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Feb 18, 2002

Ryan, Thanks in advance if you get to answer my question. A few months ago i got infected with gonorhea where i only received a blow job. The doctor at the time thoght it was extremely rare and did not really believe me i only engaged in oral sex. Recently i am scared these days even on the receiving side of oral sex. I would like to know if this is in fact rare and difficult. and which other stds are more easily transmited by receiving oral sex more commonly. Thanks

Response from Mr. Kull

This is a real conflict because there isn't a whole lot of data to support the odds of STD transmission when receiving oral sex. Sexually transmitted infections can occur in the mouth and throat, though oral STD infections seem much less common than genital ones. However, this may be an artifact of several phenomena, including the lack of screening by medical providers for oral infections, a poor understanding of a person's sexual risk history, and, most importantly, the high rates of asymptomatic infections.

If your sexual partner has a gonococcal (gonorrhea) infection in their throat, it is clearly possible that you would get gonorrhea in your penis when they performed oral sex on you. The risk for transmission to men is theoretically greater than the risk of transmission to women (this has to do with where the infection occurs and anatomical differences, i.e. the penis hits the back of the throat). This is one reason why we may see a greater incidence of oral STD transmission among men who have sex with men. A recent survey of 3,000+ men who have sex with men in the District of Columbia suggested that oral sex played a significant role in STD transmission among respondents.

This does not mean that there should be cause for alarm because more data on oral STD transmission is needed. Getting an STD through receiving oral sex is, overall, a rare occurrence, and is probably an issue for only certain populations. If you are a man who has sex with men, you have multiple sexual partners with whom you have unprotected oral or anal sex, and you have symptoms in your anus, penis or throat, get a check-up with your doctor and let her know your concerns. If your doctor is not sensitive to your concerns, see if you can find a doctor who is.

See "HIV/STD through being sucked".


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