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confused on advice
Jul 29, 2003

Dear Mr. Kull,

I had protected sex with a (South African) man with unknown hiv-status. The condom remained on, nor did it break.

Just few days ago it struck me, that he put some of his own saliva on already lubricated condom, right before entering.

I called to the local aids-line provided by the national Red Cross (not the US), and the lady said to me that "according to the latest studies, saliva is as dangerous as semen" and she recommended testing.

After what I have read here instead, says the exact opposite! I would be more happy to believe you, but getting so controversial data and without being able to judge which is "the latest information" myself, I turn to you, to clarify this, once and for all.

Should I consider testing, or is this scenario too unlike to result in transmission?

Thank you. Yours, L.s.

Response from Mr. Kull

Saliva is not as dangerous as semen (in terms of HIV transmission, or anything else for that matter). In fact, there is no evidence that saliva poses any threat for HIV transmission.

You should avoid using semen as a lubricant with condoms. It doesn't directly damage condoms, but salive does not provide significant lubrication which can increase the risk of tearing or breakage. Use water-based lubricants instead.

RMK



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