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no risk vs. relatively low risk
Jul 26, 2002

Dr. F

I am a little confused in regards to deep kissing you say no risk and for recieving oral sex you say relatively low risk. On the safe sex forum they say the risk is the same and there is a documented case of deep kissing so if anything I would think that it would be the other way around. Why do you disagree?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Are you a math or statistics professor or something like that??? What we are talking about is relative terms not absolute terms. Insertive oral sex carried a "relatively low risk" of HIV infection. We can't say for certain that it never, ever, ever, ever could or would happen, because there are just too many variables to consider. And it would be impossible (and probably unethical) to carry out a large enough clinical trial to answer that question in absolute and unequivocal terms. Couldn't you just see the advertisements for that kind of study? "Sign up now for oral sex!" So, because we can't give you an absolute answer, we say the risk is relatively low, because there remains the theoretical potential it could happen. OK?

As for deep kissing, the risk is even less. Now there are extenuating circumstances, such as one documented case where 2 people both had dental surgery, one was HIV-positive with a high viral load, and the other was HIV-negative. They played tonsil hockey (deep kissing), and the HIV-negative person became infected. This was really a blood-to-blood type of transmission. The chances of this every happening again are extremely low (almost non-existent). Hope that clarifies the situation. Don't be confused, just use your head. HIV transmission is not all that mysterious or complicated. We all take risks everyday. Before you walk out in the rain do you calculate your odds of getting struck by lightening? The potential of getting zapped is there, but all we can say is that your individual risk is relatively very, very low. OK?

Stay well. Now go back to your algebra homework.

Dr. Bob


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