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Betadine
May 12, 2009

I have found your answers enlightening, hope-generating and at times hilarious (when you debunk dubious treatments). I live in Japan where a product similar to Betadine is said to be effective in preventing HIV transmission. Would gargling with Betadine before and during fellatio help protect both the receptive and inserting partners in oral sex? Would gargling with Betadine after sex be better than just rinsing the mouth? I'm a HIV positive gay male who is doing well and not on HAART yet. Thank you for your understanding and refreshing irreverence.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Higher concentrations of povidone-iodine (Betadine) have been shown to be effective in inactivating HIV topically (prior to surgical procedures, etc.). It has not been studied nor is it recommended as a preventative to decrease HIV transmission during oral sex. (I would also guess it tastes worse than Listerine!) Betadine and similar solutions also should not be swallowed.

We are working on topical microbicides but so far none is ready for primetime. I certainly hope when they are they'll be more palatable than Betadine!

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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