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The Epidemiology of Oral Transmission

Aug 14, 2002


Thank you for your service to all of us. I have a question that I believe a lot of us have. I was wondering where you received your figures on transmission stats, specifically on transmission stats involving cunnilingus. I have tried to find the specific stats on the CDC site, but I have not found any information that gives the specific number. I know that you say that only a "few" cases have been documented, but how many is a few?

Response from Mr. Kull

When I've said that there are a "few" cases of transmission, I'm using the language that the CDC presents in their literature. In answering questions about statistics, I try to stick as close to the language that the CDC uses since they are the most accurate source of information. I do not know exactly how many cases they are referring to. Regardless, the number is too low to represent a significant risk.

I'm aware of two documented cases transmission through cunnilingus. These occurred among women who have sex with women. If you are interested in reading the literature on this, here are the sources:

Marmor M, Weiss L, Lyden M, et al. Possible female-to-female transmission of human immunodeficiency virus. Ann Intern Med 1986;105:969.

Monzon O, Capellan J. Female-to-female transmission of HIV. Lancet 1987;1:40-41.


Transmission to Babies

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