ve seen was one little white bump on the shaft of the penis. It looked like an ingrown hair cyst, wasn’t painful and disappeared after a couple of days. Can I finally stop worrying about this?

I’ve decided not to engage in unprotected sex again. Unfortunately, people are very disinterested in using a condom during oral sex. Another problem is that lube is impossible to find here, and most people either use baby oil or don’t even use a condom at all during anal sex.

In such a situation, what would you recommend? I have two possible options: either use no lubrication at all or use a DIY lube. The best recipe that I have found is corn starch-based lube. Do you think that’s a condom-safe lube? Which of these 2 options would you recommend? Any third option you can think of?

I know this is off-topic, but I've no one else to ask such questions. I highly appreciate your kind assistance.

Thanks!
If you didn't receive oral sex, any symptoms you have genitally aren't an STD, unless you've had other encounters with unprotected sex or receiving unprotected oral.

I think yes, you can absolutely stop worrying about it.

If you are using latex condoms, which is a must, just make sure it's not oil based. (This is a teen site, for which I apologize, but it's got some decent info - http://teenhealthsource.com/blog/do-it-yourself-diy-lube/)

The corn starch lube is listed there, and sound like a good idea. Aloe vera can be used with condoms, if you can get that. Make sure it's 100% pure aloe vera.

Lube is a must, in my opinion. I'm not a gay man (I'm not a man, for that matter), but for anyone having anal sex, lube is a must. Not using it can tear your anal tissues, and if the condom breaks, make you more susceptible to HIV and other STDs.

I know it's disheartening, but if someone won't use a condom for anything you'd prefer to use a condom for, that person doesn't have your (or his) best interests in mind or at heart. That person isn't your person, either for a relationship or a hook up.

I hope you aren't in this country too much longer. If you get a chance to travel, see if you can find supplies wherever you go, and bring them back.

Hang in there!
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