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Sorethroat, cough, runny nose after oral sex.STI?

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Last week (Saturday) I gave a man i was seeing unprotected oral sex. He said he was clean of everything but I'm paranoid because I don't know him well and he's a lot older than me.

Yesterday (Friday) I started to have a sore throat, I feel a little tired as well but it's not accompanied by a runny nose or coughing or any other flu-like symptoms. I showed my father who is a doctor, he said it looked inflamed and gave me Demazin.. I was too embarrassed to tell him I thought it might be an STI... I looked up STI symptoms on the internet and it's made me incredibly anxious.

I am also on Valdoxan (anti-anxiety medication).

I've been checked by a different doctor today and she said my throat looked fine and there was nothing there... but it hurts now, especially when I swallow. I am so paranoid and anxious I haven't been able to sleep. I took an STI blood test today aswell and waiting on the results... but if the contact was with my mouth how will I know if the results are correct? Is it not possible to take a swab from the back of my throat and test it? I asked the doctor if she could do this and she said, "there's nothing to swab".

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
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Thank you for your query at

I understand your apprehension but let me assure you that you do not need to worry.
Oral sex carries a low risk of transmitting STIs and these can be screened for by blood tests. This is because infection of any site evokes an immune response which is reflected in the blood.

However, this does not mean you have an STI. Your symptoms are non-specific and are more likely due to a routine viral infection.
A negative STI screen will confirm this and you will have nothing to worry.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have further queries.


Patient replied :

Hi I received the results from my blood/urine tests and it came up negative for HIV, gonhorrea, chlamydia, and both herpes type 1 and 2. Why I'm so worried is because the man I was with told me he'd had throat cancer and only now I've found out that throat cancer can be caused by oral HPV which is an undetectable STD. It's been 2 and a half weeks and my sore throat has not dissapeared! I am not coughing, I have no fever, no headaches, no cramping, absolutely nothing but a persistent irritated throat which gets worse when I talk. I have been still getting treated by my father who is a GP but is still unaware that I have given oral sex.. there was a whitening toward the back of my tongue and he said it was candida and gave me Nyastatin.. after 3 days I saw no changes, so he started me on Amoxicillan.. 3 days after treatment I saw no change either. Whilst I have no symptoms of anything else, HPV is undetectable and can cause throat cancer... What is the probability that I have caught HPV from this man and it's developing into throat cancer in me? I have never been sexually active in any way prior to this.

Yes HPV does carry a little risk of causing throat cancer, or more appropriately oropharyngeal cancers. But it takes years old patientto develop, and the sore throat you have developed can't be due to HPV from such an acute exposure. It just seems like a bad pharyngitis, and you will recover in due time. You had already taken antibiotics, hence i will advise you to start Salt water gargling 3-4 times a day or if possible use the betadine gargling solution. It is extremely helpful, in acute pharyngitis like in your case.
Please do not worry about throat cancer from the exposure you had. Apart from positive HPV infected partner, other factors such as repeated exposure, altered immunity status, and tobacco chewing or regular smoking are other factors needed for the spread of HPV infection orally. And in most cases it also manifests as warts. Its been only 2 and a half weeks and there is no way you will start developing throat cancern in such a short span of time. So please do not worry.
Try the gargling and let me know in a couple of days whethere it has been helpful.

Patient replied :

I have been on Betadine for about 10 days and my sore throat has not gone away. I saw a different doctor 2 days ago, she suspected it had something to do with my vocal cords as I'm a receptionist and constantly talking. I got a referral to see an ENT specialist and I will make an appointment soon, but I'm getting really upset now because I think it's been a month where I've tried every single treatment and haven't gotten better.
I just exercised and my throat is burning, it hurts when I swallow. I don't know what to do.
I also did another blood test checking my thyroid function, my white blood count etc. and a repeat HIV/syphilis test.. everything was fine and the HIV test came back negative... Is a negative HIV test after 6 weeks conclusive? I had very sore inflamed gums at the back of my mouth at the time I gave oral sex, could he have given me HIV this way? There was no ejaculation in my mouth.
I'm starting the get a runny nose now and slight headaches. I would really appreciate your feedback on what you think I should do next and what are my chances of getting HIV from that experience?

Let me once again reassure that your symptoms are NOT due to the sexual encounter. Please relax as you have tested negative for STDs.
It is good that you are seeing an ENT specialist.
Chronic sinus congestion can cause mucus to drip on the throat, causing irritation of the throat and persistent sore throat.
Your current symptoms of runny nose and headache also point towards that.

Apart from ENT causes, persistent sore throat could also be due to oesophageal reflux disease. Backflow of acidic stomach content can erode the lining of the throat and cause the soreness and pain. This can be present in your case if you have other symptoms like heartburn, excessive salivation, regurgitation etc.
A 4th generation HIV test (combo antigen-antibody test) is conclusive ar 6 weeks. A negative result means that you do not have HIV. Besides, with the kind of your exposure, HIV transmission risk is remote whether even if one has inflamed gums. So please do not worry.
Please go ahead with the ENT consultation.
In case you have symptoms of reflux, please take an OTC like Omeprazole 20 mg, once daily in the early morning, for 2 weeks. In addition other measures like head end elevation of bed, not reclining within 3 hours after meals, avoidance of smoking, spicy food etc are important.
I hope this addresses your concern. Let me know if you have further queries.

Patient replied :

Once again let me reassure you, you have no chances of getting HIV and you should stop worrying about it.
Through oral sex, HIV can't be transmitted.
Only in rare cases theoretically, they say if there is ejaculation inside the mouth, and there is an open lesion in the women's mouth then there is slight risk of getting HIV. But even that itself is very low. In your case it was just oral sex, and no ejaculation. So please do not worry about HIV.
HIV can only be transmitted through unprotected vaginal/anal intercourse. It can't be transmitted through oral sex.
The 4th generation tests are very accurate, with sensitivity of 95 %. Some doctors prefer waiting for 6 months before getting the test done, since the virus might be in the incubation period in certain rare cases. In your case i can guarantee HIV is completely ruled out.
I still feel it is pharyngitis, and the ENT specialist will be the best consultant to go to, since he can examine your throat, if required do an IDL ( Indirect Laryngoscopy ) and also check your sinuses. Based on his physical examination, he will suggest you the best medicine.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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