HomeAnswersOtolaryngology (E.N.T)tongueI have a scrapable tongue lesion. Is it due to HIV?

Is it possible to have hairy leukoplakia three months after risky sexual activity?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 7, 2018
Reviewed AtFebruary 18, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 28-year-old male who accidentally discovered this lesion on my tongue while brushing my teeth. It does not come off easily with the toothbrush. Actually, it does not unless I apply significant force to remove it. It has been a month since I first discovered it, and no other associated symptoms, pain, or discomfort when eating. Two weeks ago, I could scrape it off with my toothbrush, but it came back. I am worried; I am not a smoker, and I do not drink alcohol very frequently. Basically, I do not have risk factors for oral cancer. I have read many things on the internet and seen some lesions, like hairy leukoplakia, which is almost pathognomonic for HIV/AIDS patients. How likely is it that it could be hairy leukoplakia by seeing the picture? I am HIV negative as of nine months ago (I always keep track of my status). But I did not engage in a risky sexual activity until three months ago when I started dating my current boyfriend whom I live with. We stopped using condoms, and I have had anal receptive intercourse with him. He said he does not have any health issues, but he has had a weird dry cough for a long time, and he does not want to go to the doctor. I am scared. If he does have HIV, and given the case that he infected me, is it possible that I can have hairy leukoplakia three months after having sex? I have read it usually occurs in the last stages before AIDS develops. I need help; I am so scared.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

It does not appear to be hairy cell leukoplakia. It appears like normal ulceration or papule only. I suggest applying Triamcinolone ointment over it twice daily and observing if it goes down. Eat a healthy diet rich in folic acid and all other vitamins. Take plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits and have an active lifestyle. Meanwhile, it is advisable to get your boyfriend tested for HIV. If there are multiple partners involved, then it is better both of you get tested regularly. It is always safer to use protection while having anal intercourse. The receptive partner has more chances of getting the virus from the dominant one during anal intercourse as the anorectal mucosa is very soft and can easily tear. Do write back to us for any further support.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Shyam Kalyan. N
Dr. Shyam Kalyan. N

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

Community Banner Mobile
By subscribing, I agree to iCliniq's Terms & Privacy Policy.

Read answers about:


Ask your health query to a doctor online

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. iCliniq privacy policy