Q and A


I had unprotected oral sex do I have HIV?

Hi I had oral sex and he did not use a condom once I had a fever 2 weeks after. I went to the doctor she said I had a water infection and it had nitrogen in it. I started to panic because my lymph nodes are up on the left side of my face I am a woman and grandmother I know I have issues of guilt especially sexually.

I went for a test 72 days after exposure and it was negative am I just worrying too much? Please help.


Thank you for your question.

If you tested negative 72 days after a possible exposure then you are very unlikely to have HIV. Oral sex is usually a very low risk.

However, UK guidelines recommend that a test at 90 days after exposure is needed as 5% of people take up to three months to develop antibodies to HIV.

It is also thought that for oral sex to be a risk there would need to be both oral hygiene problems (such as open sores, bleeding gums etc) and your partner would probably need to have a very high viral load (higher than 100,000 copies/mL).

For more information on HIV transmission please follow this link


  1. Rebecca McDowall

    I’m sorry but i-Base no longer answers individual questions about risks of HIV transmission or HIV testing.
    This service is based on information relating to treatment of people who are HIV positive.

    Most testing questions are already answered on the FAQ page:

    Our guide to HIV Testing and risks of sexual transmission guide has more detailed and easy to read information about these topics. It can be read online at this link:

  2. James


    I was receiving oral sex from a random person i had never met before for about 2 minutes maximum. When they stopped there was no obvious blood or anything on my penis or anything, i had no cuts or anything of the sort on my penis and it must have just been saliva on my penis. I have been to worried to tell anybody or anything and it has been about 2 months maybe 2.2months and i dont think i have had any of the symptoms but because i have been worrying about it i just feel things that i have never felt/seen before and freak out. I am genreally a very very very anxious person with things i haven’t notices or seen. At about the 5 week mark i started to get a sore neck and i was freaking my self out thinking it was swollen lymph nodes, but it didnt seem any different from what it was before and still the same now. Im sorry if this doesnt make sense im just really worried about everything and just splurting my ever thought out. I also dont know the persons HIV status. Thank you very much.

  3. Damien

    No problem, you provide a great service.

    Indeed, there have been a few studies that have zoned on on discordant heterosexual couples (the Spanish study) where oral was the only sexual practice. In 9,000 sexual acts, nobody became HIV positive. This isn’t to say, that seroconversion couldn’t happen of course.

    In the majority of earlier studies, qualitative surveying was used to determine if only oral sex was performed. In many cases, the respondents misrepresented their exposure to HIV, which naturally gave inflated percentages.

    Lastly, I think a definite demarkation should be made between oral with ejaculation and oral without. Pretty much all specialist GP’s concur a near zero risk of HIV from oral without ejaculation.

    Good luck with the website.


  4. Charlotte Walker

    Thank you for your comment.

    This is quite a difficult area to quantify because most people don’t just have oral sex alone. There are lots of studies with a range of different figures.

  5. Damien


    I think the data suggests (from a recent UK study) that oral sex (most likely with ejaculation) is attributable to 3% of new seroconversions. Other studies specify 0-1%. The 5% figure you specify is the upper limit that was discussed in a talk a few years ago among an organised panel of doctors by the SF AIDS Foundation. It should also be noted that some of the doctors felt this figure should be around 1% and that oral without ejaculation is much lower again.


  6. Charlotte Walker

    There have been no known cases of someone getting HIV through receiving oral sex but 5% of infections are through giving unprotected oral sex

  7. paramvir

    Can HIV transmit through receiving oral sex?