HIV - Prevention Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Unprotected Oral vs Protected Vaginal Intercourse

When comparing the risk of acquiring HIV, which is greater when comparing unprotected oral vs. protected vaginal intercourse. Many times hooking up with a female leads to unprotected oral in a relationship far before protected vaginal intercourse and may not lead to vaginal intercourse at all. I have read the forum and I see the that the quoted risk for receiving unprotected oral is 1 in 10,000, but you all have never seen a convincing case, does this include giving oral to a woman? What is the risk for protected intercourse? Obviously there is the risk of the condom breaking.
3 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the HIV forum.

These questions have been addressed innumerable times on this forum.  HIV transmission is at least 10 times more efficient than oral sex, perhaps 100-fold different.  The quoted risk on this forum for fellatio (oral to penile, i.e. if the oral partner has HIV) is 1 in 20,000, not 1 in 10,000 (but that's a quibble).  For female to male by vaginal sex, if the woman is infected, the risk has been estimated at 1 for every 2,000 exposures.

These data come from an analysis by CDC, based on reported exposure routes and frequency of various kinds of exposure among reported AIDS cases.  They are very rough, but the difference between vaginal versus oral sex probably is valid.

The risk of transmission through vaginal sex, with a condom (assuming the condom remains intact) probably is zero.

As for cunnilingus (oral contact with female genitals), to my knowledge there has never been a documented transmission.  Nobody can say the risk is zero, but it may be -- certainly it is low enough to consider cunnilingus risk-free.

Regards--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal


If that is the case then based on the risk. A person would be safer engaging in Protected vaginal intercourse, than receiving unprotected oral sex. Is that correct?

239123 tn?1267651214
Technically yes, but the difference is so trivial it doesn't matter.  Oral sex is safe sex.
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
These tips can help HIV-positive women live a long, healthy life.
Despite the drop in new infections, black women are still at a high risk for HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
What are your HIV treatment options, and how do you choose the right one? Our panel of experts weighs in.
Learn the truth behind 14 common misconceptions about HIV.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.