Avatar universal

HIV transmission via oral sex in the context of concurrent STD'S

* This is a repost as original was posted with mistake.



Hi all,

Please, bear with me,

My understanding is that oral sex is zero risk for transmission of HIV (said "understanding" being intellectual at least.. Anxiety, admittedly however, somewhat invalidates said intellectual comprehension).

One particular sub-consideration, however, problematizes things for me personally: the implications of either the insertive or receptive partner having a concurrent STD/S at time of exposure.

From what I have gathered..:

Experts within the Medhelp HIV community assert that oral sex, regardless of the concurrence of other STD's in either partner, untreated or otherwise, changes nothing; that is to say that, the HIV risk remains zero (zero in the sense that, my being struck by a meteor within the hour is likewise minimal, to the extent of being zero).

On the other hand, the doctors within the HIV Prevention community here used to mention/reference that concurrent STD's in either partner would elevate the  low/zero risk of HIV transmission by a factor of two to five, say.

My inclination - when at my most rational - is to infact subscribe to the position maintained by the experts who, in comparison to the venerable doctors, are not constrained legally or what have you, to err on the side of conservative expression.

I have a line of thought as follows: assuming that, for example, a concurrent STD in the insertive partner increases said partner's HIV risk by a factor of ten, to 1 in 2000 for arguement's sake (roughly equivalent - again for arguement's sake - then, to the risk inherent in a one off instance of penetrative vaginal or anal sex, if I'm not mistaken in my odds) then one would expect the transmission of HIV via oral sex to occur with a frequency such that the occurrence of HIV infection on account of oral sex would be commonplace and commonly accepted as scientifically plausible/reasonable as opposed to being treated amongst the experts and doctors here alike, as hypothetical, fantastical, or theoretical at best.

In essence, my thinking, as referenced above, is that if the experts here were indeed mistaken in their absolute dismissal of oral sex as a means of transmitting HIV, then, surely there would be at least one verifiable, scientifically unequivocal and thus publicized instance of oral sex leading to acquisition of HIV.

And yet a worry forms in me: keeping in mind the strength of the notions underpinning the experts' assertions - primarily, the lack of even one verifiably reported or academically published instance of HIV oral transmission - why had the doctors felt compelled to even include ideas such as concurrent STD's increasing HIV risk in oral sex? Was it purely because of the legal constraints they had no choice but to, .. in part at least, include probably meaningless/gratuitous (but legally requisite) caveats like the one referencing  concurrent STD's, for instance?

I want to make it clear that, in no way, am I criticizing the superb doctors that used to field HIV questions here.

In the final analysis, and when rational, I am inclined to accept the position that Teak, Vance, LizzieLou, RainLover, and other respected experts here assert: namely, that oral sex cannot transmit HIV. Period.

Is my reasoning (outlined clumsily in my initial paragraphs and subsequently) in your opinion, sound?

*Apologies for my unorthodox and potentially aggravating post..

**And to reiterate, I meant no disrespect to the doctors who used to take their time to enrich the Medhelp HIV Prevention forum.

2 Responses
366749 tn?1544695265
This is not a research platform for HIV. Here we deal with people coming to seek advice on risk assessment situations
3191940 tn?1447268717
It doesn't matter how you analyze it, or whether it's technically zero risk, or theoretical risk.  The fact remains that transmission via oral sex, if it occurs, represents a statistically insignificant risk that should be discounted in light of current information (with or without the presence of STDs).

Here is a recent, large-scale study of serodiscordant couples showing the extreme unlikelihood of contracting HIV through oral sex:

Not a single person who was HIV-negative got HIV from oral sex, after a multitude of oral encounters with a partner who was confirmed HIV-positive.   You can find any outlier, and you can also find calculations that lead to an 0.001% risk of infection this way.  If a person wishes to lead their life in fear of a situation that is akin to winning the lottery jackpot, that is, of course, a personal choice.

If you're concerned, just use condoms for any sexual activity with someone of unknown status.

I have begun reading the article contained within the first link you related to me (and info from other articles referenced within said link)...

Thank you, the material is reassuring.

Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the HIV Prevention Community

Top HIV Answerers
366749 tn?1544695265
Karachi, Pakistan
370181 tn?1595629445
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Frequency of HIV testing depends on your risk.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may help prevent HIV infection.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.
These tips can help HIV-positive women live a long, healthy life.