After more than 35 years of epidemiological and biomedical research, the question of whether you can get HIV from oral sex remains confusing. So let's start by separating hypotheticals from the hard facts and statistics. If asking can a person get HIV from oral sex, the honest answer would have to be possible but unlikely.
Jump to navigation. There is now a wealth of evidence on how, when and where HIV first began to cause illness in humans. You can find out more about the origins and history of HIV through our interactive timelinewhere you can read, watch, listen and explore key events from the history of the epidemic.
Many people don't have any symptoms when they first become infected with HIV. Some have a flu-like illness, called HIV sero-conversion syndrome, a month or two after exposure to the virus. This illness may cause a variety of symptoms, including:.
Anal sex is a common practice among men who have sex with men, heterosexual men and women, and transgender individuals and is a known risk factor for HIV infection and transmission. Therefore, it is important that education on HIV prevention includes accurate information on the fluids that can transmit HIV through this type of sex. If one of these fluids is excluded from prevention messaging, it could lead a client to underestimate their risk of HIV transmission.
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The risk of HIV through unprotected anal intercourse is seen to be extremely high, as much 18 times greater than vaginal intercourse. The reasons for the increased risk are well known and include such factors as:. Furthermore, the secretion of blood from damaged rectal tissues can increase the risk for the insertive "top" partner, providing the virus a route of transmission through the urethra and tissues that line the head of the penis particularly under the foreskin.
Heterosexual anal intercourse is rarely discussed in the scientific literature. Review of the literature suggests the silence is linked to ethnocentric discomfort about it among researchers and health care providers, coupled with the misconception that anal sex is a homosexual male practice, not heterosexual. Sexually transmitted disease STD data, especially where only the rectum is infected with gonorrhea or other STD agents, buttresses survey data.
HIV is a blood-borne virus in that it is transmitted through body fluids containing blood or plasma. Transmission of HIV can occur sexually or non-sexually through the exchange of body fluids infected with a high concentration of the virus, mainly blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Transmission is especially effective during activities that involve "sealed penetration" i.