A reader asks our sexual health experts on how easy it is to get HIV from unprotected oral sex.
Me and a former boyfriend had partial sex several months ago. We performed hand jobs on one another and he gave me a blowjob. The blowjob wasn’t long (only four sucks) and I didn’t cum. However, as a hypochondriac, I’m concerned about HIV. Prior to sex, I asked him if he had sex before. He had sex only once in the past and it was only mutual masturbation and fellatio. My parents won’t let me take a test because it would worsen my health anxiety. But should I be worried?
Thank you for writing to us with your worries, it sounds as though you had a very low-risk encounter with your ex. Oral sex is considered a low-risk activity for catching HIV, especially if you’re on the receiving end of the BJ. However, it’s not just HIV that you have to consider here. Other nasties like Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can be passed on by both receiver and giver, and might not even show symptoms, however, all these infections can be treated effectively if caught soon enough.
If you are worried you should make an appointment to go to a clinic, or just pop along to a walk-in clinic. There are some amazing services – and now, there’s even an online clinic called S24, where you can take tests at home and have the results sent to your mobile phone, Google it.
If your parents are standing in your way of getting a health check maybe you need to have a conversation with them about your worries, however at 16 you can go to a clinic by yourself you have the right to be treated confidentially.
Hand-jobs and mutual masturbation are very safe activities, as long as you keep bodily fluids such as semen away from open cuts or sores. If you’re worried in future you can use condoms during oral, and there are even flavoured ones to try.
Visiting a sex health clinic is an important part of life, taking responsibility for your health and for others you’re having sex with. Making regular visits every six months to once a year is suggested if you’re sexually active.
So don’t delay and more importantly try not to worry yourself too much.
Did you know you can order an at-home HIV test online? Click here to buy one (AMAZON)
** Advice given here is for guidance only. You should always seek to obtain your own medical advice from your own GP or doctor **
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Dean Street is an award winning HIV and sexual health NHS clinic in the heart of Soho.