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Dr. Frascino I took a poll
May 8, 2003

DR

I asked all of my friends about recieving not giving oral sex and all of them said they do NOT use a condem for this I am with them by the way. We are all guys if that makes a difference. Even if any of us had ars symtoms should I tell them they should be tested? Everyone is under the assumsion that you dont get hiv that way but I am not positive even after reading your answers because an extremely small risk is still a risk and if you have hiv symptoms after maybe you should be concerned. My friends call me nuts and they are college educated but I am still not sure. If this is your only real risk as a doctor would you say to get tested with or without the CLASSIC ARS SYMPTOMS?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

As with all things in life, we weigh the risk versus the benefit, and then decide what to do. You see a traffic light change from green to yellow as you approach it in your car and decide if its worth the risk to proceed through the intersection or better to slam on the breaks. Well, sex isnt exactly like driving (its a whole lot more fun), but the same principle applies. Everyone needs to understand the potential risk of what they are doing, and then decide if they are willing to accept that degree of risk.

Is a small or even "extremely small" risk still a risk? Absolutely.

Does oral sex have a theoretical risk? Yes, it does.

Is that risk extremely, extremely small? Well, yes it appears it is.

So what do I recommend for guys who choose to have unprotected oral sex? I remind them there is a theoretical risk, and suggest HIV testing every 6 months or so, with or without classic ARS symptoms.

Hope that helps.

Dr. Bob



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