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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Oral Sex and HIV Risk

All sexual activity carries some risk of HIV when one partner is infected with HIV. Anal sex and vaginal sex usually have a higher risk, but there is no doubt that oral sex can result in the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs).

Oral sex can be even more risky if there are any sores in a person's mouth, bleeding gums, genital sores, or the presence of other STDs. Both males and females can get infected by giving or receiving oral sex.

In addition to HIV, herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts (HPV), intestinal parasites (amebiasis), and hepatitis A can all be transmitted through oral sex with an infected partner.

To protect yourself use a barrier - a latex or plastic condom may be used on the penis, or cut open a condom or use a dental dam placed between a mouth and vagina. Like all safer sex, the goal is to avoid exchanging body fluids known to carry HIV - semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, and blood.
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.