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

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 06, 2018

Hello doctor,

I am a 28 year old male who discovered this lesion on my tongue by accident 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 symptoms associated, no pain, no 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, 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 saw 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 a 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.

Dr. Shyam Kalyan N

Allergy Specialist Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to

It does not appear to be hairy cell leukoplakia. It appears like a normal ulceration or papule only. I suggest applying Triamcinolone ointment over it twice daily and observe 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 an anal intercourse. The receptive partner has more chances of getting the virus from the dominant one during an anal intercourse as the anorectal mucosa is very soft and can easily tear.

Do write back to us for any further support.

For more information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

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