Oct 20, 2013
I have the bad habit of chewing on the skin inside my mouth till I bleed. My boyfriend has hemophilia and contracted HIV from a blood product as a child. Am I at risk when kissing because I chew my cheek skin?
Response from Ms. Southall
The risk of HIV transmission with oral sex is extremely low. It is even reasonable to state that for the person receiving oral sex (that is on whom oral sex is being performed) the risk of acquisition of the virus is practically zero. For the person placing his or her mouth on someone else's genitals, the risk may be slightly higher but still very very low. Theoretically, obvious cuts, wounds, sores, or infections in the mouth could raise this risk. But relatively speaking this is still considered to be a low-risk sexual activity as the mouth is not a hospitable place for the HIV virus.
This answer includes the risk of kissing. The risk is incredibly low. You would have to have the area that you are chewing completely open and your partner would have to have blood in their mouth. You cannot get HIV through saliva or kissing.
Be well and stay safe, Shannon
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