oral sex from sex trade worker.

Originally Posted: 
Monday, February 18, 2013


Dear AIDS Vancouver,

I received unprotected oral sex (15-20 minutes) from an Asian sex worker in a condo.  She spat on my penis many times for the duration of the oral sex.   I noticed later on that the sex worker had dark gums. 

10 days later, I have a sore throat and dry cough.  It has continued and has been two days since experiencing these symptoms. 

I am very very scared that I may have contracted HIV.   I went to the extent of phoning the sex worker and asked about the health of their women.  Of course she said they are all healthy.

I am typically an anxious person and in the last 2 weeks have been under a lot of stress from work and school.   Even though, I cant help but correlate my indiscretion with the symptoms I am feeling.

Please help... your comments are valuable...  I am really really scared... =(



Hello and thank you for your questions. Receiving oral sex from someone, including a sex trade worker is considered a Negligible Risk. There does exist the possible exchange of bodily fluids. However, there has never been a confirmed case of HIV Transmission from this sex act.

It should be noted that HIV does not discriminate based on race, creed, religion, or anything else. A sex trade worker is no more likely to have HIV than anyone else.

The 3 High Risk practices for exposure to HIV are, Unprotected Vaginal Intercourse, Unprotected Anal Intercourse and Injection with Shared Needles.

The color of a person's gums is not a factor as many people of different races have dark gums. It should also be noted that saliva, sweat and tears are not transmission fluids for HIV.

Symptoms are never an indication of HIV. Only an HIV test can determine if you do or do not have HIV.

We at AIDS Vancouver do recommend that all sexually active individuals regularly screen for all Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV at regular periods throughout their lives. This can be every 3, 6 or 12 months.

Fear and stress can be managed by some simple techniques, deep breathing, fresh air and mild exercise, getting a good night's sleep and maintaining a balanced diet or all great ways to reduce stress.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Helpline again, should you have any other questions,

Yours in good health,


AIDS Vancouver Helpline


604 696 4666


Submitted by Jason (not verified) on

The Massages:

1) Early this year I went to the massage parlors a few times. There the girls gave me HJ, then cleaned my penis with a towel that I don''t think they washed it up to standard or worse, just flip it over. Could the semen from the previous client''s was still on the towel, then she used that same towel to clean my penis and allow the virus to enter my body through the mucus membrane on my urethra?

2) Another time, the massage girl had a broken pimple on her nose which there wasn't any active bleeding, and the scab was in tact when her pimple wound touched my my nipple, and my chest skin which was intact, any concern to worry about? Besides, does sharing drinks has any risks? I mean when people held your drinks by the mouth of the cup and then you drink it.

3) And one time (early or mid January this year 2013) , I went to a massage place and the massage girl gave me an unprotected BJ which I came like a minute later. we did not do anything other than that. In addition, I want to mention that the girl did not have blood coming out of her mouth or gum bleeding at the time, she did not complain anything about her mouth. And, my penis was fine, no sores or cuts.

Note: I have an injury on my nee which the scab were broke due to the shower and steam bath. However, I covered them all up with bandages and did not let the girl touched it.
Then, two to three weeks after this incident, i got sick from a long walk day, roughly 6 miles walked. my symptoms on the first day included, chills, body aches, light headache, sorethroat, short mild fever. On the second I felt everything better, still a litte sore throat, lost appetite, 1 time diareha, upset stomach a little bit. does these mean anything? I also had chronic cough which lasted for like a month, however, nothing else besides the cough, I eat well, sleep well, no fatigue, no fever, no loss of appatite, no swollen lymnode, etc.

Can any of you assess my risks? do I need testing?

Sport Incident:

4) One time, I played soccer on the field which I fell three times and injured my knee caused it to bleeds. My wound did not comes into contact with anyone, and as I remembered I was the only one who has a injured and it bled during that time. The only thing that comes into contact with my wounded knee was the artificial grass(plastic) on the field and the soccer ball. Any risks for me from this?

Also, I forgot to mention, at me massage places, when they gave me a shower, on the back of my knee there was a small cut,( 24 hours old). Could anything on the sponge that they used to wash me got on my cut to cause me concern? or if they hands also had cuts?

Helpline1's picture
Submitted by Helpline1 on

Hi there and thanks for contacting us.

I will try to address each question numerically and chronologically.

  1. HIV is a very weak virus and dies once exposed to air.  HIV cannot live on a towel so, no, there was no possible HIV risk.
  2. Our skin acts as a barrier and therefore does not allow any infectious transmission unless it has been broken or otherwise compromised.  Sharing a drinking glass is not recommended as it can spread many bacterial/viral infections, it cannot transmit HIV.  
  3. Receiving unprotected oral sex is considered to be a negligible risk activity, meaning that although there is a potential for HIV transmission because it does involve the exchange of bodily fluids.  However there has never been a confirmed report of HIV transmission by this activity.
  4. Again, there was no risk by scraping your knee on artificial turf because HIV dies once exposed to air.  The same reasoning applies to the small cut on the back of your knee.
  5. There are no clinically-defined HIV symptoms.  Some infected individuals experience a strong, flu-like illness 2-6 weeks post exposure, which usually disappears within 8-10 days.  However, many infected individuals experience no symptoms whatsoever.  The symptoms you are experiencing are not HIV-related.  However, if they do persist, I suggest you discuss them with your doctor so that they may be addressed.

There is no need for testing as a result of the above mentioned activities/circumstances.  However, we strongly encourage all sexually active individuals be tested for all Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's), including HIV, on a regular basis.  Depending on the individual, this may be annually, bi-annually or every 3-4 months.

I trust I have addressed your concerns however, if you have further questions, feel free to contact us again.

In good health,
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer

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The AIDS Vancouver Helpline is a volunteer-driven information, referral and support service related to HIV and sexual health. Volunteers are trained in active listening, HIV and sexual health information, and local resources and services. Volunteers are not doctors, nurses, or other licensed professionals. Volunteers do not give advice, and strive to provide service-users with adequate information and appropriate referrals.

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