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oral sex
Feb 22, 2000

can you get aids from oral sex

Response from Dr. Reznik

A study conducted by researchers the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of California at San Francisco shows that oral sex is a frequent method of spreading HIV. Oral sex was the likely cause of 8 percent of recent HIV infections in a group of 102 gay and bisexual men in San Francisco. The only risk behavior found in eight of the men was oral sex, which they thought had little or no risk. The scientists concluded that the men must have contracted HIV through giving oral sex, not receiving it, without using a condom.

New research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston shows the reason why oral sex is unsafe as a way to avoid HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that oral sex was likely the source of 6.6 percent of recent HIV infections among a group of homosexual men studied in San Francisco. Saliva has low enough saltiness to destroy infected blood cells, but semen and breast milk are seven times saltier than saliva, allowing infected blood cells to live, according to Dr. Samuel Baron, a professor at UTMB and the lead author of the new study. Baron explained that blood cells need a salty environment to live, so that saliva's benefits become reduced when semen is added in large enough amounts. Transmission of HIV can occur in the gums, tongue, esophagus, or tonsils, said the researchers, who now trying to develop a gel to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV by copying the protective nature of saliva.

DR


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