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oral sex
Sep 25, 2000

my boyfriend wants to perform oral sex, but I am hiv +.

can he become infected if he does this? he knows of my

condition.

Response from Mr. Kull

It is possible to be infected with HIV by performing oral sex on an HIV-infected person. The risk for oral transmission seems considerably lower than the risks for anal or vaginal transmission. Inherent differences in the mouth seem to affect the risk level: protective factors in saliva, different types of cells, and durability of the mucous membranes all play a role. Your viral load might also affect the likelihood of transmission.

There are several issues that your partner should be aware of to reduce his risk:

1) He can always use a condom to protect himself from infection. I would suggest unlubricated latex condoms to reduce the unpleasant taste of lube. Don't put anything containing oil on the condom.

2) If no condom is used, remember that less fluids he comes into contact with, the better. Pre-cum does contain virus, but much less than ejaculate. So do your best to not ejaculate in his mouth. That requires clear communication and some self-control.

3) He can perform oral sex without putting the head of your penis in his mouth. That requires creativity.

4) Any trauma, sores, or irritation in his mouth will increase his risk for infection. Skip oral sex if this is the case.

Read my recent response to Oral Transmission of HIV for information on a recent study that showed HIV to be transmitted through oral sex. Oral health and amount of semen in the mouth were implicated in their infections.

RMK



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