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How great was my risk ?
Oct 15, 2001

I recently had sex with someone who is HIV positive. It included kissing, oral sex without a condom and mutual masturbation. At the time, I had a sore throat and soon after discovered I was catching a cold. How great was my risk to exposure ?

Sincerely,

scared and confused

Response from Mr. Kull

Many questions similar to yours have been answered in this forum on the risk of transmission through oral sex. Most studies to date show that the risk of transmission through performing oral sex on an HIV infected male is much lower than the risk of transmission through unprotected anal or vaginal sex. However, since transmission is still possible, it is recommended that certain precautions are taken. Using a condom for oral sex is one option, and if you choose not to, avoiding ejaculation in the mouth is a way of reducing your risk. While having oral health problems (like a sore throat) may increase the risk, the risk still remains low.

If you performed oral sex on this person and believe that fluids could have come into contact with your mouth, it would be recommended that you get tested after three months have elapsed. If you would like more info on oral sex, read through the articles posted on the "Oral Sex" page at The Body (http://thebody.com/safesex/oralsex.html).

RMK



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