A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control
About 7 weeks ago I had a risky encounter with a sex worker which included unprotected oral sex and oral-anal contact. That night I got a bad ulceration on my tongue. The following day the ulceration had gone down but there was an extremely unpleasant copper/ metallic taste in my mouth. I went to a general clinic (without mentioning the encounter) and was told I probably have a viral infection and to simply wait it out. The symptoms persisted on and off for a few weeks, everything would seem fine but then randomly I would suddenly have this extreme metallic taste in my mouth and my tongue would have a paler/ yellowish tinge to it. I went to the clinic again and was given a one week course of amoxicillin which I finished two weeks ago, but the symptoms are still resurfacing once a week or so regardless. There doest seem to be any other symptoms other than the taste and colour of my tongue`. There are no bumps or sores in my mouth but I am worried that this could be herpes or a more serious infection. Are these symptoms commonly associated with an STI? What do you recommend I do? I have since been tested (allowing for window time since the encounter) for gonorrhea/ chlamydia/ syphilis/ HIV and hepatitis and tested negative for all. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi there

There are some medical conditions and medications that can give you a metallic taste in your mouth. However, having a metallic taste in your mouth, and changes in the colour of your tongue, are not common symptoms of  herpes or any other STI..

It was a good idea to get checked for STIs, since you noticed the symptoms shortly after a sexual contact. Given that all the tests were negative, the next step would be to see a doctor.

The doctor can do a complete history and figure out what may be causing your symptoms.

Please comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.


Health Nurse


For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

This answer was posted on May 9, 2013

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