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Dr Bob - Your work!
Jul 15, 2008

First of all...thanks for your work in the HIV/Aids field. Your candor and honesty in helping people is greatly appreciated. I'll try to keep my post here to three simple parts.

First part...please reassure me of the low risk or oral transmission. bottom and top. I'm a bi male who occassionally tests the waters of my sexuality. While I'm "doing it" I tell myself, "I'm being safe". Unprotected oral isn't completely safe and I know that but we all gamble to a point even when we get on the interstate. Never the less, the odds seem to be in my favor when I live life and enjoy the people I meet and am attracted to. I play safe (outside of oral) and take good care of myself...or at least I think I do. Safe anal and no fluid exchange in oral. My question in topic #1...What are the latest statistics in oral transmission? The net has plenty of misinformation and outdated info about how many people get HIV from oral sex alone. Chances are that there's still not many conclusive "facts" about oral, but what's the latest "buzz" as of this moment in time.

Second area is about testing. Internet scuttle-butt is that 95% of poz people will present in testing at 30 or so day post exposure. Do you agree with this claim?

Lastly...What about you? I'm sure I can find info about you here at the Body ( I'll dig around) Questions are... Are you in a gay relationsip? Are you HIV positive? If so what are your personal ways of transmission prevention? What are your personal views on the ongoing battle against HIV/Aids? What can we in the world do to better the fight?

Thanks again for you and your outlook. I read your posts regularly and can't thank you enough for the hope you create.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

1. The latest "buzz" remains unchanged! Oral sex remains very low risk for HIV-transmission/acquisition. The receptive partner (sucker) is at higher risk than the insertive partner (suckee). This holds true for all types of penetrative sex. As for the "conclusive facts" about how many people get HIV from oral sex alone, as you can probably imagine, it's difficult, if not impossible, to get hard data. We can't exactly run prospective clinical trials to determine this (unethical) and the retrospective data collected solely from interviews or questionnaires obviously has its limits. You can read about the published statistics related to risk in the archives in the chapter on oral sex.

2. Don't believe Internet scuttlebutt. What we know is that the vast majority of HIV-infected folks will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibody in their blood within four to six weeks from the time of primary infection. However, it may take a bit longer for some folks' immune systems to "kick in." Consequently, the recommendation that HIV-antibody testing taken prior to the three-month mark is not considered to be conclusive remains intact!

3. To briefly respond to your series of questions: Yes. Yes. I use safer sex techniques (just like everyone else). We would be closer to winning if Dubya would spend even a small portion of the $5,000 per second (yes, $5,000 per sec!) he's wasting in Iraq on HIV/AIDS instead. Vote for Obama and Democrats for the House and Senate in November.

Dr. Bob



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