« Go Back

What is the risk of cuninlingus/analingus?

Question: 

First before I get into my question, I would like to state that most, if not all of us have heard from primarily fundamentalist Christians who say that condoms often contain microscopic "pores" that HIV can seep through and infect, and that it's a "corporate secret" that manufacturing industries don't want you to know. Please be advised this is primarily said to enforce fear and encourage abstinence in opposition to safer sex. How do I know this? I was recently informed by a girl that I had had multiple sexual encounters with that she had discovered she had HIV and judging by the viral load, that she had had it for awhile. I immediately went and got tested, and got my results this Friday: Negative. Know how that happened? I'll let you guess...give up? It's because I use a condom EVERY time I have sex. They work...period. I just wanted to state that for everyone to see, being that I'm living proof of that.

Now onto my question: With most of my sexual encounters, most if not all of the girls want me to reciprocate by performing oral sex on them. Truth be told, I'm too afraid to because I'm really not sure of the risk that it carries of contracting HIV. I've tried doing research, but I'm not getting a straight answer. So my question: What are the risks of contracting HIV by cunninlingus, and by analingus, and how many confirmed cases are there where someone became infected by those methods? Your help is greatly appreciated!

Answer: 

Greetings,

Thanks for your support on the condom front! It still is one of the best ways to protect both you and your partner for the transmission of STI's including HIV.

As for oral sex and cunnilingus, they fall into two categories on the risk assessment. Giving someone oral sex (either a man or a woman) is considered a low risk for HIV transmission. Also in this category is injecting with clean needles, vaginal or anal sex with a condom and taking blood in the mouth. As you can see from the list, and from your story above, it is not likely that you will transmit HIV be engaging in activities classified as low risk. Low risk means that there have been very few reported cases of HIV transmission in this fashion, and when HIV was transmitted is was under certain identifiable reasons. For example, one of these activities coupled with a high risk activity like unprotected intercourse, or using clean needles some of the time and shared needles other times.

Annilingus is considered a negligible risk for HIV transmission. This means that although there are body fluids present there has never been a reported case of HIV being transmitted this way. Also in this category is fingering, recieving oral sex, fisting, and using shared sex toys with a condom.

An important fact about both of these activities is that your saliva and stomach acid are working in your favour here. Not much can get past your mouth as saliva actually contains an enzyme that inhibits the HIV virus. Second to that, not much, if anything can survive inside your stomach, as the acid is far to powerful.

As for confirmed cases, I don't have those numbers available-what I can say is that the estimated per-act probability of acquiring HIV** from someone living with HIV** is 10 in 10,000 when having unprotected sexual intercourse. Engaging in oral sex doesn't even make the cut, the numbers are so low.

I hope this helps clarify things for you. Keep using condoms!

All the best,

Katie