Staff report on condoms [retitled]

When you listed the odds of a man getting HIV from oral sex you did not mention if it was while having sex w/an HIV positive partner or a partner from the general population–which is it?

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, greenpod.

As a moderator, let me help you with two things:

  1. It’s a staff report–not one of Cecil’s Columns. Not to worry, I’ve moved it to the right forum.
  2. It’s customary to provide a link to the column or staff report in question. This is especially helpful before the report hits the Straight Dope home page. Let me do it for you:

As the author of the staff report, I’ll have to get back to you in a bit. I’ll have to consult the source, which I don’t have in front of me just now.

**Gfactor **


That’s all the article says about the odds. Here is a link to the abstract:

Thing is, Syrjänen wrote that as a summary of a presentation he gave at the 8th Biennial Congress of the European Association of Oral Medicine, which was titled “Mucosal Medicine: The Multidisciplinary Care of Patients with Oral, Genital and Ocular Diseases.” So all we have is his abstract. As you can see the abstract was published in a Supplement to the journal *Oral Diseases * in September 2006.

To the OP, there’s no way to assign actual “odds” to this scenario, but you’re right to suggest that it’s relevant to ask about the likelihood that the sex partner is HIV+. In a population where a very small percentage of the pool you’re drawing from for sex is infected, your chances of getting HIV are much less, regardless of what kind of sex you have.

However you can look at studies done on discordant couples (one infected and one uninfected) over a long period of time. Studies have shown that such couples who use condoms regularly are less likely to spread the infection to their sex partners.

Gfactor mentioned that STDs can be spread by oral sex, and that’s actually more common than a lot of people might think. I work in an STD clinic and we often see oral gonorrhea. I’ve also seen syphilis spread via oral sex, and I think it’s safe to assume that, if somebody with syphilis also had HIV, the two diseases would spread together more easily than HIV alone.

Just wanted to mention a couple other points:

Certain strains of genital warts (including the ones most likely to cause cervical cancer) are now preventable with a vaccine, though it’s mostly only being offered to very young girls right now.

Genital herpes infection is most commonly spread when the infected person is asymptomatic (not having an outbreak). Other than condoms, one way to lessen the likelihood of spreading herpes is for the infected person to be on a regimen of antiviral meds.

Thanks JillGatt. I was hoping you’d share your wisdom.

Given that it’s possible to transmit some diseases (eg, HIV,
gonorrhea, HSV-1 and certain kinds of hepatitis) through oral-genital
contact, what are the chances that these can be transmitted through
a basic oral-oral route? For example, if your partner has oral
gonorrhea, is this transmissible orally?

I ask because, long ago, my son asked if it was possible to get an STD
by “just kissing.” Knowing the new prevalence of oral gonorrhea, I
said yes, to the surprise of my wife. I thought I’d seen a discussion
of this on the web, but my search at the time turned up nothing.

So, Gfactor, is it indeed possible?

Who is Gfactor?

Just a guess, but might be the Staff Report in question

Welcome to the boards, friskie. It’s helpful to include a link so everyone is on the same page. Just cut’n’paste like I did above.

I am.

I’ll be back later tonight or sometime tomorrow to respond to the question, to the extent that there is a meaningful answer.


Merged threads; retitled result.

I’ve been unable to locate any assessments of the actual probabilities of transmitting various STDs through kissing. Many sources say some version of this:
University Life – University of Pennsylvania

But most sources say it’s possible to transmit plenty of things that way.




Herpes: (HSV-2)
Ask the Experts: Can I get herpes from kissing? - Teen Wire (HSV-1)

Hepatitis B: Ask the Experts: Can I get herpes from kissing? - Teen Wire (CMV, hepatitis B, herpes, and syphilis)

Hepatitis C:

Gonorrhea? : (possible, but unlikely) (no) (no) (no)

HIV from deep kissing: The Facts About HIV/AIDS: Life Expectancy, Cure, Transmission, Treatment, and More (extremely unusual) (very, very low probability)
How do you get HIV? | Be in the KNOW (very low risk)
Homepage | UCSF Center for HIV Information (extremely rare event)

Can you at least tell me whether keeping one’s fingers crossed provides adequate protection against girl-cooties?

I could, but I’d have to . . . oh never mind.