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bleeding gums?
Nov 30, 1999

Dr.

I recently read somewhere that most people have gums that bleed most of the time, is this statement true? If so wouldn't that mean that there's a greater risk of HIV transmission through kissing and oral sex?

Response from Dr. Reznik

Don't believe everything you read! :-)

Most people do not have "gums that bleed most of the time." It is true that a lot of people do have gingivitis, an inflammation of the gingival (gum) tissues, but rarely do people with gingivitis bleed freely.

Kissing is a safe activity; this fact is supported in the scientific literature. There is some risk associated with oral sex, but when compared to unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, the risk is minuscule. There are only approximately 24 documented cases of oral transmission, now almost 19 years into the epidemic.

Take care!

DR


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