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Transmission from fellatio
Dec 19, 2002

How likely is it that HIV can be transmitted from giving a minute or so of fellatio to someone (who rumour has it is +ve).

There was no exposure to ejaculate but possible exposure to pre-cum. There was also no evidence of bleeding gums or sores in mouth.

What other STDs can be contracted this way.

Response from Mr. Kull

Most of the information about HIV transmission through oral sex that is published, including information that is provided on The Body, states that the risk of infection through performing oral sex on an infected person is low, and is definitely lower than unprotected vaginal or anal sex. There are different reasons why this may be true:

1) Epidemiology: there is evidence that HIV has been transmitted through receptive fellatio (performing oral sex on a man), but the numbers are MUCH lower than infections occuring through vaginal or anal sex. If oral sex were as risky, the numbers would most likely reflect that.

2) Biology: saliva contains some protective factors that may inactivate HIV when it comes into contact with the mouth. The mucous membranes of the mouth may also be less prone to infection with HIV when compared to the mucous membranes of the rectum and genitals.

While oral contact with HIV infected pre-ejaculate is sufficient for infection to occur, infection is more likely to occur when a person ejaculates in the mouth. Your oral health and the presence of sexually transmitted infections will influence the risk of transmission. The likelihood of infection for you will also be dependent upon the status/risk factors of the person with whom you had oral sex.

It is possible to transmit a sexually transmitted infection from the penis to the mouth. See Can I get STDs by oral sex...

RMK



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