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Oral sex and mouth
Jun 26, 2000

I am wondering the risk of oral sex. The safe sex forum is not working right now and I have read over some of your answers, you are great. I performed oral sex for about 15 min. The man did cum in my mouth, but I did not swallow. I went right to the restroom and spit it out and then rinsed my mouth. Is this very high risk? I was told that your saliva may protect you from HIV. Is this true? Please help. Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Reznik

It is very difficult to gauge the risk involved, but hopefully this answer will shed a little light. We do know that unprotected anal/vaginal intercourse is a high risk activity. We also know that causal contact such as kissing and sharing utensils is not considered an at risk activity. It had been thought that oral intercourse involved some degree of risk, but until recently there had been very few documented cases of oral transmission. Certain factors would increase the degree of risk such as open sores on the penis, open sores within the mouth, allowing the person to ejaculate in the mouth, etc. There is also general agreement that the person performing oral intercourse is more at risk than the recipient. We still do not know the degree of risk involved, but it is generally believed that oral intercourse is a *much less risky activity* than unprotected anal/vaginal intercourse. There is some risk involved as there have been documented cases, but there are future measures you can engage in that will help prevent future concerns: do not allow the recipient to ejaculate in the mouth; make sure there are no breaks in the skin of the penis, do not perform oral intercourse if there are cuts/sores in your mouth.

You are correct in that saliva does have properties that help to bind and inactivate HIV, but saliva is not a 100% effective, hence the cases of oral transmission.

I hope this helps!


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