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Aug 25, 2011

Dr. Bob, I have been reading your forum consistently for that last several years. One of the most prominent questions that continue to be asked is regarding oral sex exposures. I notice that your website follows/adheres strictly to CDC guidelines (in relation to risk factors concerning HIV transmission and acquisition). You regularly and consistently tell forum readers (who have had a potential risk- anal, vaginal OR oral) to seek testing at the 3-month mark. I agree. However, I am getting frustrated with the amount of misinformation regarding oral sex (passive or receptive) and HIV transmission being overly looked upon as no risk. It still DOES pose a potential risk. A couple websites that are suppose to be considered reputable are no longer considered reputable to my understanding of oral transmission of HIV and oral sex. They are pointing to studies (many of which I have read, and have more holes in them than the Grand Canyon).

One particular AIDS article ONLY studied heterosexual couples (135 individuals- 110 women/25 men) about disproportion! This same study did not include MSM (which in another study with MSM stated fellatio as a probable cause for HIV infection due to drug use prior to sexual contact/genital piercings/current STDs/oral issues [ulcers, abrasions,etc.].... that inflated the cause for oral HIV concerns). The inconsistency between the two studies demonstrated VAST differences in age, sex [MSW vs. MSM], drug use, (inhalants, cocaine, etc.] amongst many more factors. Not to mention that the MSW study gave a projectory estimate of 19,000 oral risks (that was a guesstimate by the study over several years). Overall, the CDC does state that oral sex is a low risk but NOT no risk in regards to HIV transmission {quite obviously due to saliva and its inhibitory properties to HIV). Nonetheless, oral sex, in my opinion, does carry some degree of HIV acquisition (low or NOT). I would very much appreciate your thoughts/reflections on these studies regarding oral sex.

Response from Dr. Frascino


I haven't changed my assessment of the risk of HIV transmission/acquisition via oral sex. See link below and the chapter in the archives devoted to oral sex. (You and I are in agreement on this issue!)

Dr. Bob

Sex with someone who is HIV+ (TRANSMISSION VIA ORAL SEX, 2011) Mar 11, 2011

How to plan the future with HIV
re: hiv from sex toy

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