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Oral sex y or n
Jun 24, 2001

I am HIV+ my husband is HIV- can he perform oral sex on me? what are the statictis that he would contract hiv from me? I am female.

thank you

Response from Mr. Kull

It is highly unlikely that your partner will contract HIV by performing unprotected oral sex on you. There are only a few cases documented by the CDC that demonstrate HIV transmission to a person performing oral sex on a woman. This is the best evidence that the risk of transmission through cunnilingus is very low.

First of all, we know that the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is low when compared to unprotected vaginal and anal sex--period. A lot of this has to do with biology: simply put, HIV seems to have a more difficult time causing infection when introduced to the mucous membranes of the mouth (saliva may provide additional protection and the cells in the mouth may not be as prone to infection). Secondly, the concentrations of HIV in vaginal secretions seem much lower than the concentrations of HIV in cervical secretions and menstrual fluid (blood). When performing oral sex on a female, the mouth is more likely to come into contact with vaginal secretions. It is believed that vaginal fluids dilute the more infectious fluid, decreasing the chances of transmission to someone's mouth.

It is important that your partner does not perform unprotected oral sex on you when you are menstruating (blood has a much higher concentration of HIV), and if he is experiencing any problems with his oral health (sores, abrasions, inflammation). If he would like to decrease the risk of transmission even further, he can use a latex barrier--like a dental dam or a condom cut into a square--to cover his mouth when he performs oral sex on you.

For more about transmission through oral sex, see the CDC's latest fact sheet on oral transmission (http://www.thebody.com/cdc/oralsex.html).

RMK



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