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HIV and AIDS

Risk of HIV Transmission by Oral Sex

05/23/2006

Question:

My husband was recently diagnosed with a low viral count, he has HIV undetectable I guess. He says he got this by receiving oral sex only. I don`t believe him! Is it possible that he became infected by receiving oral sex?

Answer:

HIV infection is most commonly passed by sexual transmission. The most common ways it is passed is through vaginal or rectal intercourse. It is passed through oral sex as well. Each type of sexual activity has a different level of risk:

Male-male insertive anal sex. Risk significant (1 in 500-1000 chance)

Male-male/female receptive anal sex. Risk highest (1 in 200-500 chance)

Male-female insertive vaginal sex. Risk significant (1 in 500 chance)

Female-male receptive vaginal sex. Risk significant (1 in 500-1000 chance)

Male insertive oral sex. Risk unclear/worse if uncircumcised.

Male/Female receptive oral sex. Risk significant (1 in 1,000 or slightly more)

So it is possible to acquire HIV infection through oral sex. 

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Response by:

Carl   Fichtenbaum, MD Carl Fichtenbaum, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati