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Poppers, Alcohol & Oral Sex
Apr 24, 2009

Dear Dr Frascino I has oral sex (receptive and insertive) with two men on succeeding evenings where no ejaculation occurred. On both evenings I used poppers (or amyl) and on the second I had three beers prior. Each episode occured in a backroom of a bar and lasted at most two minutes. I realise the risk of gonorrhea and even Chlamydia but with ARS/HIV, I'm not sure how alcohol and/or amyl complicates things. I see elsewhere web references to alcohol significantly increasing the possibility of HIV absorption into the membrane in the mouth while poppers can lower immunity. The first encounter was 5 nights ago. Does your 1 in 10,000 per-act-risk increase exponentially? Becoming a Teetotaller...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The real problem with excessive alcohol or poppers is not increased HIV absorption or decreased immunity, but rather the fact that these agents (and other recreation drugs) can lower inhibitions, which in turn can lead to increased unsafe sexual risk taking. These drugs do not alter the estimated-risk statistics for any particular type of sexual activity. Rather they increase the likelihood the user will participate in a risky sexual activity.

Dr. Bob



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