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Confusion on
Mar 24, 2003

Hi Ryan, I'm confused. The CDC states that there are no documented cases of HIV transmission through receiving oral sex (fellatio) but the Schoofs article says there are four documented cases. Also, the article says that HIV can "piggyback" with another disease like gonnorhea. I had someone perform oral sex on me and now I'm confused and scared as to the real story. I know that this question is almost a cliche but different sets of info are confusing.

Response from Mr. Kull

The Schoofs refers to "case reports" which is different than the CDC's "documentation" of transmission. If the CDC hears of case reports of unusual routes of transmission (like kissing, receiving oral sex, fingering, and the like), they can attempt to investigate the case in an attempt to determine the validity of the information. If the CDC can confirm the route of transmission, you have a documented case.

I understand that this is all confusing, and that there is no single correct answer to everything (everything needs to be stated in relative terms). If you look for absolute answers, you'll drive yourself crazy. Try to accept the fact that, at this point in the epidemic, the scientific information demonstrates that the likelihood of transmission through oral sex to be very low, and the risk to the person exposed to saliva is negligible.

RMK



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