couldn't find this in the archives...
Jun 18, 2006
Hey there Doc-Let me first add my voice to the chorus that sings your praises for your work in this column-it's amazing! You're so no-nonsense-and really funny!! I love it! I looked in the archives and couldn't find an answer to this one; I have geographic tongue, with the typical red and white patches that move from area to area of the tongue (very attractive!!). Sometimes the patches sting and are painful. I know there is no known cause for this benign condition and no known cure. My question is this: does having this condition put me more at risk for contracting HIV (I'm Neg) when it comes to unprotected male to male oral sex? Should I consider these red/white patches as open sores? If I perfom oral sex without a condom on my sex partners am I still in the safer sex zone? The fear that I'm not is really putting a damper on my sex life. I've heard from another source that having this condition doesn't put me more at risk, but I need to hear what you have to say about it. (See the trust you've instilled?) Hoping all is well with you and yours-
Response from Dr. Frascino
The etiology and pathogenesis of the inflammatory condition, "Geographic tongue", are still poorly understood. It may be related to or associated with an underlying mild autoimmune problem. Geographic tongue is a benign condition. It is sometimes treated with topical corticosteroids. Often dentists or ENT/oral medicine physicians can help resolve the problem.
Are you placing yourself at increased HIV risk if you have active "geographic tongue" and perform oral sex on hunky spunkies? Theoretically, yes, there could be a slight increased risk depending on the amount of inflammation involved. How much of an increased risk would depend on the extent and severity of your geographic tongue lesions. In general I would anticipate any increased risk to be minimal, at best.
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