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Oral worry? Ps advise
Feb 24, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob, I just sent a question about a brief unprotected oral experience, but I forgot to add one thing! My friend who recommended you is an AIDS health expert, and he told me there is a difference between "theoretical" risk and "real world" risk with sex. He said that my oral experience, unprotected oral on the shaft with only about 5 seconds in the mouth is really not a likely HIV transmission route (he told me he would say "impossible," but he is a researcher and doesn't use the term! -- and he said he would not see testing for HIV as a necessary event and to move on. But he said to ask you! (He knows I worry too much). That's the most I have ever done sexually, and my friend knows that...so he said that with no ejaculation, and maybe even "with" it (which did not occur in this case), transmission would be unlikely (he said HIV would REALLY be an epidemic if it spread that way)...to put it mildly. People worry so much about this whole oral thing, but my friend said there have been serious long-term couple studies that point to the risk being very, very minimal and the cost to eveyone of worry and testing outweighs the science. Still, I want to ask you...what would you advise for a 5 second in the mouth encounter?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I agree with your researcher buddy. Oral sex on the shaft carries essentially no risk for HIV acquisition. Five seconds of receptive oral sex with a partner of unknown HIV serostatus would carry only a theoretical risk, which, in my opinion, would be negligible at best. The main reason to test would be to put your unwarranted worries permanently to rest. And that may well be reason enough! I'd suggest you read through the section in the archives of this forum dedicated to oral sex. I'm sure you'll find the information there enlightening and reassuring.

One final word about your buddy's comment: ". . . HIV would REALLY be an epidemic if it spread that way . . . ." I can assure you HIV/AIDS is indeed really an epidemic. In fact it's a pandemic. However, the transmission risk related to oral sex is extremely low.

Dr. Bob



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