STDs Expert Forum
STDs from Oral Sex?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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STDs from Oral Sex?


I have already posted this question in the STDs Community and received conflicting pieces of advice, so I have decided to ask an Expert.

A couple of nights ago, I made a mistake by hooking up with a man I barely knew. I gave AND received oral sex, although I did not allow him to ejaculate into my mouth. (No vaginal sex occurred.) Given these facts, how likely is it that I have contracted any type of STD? If you were in my position, would you get tested for anything?

I have researched the issue and found different pieces of information in different locations...I'm just looking for a more difinitive answer before I start driving myself crazy!

Thank you!

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Welcome to the Forum. I read the responses you received on the STD Forum as well before beginning to address this.

Your risk of STD is low.  For starters it is unlikely although not a sure thing that your partner had STDs of any sort.  Most people do not.  Nonetheless I understand your concerns and realize that you may wish to get tested for reassurance.  By and large, oral sex is an inefficient way to transmit STDs with giving oral sex being more likely to result in infection than receiving.  Of the bacterial STDs only gonorrhea is transmitted through oral sex; chlamydia is not and without an obvious sore or lesion on your partner’s mouth, the chances of syphilis and herpes is likewise tiny.  Even if your partner had an STD (any STD and as I said, it is likely he did not), most exposures do not lead to infection.  In your case, you had a single exposure; I would urge you not to worry. If you must, I understand that you might go to your local STD clinic or health care provider to be tested at this time.  If so, get your throat tested for gonorrhea as well as other genital STD testing.  I anticipate that the tests will be negative.

As for HIV, the quoted figure for HIV risk, if one has oral sex with an infected partner is less than 1 in 10,000 and, in my estimation that is too high. Some experts state there is no risk at all from oral sex.  Neither of us on this site have ever seen or reading the medical literature of a convincing instance in which HIV was passed by oral sex.  I would not worry about this either.

Hope these comments help.  EWH
Thank you for your response! I really appreciate it. : - )

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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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