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Oral Sex and Marijuana

Mar 24, 2003

Dear Mr. Kull, First of all I would like to thank you for reading this. I understand you must read alot of these everyday and I admire your commitment. Is is more likely for me, a heterosexual adolescent male, to recieve HIV or any other STD by oral sex, if the female recipiant happens to be a habitual marijuana smoker and occasional alcohol drinker? Thanks a lot. You rule.

Response from Mr. Kull

Alcohol and marijuana use does not have any direct correlation to HIV infection. The behaviors of drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana are not routes for transmission. People sometimes get confused between the risk involved with sharing injection needles for drug use and substance use/abuse in general; I often hear someone say, "My partner says he used drugs, which means that I am at high risk for infection!". This is not necessarily the case, as one needs to know their HIV-related risk behaviors (sex without condoms, sharing injection needles).

A person might be at increased risk for behaviors that expose them to HIV (like sex without condoms) if they use alcohol and other drugs, which suggests that there is an indirect link between HIV and substance use. An intoxicated person experiences lowered inhibitions and impaired judgement, which might make them prone to engaging in activities that carry a higher risk for HIV and other STIs.


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