HIV Through Oral Sex with Female Partner

Dear Christine,

Is it possible for a man to contract the AIDS virus through oral sex with a woman? I'm worried and feeling scared.

Joe D

Dear Joe,

Before responding to your question, a word about “the AIDS virus.” When people test positive, it means they have an antibody response to some proteins thought to be associated with HIV but that are not unique or specific to HIV. People do not test positive for HIV (the virus), and none of the so-called HIV tests have been validated by the direct finding of the virus in people with positive results. Given these facts, I consider it a leap of faith to assume positive tests indicate infection with HIV.

The term “AIDS virus” implies HIV is the proved cause of AIDS when in fact this is not the case. AIDS experts today are still without a cogent explanation or evidence for how HIV, a non-cytotoxic (non-cell killing) retrovirus can destroy T cells or otherwise cause immune dysfunction, directly or indirectly. The most recent HIV test kit literature is even reluctant to suggest the existence of a causal relationship between HIV and AIDS. For example, the package insert for the relatively new OraQuick states that AIDS is “thought to be caused by HIV,” not proved or demonstrated to be caused by HIV. And the Vironstika HIV-1 Plus test released for use in June of 2003 takes a bigger step back from the notion of an AIDS virus with their carefully worded statement that “published data indicate A STRONG CORRELATION between the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and a retrovirus REFERRED TO as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)."

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to your question about oral sex with a woman. To the best of my knowledge, there are no cases of so-called HIV transmission described in the medical literature among men who claim oral sex with a female partner as their only “exposure.” It appears the only evidence supporting the idea of vaginal transmission of HIV is strictly assumed and anecdotal. The text “Sex at Risk” authored by AIDS researcher Stuart Brody who accepts the mainstream concept that carriers of HIV infection are reliably identified though HIV tests concludes there is no scientific evidence for vaginal transmission of HIV. Also, the CDC does not include female prostitutes as a risk group for HIV. Further, a cover story in POZ magazine, a very orthodox AIDS publication, declared that female to male transmission of HIV was remote if not impossible, at least in the US. According to POZ, a man might become positive through intimate contact with a woman outside the US, so be safe, be sure your dates take place on American soil!

Since there’s nothing in the medical literature to confirm your fears, I would say your worries about HIV are misplaced. At the same time I suggest you avoid activities that may cause unhealthy stress and fear and to be aware of the very real risks of herpes, chlamydia and other STDs that know no national boundaries.

I hope I’ve been of some help,

Christine

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References

to Risk Realities FAQ's - Can I Stop Using Condoms?

to Africa In Perspective