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Is it more difficult for a man to get HIV from a woman than vice versa?...
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Is it more difficult for a man to get HIV from a woman than vice versa?

So, several of you have commented on my previous posts saying that I had no risk for HIV (I had unprotected oral sex with a guy I was dating -- maybe 10 times in total -- but he never came in my mouth; there was only some pre-cum).

I do believe you (well, at least I'm trying really, really hard to). But, just to play the odds a little, I wanted a little more information:

Is it true that it is much more difficult for a man to get HIV from a woman than vice versa? So, let's take this guy I'm dating: he's a college guy, he's been with 10 girls before me (3 of which were in high school, longer term girlfriends). I'm not entirely sure how long he was with the other girls, but let's just assume a large majority of them were likely one-night stands from his frat parties or drunken nights (not trying to stereotype here, but just going with seemingly logical options). I know he would use a condom unless he was sure the girl was on some form of birth control.

Plus, with the number of people living with/diagnosed with HIV in the US sitting at around 1.2 million, according to the CDC, the likelihood of any of these college girls having HIV and therefore passing it on to this guy is probably pretty slim, correct? The only reason I'm concerned is -- like I said in my previous post -- this guy came down with what I believe was mono about halfway through our relationship, but he never got tested. i don't remember if he had a fever or a rash; all I know was he was incredibly tired.

Pretty soon after my last possible exposure to HIV (May 23), I developed a mild sore throat; I was diagnosed with strep on June 22, though my doctor never did a culture to confirm -- he merely looked at my throat and said I had strep (I had it before, but my sore throat was much more severe). Nevertheless, I took penicillin for 7 days and the white patches on my tonsils went down, though my symptoms returned a few days later and I was subsequently put on 7 more days of antibiotics. Since then, I've had a very slightly red, slightly irritated throat, and my doctor seems to think it could be environmental. I've also had a slightly congested nose and probably a little post-nasal drip, so I'm sure that's not helping my situation either. Finally, I have an abscess tooth that happened to show up right as my strep throat started, and I'll be getting a root canal this week. I'm sure that still has no bearing on the whole possible HIV exposure, correct?

But, let's face the facts: If I didn't actually have strep (or a bacterial infection), there's no way the white patches would have just disappeared from my throat, right? I know antibiotics do not treat viral infections, so it must be the case that I had strep. Secondly, I did get treated for a yeast infection last week (1 Diflucan pill), but I'm still having a tiny bit of discomfort. However, if this was in any way related to HIV, wouldn't my symptoms already have come and gone?

Like I said, I'm sure the likelihood that this guy even has HIV is pretty slim to none to begin with, and as multiple people have said, exclusive oral sex as I've described does not pose an HIV concern. Still, there is a tiny part of me that is absolutely terrified that I will be diagnosed with HIV when I go see my OB/GYN for my annual checkup next week. Do I honestly not have a reason to worry? I'm really trying hard not to be paranoid, but that's a little difficult after the guy joked "Maybe he had AIDS" when he was sick with that mono-type illness. I know it's a terrible joke and obviously he was kidding, but my anxiety is just through the roof because of this (and because of the fact that I seemingly still have symptoms). Although I'm sure my anxiety is still doing me no favors as far as my symptoms are concerned, either.

Again, thank you all for your replies. I'm honestly not trying to be difficult or to purposely ignore you, but I'm clearly not as educated about this disease and I just want to learn more. I am absolutely terrified to ask for a test next week, but I know I'll do it -- I just want some reassurance that it will be negative.
8 Comments Post a Comment
You do not have an HIV concern and you have been advised of it previously in your other threads.
So you honestly believe I will test negative next week? I'm literally terrified to take the test despite you and others saying I had no risk.
Plus I've just read, through the CDC and other AIDS websites, that there is a "documented" risk of HIV via performing oral sex on a male. Yet, you still believe I will test negative next week?
by Emily_MHModerator,
And to clarify, it is this site's stance, based on studies and our own MedHelp experts (all of whom are world-renowned for their work in this field), that oral sex carries no risk for HIV.  
So then is the "documented" risk of fellatio just a case of CDC bureaucracy at work? I'm not trying to be difficult here, just trying to get an accurate assessment of my risk. I'm terrified I'll test positive next week.
No incident HIV infections among MSM who practice exclusively oral sex.
Int Conf AIDS 2004 Jul 11-16; 15:(abstract no. WePpC2072)??Balls JE, Evans JL, Dilley J, Osmond D, Shiboski S, Shiboski C, Klausner J, McFarland W, Greenspan D, Page-Shafer K?University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, United States

Oral transmission of HIV, reality or fiction? An update
J Campo1, MA Perea1, J del Romero2, J Cano1, V Hernando2, A Bascones1
Oral Diseases (2006) 12, 219–228

AIDS: Volume 16(17) 22 November 2002 pp 2350-2352
Risk of HIV infection attributable to oral sex among men who have sex with men and in the population of men who have sex with men

Page-Shafer, Kimberlya,b; Shiboski, Caroline Hb; Osmond, Dennis Hc; Dilley, Jamesd; McFarland, Willie; Shiboski, Steve Cc; Klausner, Jeffrey De; Balls, Joycea; Greenspan, Deborahb; Greenspan
Page-Shafer K, Veugelers PJ, Moss AR, Strathdee S, Kaldor JM, van Griensven GJ. Sexual risk behavior and risk factors for HIV-1 seroconversion in homosexual men participating in the Tricontinental Seroconverter Study, 1982-1994 [published erratum appears in Am J Epidemiol 1997 15 Dec; 146(12):1076]. Am J Epidemiol 1997, 146:531-542.

Studies which show the fallacy of relying on anecdotal evidence as opposed to carefully controlled study insofar as HIV transmission risk is concerned:

Jenicek M. "Clinical Case Reporting" in Evidence-Based Medicine. Oxford: Butterworth–Heinemann; 1999:117
Saltzman SP, Stoddard AM, McCusker J, Moon MW, Mayer KH. Reliability of self-reported sexual behavior risk factors for HIV infection in homosexual men. Public Health Rep. 1987 102(6):692–697.Nov–Dec;

Catania JA, Gibson DR, Chitwood DD, Coates TJ. Methodological problems in AIDS behavioral research: influences on measurement error and participation bias in studies of sexual behavior. Psychol Bull. 1990 Nov;108(3):339–362.

There is no debate (among experts) about the HIV risks associated with oral sex. The risk is so low that almost nobody who cares for HIV infected patients has ever had a patient believed to have been infected that way. Among experts, it's a semantic issue about using terms like "no risk" and "very low risk". There is no difference between my or Dr. Hook's use of "low risk" and other experts' "no risk".

"And oral sex is basically safe sex -- completely safe with respect to HIV and although not zero risk for other STDs, the chance of infection is far lower than for unprotected vaginal or anal sex. Please educate yourself about the real risks. If you stick with oral sex and condom-protected vaginal or anal sex, you have no HIV worries and very little worry about other STDs. " DR HANSFIELD

"I am sure you can find lots of people who believe that HIV is transmitted by oral sex, but you will not find scientific data to support this unrealistic concern..." DR HOOK

"HIV is not spread by touching, masturbation, oral sex or condom protected sex."- DR. HOOK

in the public HIV Prevention forum of MedHelp, TEAK and the other moderators maintain that oral sex in all forms is a zero risk activity. Would you agree with this assessment?
"HIV is not spread by masturbation, through oral sex, through kissing or other casual contact." Dr. Hook
"The observation on thousands and thousands of observations is that HIV is not spread by oral sex (of any sort)." DR HOOK
"I would not say your risk ,if he had HIV is "slim to none"- that's too high.  I would say they are effectively zero.  How much of his ejaculate or other genital  secretions you may have swallowed makes no difference.  EWH "
"As far as HIV is concerned, there is no known risk of getting HIV from performing oral sex on an infected partner, even if that person's genital secretions get into your eyes or if you swallow." Dr.Hook
HIV is not spread by oral sex, giving or receiving, even if sores, gum disease or blood is present
The fact is that there are no cases in which HIV has been proven to be transmitted by oral sex, including fellatio..  EWH
I am hiv positive female who takes complera everyday not missing one dose and I have no other stds and also my viral load is undetectable for awhile now and i am sleeping with a hiv negative man who does know and we use condoms however we done it on my period but he would b careful and pull out and wipe off the blood on the condom if i was bleeding alot and i was just wondering now  that i have no period and i am still in good health if it was risky to have sex without a condom
please help
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