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Gay sex with an HIV+ Man

Jan 31, 2002

Recently I engaged in sex with a man that I knew to be HIV+. We both had unprotected oral sex, and we performed protected anal sex where I was the receiver. No ejaculation occurred on his part, nor do I recall tasting any pre-ejaculate fluid while performing oral on him. I had no open sores in mouth at the time. We did kiss, but it was largely closed-mouth with tongue to tongue at the most. We performed analingus, but there was no penetration of the rectum with our tongues. I plan on being tested for HIV, but it's only been a week since the encounter, so I'm sure it's too soon to get an accurate result. I'd like know how high is the likelihood of me being infected?

Response from Mr. Kull

The risk of transmission to you when performing oral sex on an HIV positive man is low. This means that there is some risk for transmission, but it is much less likely when compared to anal sex without condoms. Most studies to date say that the risk of infection through fellatio is low, and a recent study showed that the risk was almost negligible. Getting his semen in your mouth increases that risk. Ejaculation in the mouth probably accounts for most cases of transmission through oral sex. Other factors, like the condition of your oral health, your immune response, and his viral load, may have some role in the likelihood of transmission when performing oral sex.

Condoms that are used correctly and that remain intact during sex are highly effective in preventing the transmission of HIV. Anilingus and kissing are not behaviors that are attributed to transmission.

In order to get an accurate result on your HIV test, you should try to wait three months until you get tested. If you have a significant exposure--anal sex without condoms with an HIV positive man, or someone at significant risk for infection--it is important that you talk with your doctor and learn about your options.


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