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Oral Sex Infection Through The Lining of the Mouth??
Jan 10, 2007

Dr. Bob, This is the second time I am asking you this question. I have been so upset. I am a hetero woman and I had unprotected oral sex (giving and rec.) He went down on me for about 20-25 min. I did not cum. I went down on him until he came. I pulled out so he could cum. I keep reading that you say oral sex carries low risk but I have made two phone calls to those aids hotlines one of which I got off your site. They both tell me you can get it from oral sex. They couldn't tell me the risk but say it is a very real risk. Both of the women I spoke with said there doesn't have to be visible cuts in the mouth deep or other wise. They told me you can get hiv from it passing through the lining of the mouth. What is the truth. I am freaking out!! Please help me!! I know they have to inform everyone and not down play it but I really need to know and they couldn't give me any statistics on this at all. I am crying everyday and so scared. Please respond, donation on its way!!

S

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello S,

What the hotlines told you is true and does not contradict anything I've written here. Receptive oral sex does have an HIV-transmission risk. It's just that that risk is very low. The estimated per-act risk for acquisition of HIV from receptive oral sex with a partner confirmed to be HIV positive is 1 per 10,000 exposures. Your estimated risk would be even less, because we do not know the HIV status of your partner. The mouth is lined with a mucous membrane, like the lining of the urethra or vagina, which can absorb HIV. "Cuts" are not necessary. However, saliva does have some anti-HIV properties, which decreases the risk of HIV transmission across oral mucous membranes. Taking all this into account, many folks have decided that the HIV-transmission risk for oral sex is acceptably low for them. Others, of course, may not. Take another example, there is a very real risk that if you walk outside carrying an umbrella during a rainstorm, you might get zapped dead by a lightening bolt. It would be extremely rare but it does happen; it is a very real risk. However, most folks find that degree of risk to be acceptable.

So, S, stop crying. Your mascara is a mess and you're beginning to look like Tammy Faye Bakker after James got caught in that sex scandal with Jessica Hahn. Take a read through the archives related to oral sex. You should find the testimonials there encouraging. If you remain worried, get a single HIV test at the three-month mark. Statistically the odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this oral adventure.

Thanks for the donation (www.concertedeffort.org).

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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