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Oral sex changes

Sep 25, 2001

Ryan. Looking through the archives you seemed to have changed your tune some on oral sex testing. You used to say that there is some risk, little as it may be, and say that testing is up to the person. Now, you seem to have taken a stronger stance and say straight out that testing isn't recommended due to the incredibly low likelihood. Any reason for your change? (new information, personal feelings on the subject, tired of answering the same question?)

Response from Mr. Kull

I encourage people to notify me of any contradictions or misinformation that is posted in this forum, but I do need references to specific questions so that I can make informed comments or corrections.

I do not recall changing my tune on oral sex. Recommendations for testing will depend on the specific oral sex activity. Was it receptive or insertive? Was it with a male or female? Was there exchange of fluid or was a conodm used? Was the partner HIV positive? While any sexual activity that involves contact with fluids that potentially carry HIV poses a theoretical risk for infection, only certain sexual behaviors have been identified as ACTUAL modes of transmission. In the oral sex category, the behavior that carries the most risk is UNPROTECTED RECEPTIVE ORAL SEX WITH A MAN WITH EJACULATION IN THE MOUTH (or, putting a man's penis in your mouth and getting cum in your mouth). Oral contact with pre-ejaculate/pre-cum alone also poses a risk for infection, but less siginificant than with ejaculation. Performing oral sex on a woman would be next on the order of oral sex risk, but that risk is substantially lower. There are only a few documented cases of HIV transmission through performing oral sex on a woman.

Keep in mind: performing oral sex on a person is much less likely to transmit HIV than having unprotected anal or vaginal sex.

There is no evidence that transmission occurs through RECEIVING/INSERTIVE oral sex (that is, when someone goes down on you or performs oral sex on you). In those cases, testing is not recommended, but of course, the decision has to be up to the individual.

Hope this is less confusing.


Thought I was being safe!
What are the chances?

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