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Length of kissing
Feb 15, 2001

Dear Ryan, I would just like to clarify if there is a directly proportional relationship between the amount of time devoted to kissing and the risk involved in transmission. Would a casual kiss on the lips be safer or more risky than a several minutes of closed mouth kissing. Thank you very much.

Response from Mr. Kull

It's difficult to say if there is a difference between the two types of kissing you describe in terms of HIV transmission. As far as the CDC is concerned, there is a tiny chance that HIV could be transmitted through kissing (they only define deep kissing as a risk), but there is no evidence that it happens. There has only been one case of possible transmission through kissing that the CDC has investigated in the entire history of the epidemic, and the findings were not conclusive.

Try not to think too much about the length of time you kiss someone. What other options do you have?

RMK



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