Q. Are HIV RNA tests accurate after the ninth day of exposure during oral sex with a bump or sore on my tongue?

Answered by
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 06, 2022 and last reviewed on: Dec 23, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am a female individual and had a potential exposure recently when I was giving a blow job with a bump or sore on my tongue. He did not ejaculate in my mouth, and I was not sure if the bump or sore was an open wound. It was hard to see when I looked in the mirror, but I knew it hurt. I am worried about the risk of getting HIV through pre-cum. His HIV status is unknown, and he told me he had a full sexual health checkup six months ago. He is clean and always uses condoms, but because we are not close, I do not know if I can fully trust that or if his tests included HIV. I took one dose of PEP but stopped right after because of rough side effects. I got an HIV RNA test on the ninth day after exposure, and it was negative. Do you think I can trust this result, or the one dose of PEP could have delayed the infection and affected this accuracy? Thanks!



Welcome back to

Thank you for the query.

The chances of transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) by single unprotected oral sex is almost nil unless there are bleeding wounds in the oral cavity. The sore may not be a bleeding wound, as per the description. The chances of transmission of HIV may be almost nil. The HIV RNA PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test negative results on the ninth day are a good sign. It is a very sensitive test but may not be considered a conclusive test as they are usually not used for diagnosis. Do not worry about single-dose PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). The chances of HIV tests coming positive later are very low. But it is better to go for the HIV antibodies test (now as a baseline if not done) and after three months of exposure to be relieved of anxiety totally and conclusive results.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

Why is the HIV RNA PCR test not considered conclusive (I know it is an expensive test, so generally not recommended for diagnosis)?




Welcome back to

HIV RNA PCR is a very sensitive test (more than 95 %), after 12 to 14 days of exposure. Even after nine days, it has similar sensitivity. But usually, they do not suggest it for diagnosis. Do not worry much about the test details. It is negative is a very good sign. As I said earlier, the chances of HIV tests coming positive later are very low. Just forget the issue till three months of exposure. Please then go for the HIV antibodies test. Get involved in activities of your interest. Do yoga, exercises and meditation.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.

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