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Swallowing HIV

May 17, 2001

Hey Ryan, I undersand the virus cn be transmitted through bodily secretions and mucous membranes, however iwas curious if it can be transmitted through swallowing? For example, if it comes in contact with a cut, then there is naturally a risk but say someone does not have any cuts and they simply swallow the semen are they at risk? I mean, does the lining of your throat similar to mucous membranes? Thanks for clarification

Response from Mr. Kull

Swallowing semen probably does not increase or decrease your risk significantly, but ultimately it is difficult to determine this with our current knowledge of HIV transmission through oral sex. Getting HIV infected semen in your mouth probably increases the risk of transmission because of the increased volume of HIV. Certain cells that line the mouth and throat may be prone to HIV infection, so swallowing or spitting out semen will not have a significant effect. See articles on oral sex at The Body ( for more information.


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