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How many cases through giving oral sex EXACTLY?
Jun 23, 1999

QUESTION #1: I have heard that there are only 2 documented cases of HIV through giving oral sex. I have also heard that there are no cases through oral sex. I keep hearing conflicting things. Who is right? Exactly how many people became infected this way?

QUESTION #2: I read in this forum that there are 23 documented cases of transmission of HIV through oral sex. I know someone who was infected with HIV from oral sex, and he is not (as far as he knows) a documented case.† How can his case become among those documented, and how are these cases documented in the first place?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question.

We do not keep statistics of how many people became infected specifically through oral sex, (or vaginal or anal sex for that matter). We do not keep statistics based on each type of sexual activity. That would be impossible to do since people often engage in more than one risky activity. But there have been cases documented in the medical literature of people becoming infected with HIV, whose only risk was giving oral sex. And there have been cases documented in the medical literature of people becoming infected with HIV, whose only risk was vaginal intercourse or anal intercourse.

So we can say that HIV transmission through giving oral sex is possible, but we cannot say exactly how many people became infected specifically this way. The same applies to vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse.......we can say that HIV transmission through vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse is possible, but we cannot say exactly how many people became infected specifically through each of these activities.

However, overall, the risk of intercourse is generally greater than the risk of oral sex. But we do not keep precise statistics as to how many people became infected through giving oral sex, vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or any other sexual activity for that matter.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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