Oral Sex and HIV Risk (2009)

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a booklet discussing oral sex and the risk factors associated with it and the risk for HIV. Although the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex is much lower than through anal and vaginal sex, some studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in HIV transmission as well as other STD’s.  The only effective way to prevent STD’s is to abstain from vaginal, anal and oral sex or having sex with a monogamous partner where both you and your partner have been tested. Condoms and other barriers between the mouth and genitals can also reduce the risk of contracting HIV or other STDs. 

Oral Sex is a  Common Practice

Oral sex involves giving or receiving oral stimulation (i.e., sucking or licking) to the penis, the vagina, and/or the anus. Fellatio is the technical term used to describe oral contact with the penis. Cunnilingus is the technical term which describes oral contact with the vagina. Anilingus (sometimes called “rimming”) refers to oral-anal contact. Studies indicate that oral sex is commonly practiced by sexually active male-female and same-gender couples of various ages, including adolescents. Although there are only limited national data about how often adolescents engage in oral sex, some data suggest that many adolescents who engage in oral sex do not consider it to be “sex;” therefore they may use oral sex as an option to experience sex while still, in their minds, remaining abstinent. Moreover, many consider oral sex to be a safe or no-risk sexual practice. In a national survey of teens conducted for The Kaiser Family Foundation, 26% of sexually active 15- to 17- year-olds surveyed responded that one “cannot become infected with HIV by having unprotected oral sex,” and an additional 15% didn’t know whether or not one could become infected in that manner.

 

To view the entire document: Oral Sex is Not Risk Free

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