5 Facts About Getting HIV From Oral Sex
Knowing 5 facts about getting HIV from oral sex helps you practice safe sexual behavior. HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, a disease that cripples the immune system of the affected individual. You can acquire HIV from all types of oral sex, including fellatio, cunnilingus and anilingus, or oral contact with the anus, but the risk level depends on the type and other physical factors. Using a condom helps prevent the transmission of HIV during oral sex.
- Oral sex involving genital-to-mouth contact has an increased HIV transmission risk when ejaculation occurs in the mouth. The risk is even higher if either person has cuts or sores, as the opening in the skin allows for passage of the virus into the bloodstream.
- Brushing your teeth before performing oral sex increases the risk of transmission. The act of brushing softens your gums and mouth tissue, making the areas more prone to breakage. You may cut your gums or soft tissues without even realizing it while brushing.
- Anilingus typically carries less risk than fellatio or cunnilingus, but the risk is still present. A direct ejaculation into the mouth of body fluids containing the HIV virus generally does not occur during oral-anal contact. However, the presence of cuts and open wounds in either the anus or mouth can allow for transmission of the virus.
- The presence of another sexually transmitted disease increases the risk of HIV infection from oral sex. If one partner has another STD, like herpes, the associated lesions or skin rashes may provide an entry point for HIV. The affected person's immune system is also already taxed due to the other condition.
- Do not combine oil-based lubricants with a latex condom to prevent infection during oral sex. Oil-based lubricants, like Vaseline and lotions, render a latex condom useless, as the latex itself becomes brittle and weak. The use of water-based lubricants with a latex condom provides the benefits without damaging the condom.