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How risky is oral sex??
Apr 12, 2002

More than 6 months ago I gave 'oral sex' to a guy but really only did for less than 1 minute and without ejaculation. How high is the risk??

I am starting a relationship with a new partner and don't know if I should get tested before having intercourse. Am I to paranoid? Please advise...

Response from Mr. Kull

The bottom line is this: if any infected fluids (like semen or pre-cum) come into contact with your mucous membranes (like the lining of the urethra, vagina, rectum, or mouth), there is a risk of transmission.

The actual LIKELIHOOD of transmission is a different story.

Performing oral sex on an HIV positive man does pose a risk, albeit small, for transmission. 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.

It is important to take into account, when determining your own risk for infection, the risk of your partner. One way to do this is to talk to your partner about HIV and risk.

RMK



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