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How Safe is Oral Sex?

Just how safe is oral sex -- giving and receiving.

I’m sure you will not be surprised to know that this is the question most frequently asked. A recently completed study of men in San Francisco who have had only oral sex found zero new HIV infections. But other old standby STDs, like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes, are definitely transmitted through oral sex.

Know that Oral sex is considered a low-risk sexual activity, but it's not clear exactly how low the risk of HIV transmission is, although it is believed to be very low.

My lover has hepatitis C. How safe is oral sex?

The sexual transmission of hepatitis C is very rare. Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through contaminated needles, blood transfusions and shared injection equipment.

If my gums are bleeding can I possibly contract HIV via oral sex?

There is no data that shows that bleeding gums, sore throats, bad teeth or mouth sores actually increase the risk of transmission and reliable new data shows the risk of HIV from oral sex is very, very low.

On a personal note, and this might be considered rather unprofessional but, I say that if you have a sore throat you should be at home resting, if you have bleeding gums and mouth sores you should have more respect for people than to inflict those things on someone you’re interested in, and if you have bad teeth…well, dental plans in this country are no better than buffalo chips, so I can’t say much on that subject except see a dentist when you can (problems with your teeth affect many other areas of your body and spirit), and enjoy oral sex.

My partner bit his lip prior to performing oral sex on me. Should I be worried about hep B?

Yes, Hep B can be transmitted via oral sex and kissing, but there are very good shots to prevent hep B. So if you are concerned, get the shots

What is the latest thinking about unprotected oral sex between men?

A very recent study from Spain confirmed earlier studies that it is very, very uncommon for oral sex to transmit HIV. That said, oral sex can transmit gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes and syphilis, so sexually active men and women who have oral sex should get regular STD check-ups at least every six months, if not more, depending on how many new partners guys have.