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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: HIV and AIDS
Satisfied Customers: 18443
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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This is a weird question, is it possible to have an STD but

Customer Question

This is a weird question, is it possible to have an STD but test negative for it? I have been tested several times for STD's that I thought I had, but all tests came back negative. I am married but highly suspect that my husband is having oral sex with
men in restrooms, but can't prove it. When we have oral sex, I get a sinus infection that goes from bad to worse to the point that I have to take antibotics to get rid of it. It will progress into my chest if I just ignore it. I usually do not get these symptoms
from regular sex, just oral sex. Could it be something else? I noticed my husband is getting sick from oral sex with me, we have both been on antibotics and neither of us show any symptoms of std's except for the instant severe sinsus infection that will progress
into chest issues, severe headaches, ear aches, sore throat, etc.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HIV and AIDS
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

This is not a typical presentation of any STD, but to give a complete answer, it would help if you could provide some additional information.

How quickly after oral sex do you and your husband get sick? How quickly do you mean by instant?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The next day or two, almost always.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

First, there is no reason to be concerned about STDs because of these symptoms. However, to address your first question, yes, it is possible to have an STD despite a negative test. Although the antibody blood tests are very accurate, the tests to directly detect germs, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, are not perfect. The accuracy of the current generation of tests are very good, generally better than 99%, but in someone with worrisome symptoms, doctors may still be concerned about these germs. This would not apply in your case, since these symptoms are not worrisome for STDs.

As for these symptoms, it is very unlikely that these are any type of infection transmitted during the encounter of oral sex and it is more likely to be some type of reaction, most often an allergy. When germs are transmitted from one person to another, it will typically take at least a couple days, and frequently longer, for the germs to grow in the recipient to then cause an infection. However, symptoms that arise because of a sensitivity can arise much more quickly. Symptoms that arise within a day or two would most likely be due to a sensitivity to something to which there is exposure. It certainly is possible that once there is inflammation from a sensitivity/allergy, a secondary infection can develop over a few days.

The most common substances to which someone can be sensitive during oral sex are substances that are left on the genitals as residual from cleaning, such as in personal soaps or laundry detergents residue left from clothing. Perfumes and scents also can be an issue, although these are not as often applied to the genitals.

You can try to eliminate or change the common substances to which people can be sensitive, such as changing soaps and laundry detergents. It also would be reasonable to try an antihistamine taken before an encounter of oral sex to see if it can prevent symptoms.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The infection can start anywhere from 2 days to a week. Maybe telling you 1-2 days was too short, but always 2-5 days there is a full blown infection. We both have the same symptoms, first blood shot eyes, fluid in the ears, congestion in the chest, mostly sinus type infection that will not go away, just get worse without antibiotics. This has been going on for years and we are both taking a lot of antibiotics. So something more than just allergies is going on and it doesn't happen until we have oral sex. Any other ideas?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

There is still no STD that would cause this type of infection. It is still more likely to be a sensitivity that then gets secondarily infected. However,a culture done during an acute infection would be able to clarify the type of germ causing the infection.