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HIV from oral sex with women The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Jan 7, 1997

I am a male, and I was wonder if I could catch HIV from my girlfriend if she was unknowingly infected through performing oral sex on her?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. Giving oral sex to an infected woman could possibly lead to infection with HIV. If you are GIVING a woman oral sex, there is a risk of infection since vaginal secretions and menstrual blood can get into your mouth. The more of these body fluids you are exposed to, the greater the risk of infection there would be. If you have any open sores, cuts, abrasions, or gum disease in the mouth, the virus can get into your bloodstream. The risk is less than vaginal or anal intercourse, but the risk is real, and transmission can occur. There have already been reported cases of HIV infection specifically through giving oral sex. In addition to HIV, while giving oral sex, you could also be at risk for other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's) including herpes and gonorrhea. So giving oral sex to an infected woman is risky, but it's less of a risk than intercourse.

If you are RECEIVING oral sex from someone else, you are only being exposed to saliva. The concentrations of the virus in saliva are so low, that nobody has ever been infected from saliva. Keep in mind however that you can get other sexually transmitted diseases (like herpes) by receiving oral sex. However, as far as HIV is concerned, receiving oral sex is extremely low risk.

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



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