A New CDC Fact Sheet on Oral Sex
January 12, 2001
"Preventing the Sexual Transmission of HIV, the Virus that Causes AIDS -- What You Should Know about Oral Sex," a new fact sheet created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outlines both the theoretical and documented risk of HIV transmission through unprotected oral sex. According to the fact sheet, numerous studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in the transmission of HIV and other STDs.
Transmission through Oral-Penile Contact
Transmission through Oral-Vaginal Contact
Transmission through Oral-Anal Contact
The CDC points out how important this information is in light of recent findings about teen sexual behavior. Many adolescents who engage in oral sex do not consider it sex, therefore they may use oral sex as an option to experience sex while still, in their minds, remaining abstinent. In a recent national survey of teens conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 26% of sexually active 15 to 17 year olds surveyed responded that one "cannot become infected with HIV by having unprotected oral sex."
To lower any risk of getting HIV from oral sex, the CDC recommends the use of latex condoms (cut open), plastic food wrap, or a dental dam as a physical barrier to prevent transmission of HIV and other STDs.
For more information: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333; Public Inquiries Office: 404/639-3311; Web site: http://www.cdc.gov; Copy of fact sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/oral_sex.htm
This article was provided by Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. It is a part of the publication SHOP Talk: School Health Opportunities and Progress Bulletin.