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Author Topic: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.  (Read 33209 times)

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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2008, 05:16:17 PM »
Like I said, it seems obvious that you'd not want a blood leaking recently injected cock either in your mouth or part of a study on oral transmission, but whatever.  I'm not "dismissing" it as being a possibility in that ONE instance.

As far as other stories on this board about transmission -- yeah, many of them ARE full of holes.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 05:21:07 PM by philly267 »
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline thunter34

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2008, 05:22:35 PM »
Count me as another one who got HIV through oral sex...





OK....I didn't really expect any of you to buy that.  I, for one, will readily own to taking it up the pooper...absolutely raw and uninhiBBited, as they would say on the web.  But do count me as another one who is really getting curious to know just how many people on this board swear they got the bug via blowjobs or cunnilingus.  Good grief...you people seem to be coming out of the woodwork.  Either such transmissions are truly rampant...or it's damn remarkable how many of you found your way here. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline srmn98

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2008, 05:26:59 PM »
I think the topic of who got HIV via oral sex could be started in another thread, I would like to keep this thread on topic which a theoretical / scientific discussion of whether transmission is possible via receptive oral.

thanks,

sara


Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2008, 06:01:03 PM »
Let's not resort to critiquing others' behavior or intentions, but rather focus on what's actually being said.

This has been an intriguing and informative dialogue -- let's keep it that way.

Thanks,

Tim

I want to remind everyone of Tim's words. As far as I'm concerned, "critiquing others' behavior" includes criticising people who think they may have become infected through giving oral sex.

The fact is, if the person being blown is unknowingly recently seroconverted with a viral load through the roof, it is entirely possible that together with other mitigating factors, infection may result. I didn't say probable, I said possible.

At the end of the day, how a person believes they became infected is entirely a personal, private matter. As long as they're not going to the national media and shouting it from the rooftops, I think we should just let them to their beliefs. After all, a person's beliefs do not change over 25 years of scientific study.

I don't want to see this thread getting personal again. OK? Thanks. If it does, it will be locked.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline thunter34

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2008, 06:05:19 PM »
Can we start a poll in another thread about how many people here think they got HIV solely through oral sex?  I'd really like to know.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline keyite

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2008, 06:08:00 PM »
I'll just say that it does not feel good for your personal story to be called into question or dismissed altogether just because oral sex was not the only risk factor, which is what happens a lot around here when somebody mentions oral sex. I'm glad my doctor has a different attitude about it. I also notice that very few are stepping up to tell their own story about oral sex in this thread. I think that says a lot about how taboo the subject is.

Ain't that the truth. Older threads are literally littered with people repeating this same story, and without fail they get dismissed. This time round though, the accusations of 'internalised stigma' and promoting a 'caste system' were certainly a fascinating development.

As for the science, many have previously asserted that science will struggle to capture events that happen relatively rarely. I believe that to be true. Again, like others, I also believe a very high viral load will be a significant factor in oral transmission - several HIV health professionals I have spoken to have taken a similar view.

A very high viral load is typically associated with those that are undiagnosed - either themselves very recently infected or very late stage. How exactly do you propose to put together a scientific study that (ethically) evaluates the possible transmission via oral sex in those circumstances?

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2008, 06:11:08 PM »
Can we start a poll in another thread about how many people here think they got HIV solely through oral sex?  I'd really like to know.

Tim, if you do and then proceed to use it as a whipping post for those people, you'll find yourself timed out. To be honest, I'd rather not see such a poll - not in light of the attacks some of these people have had to put up with in the past.

It's ultimately up to you but I'll warn you now - tread carefully - you're on thin ice in this thread as it is.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2008, 06:13:58 PM »
It was NOT a dripping bloody cock.  I did take park in a post conversion interview with professional epidemiologists.  The point I was making is that there are very occassional or rare risk factors involved in oral transmission - maybe the passif, as mentioned above, had dental work, or flossing, or a cancer sore or whatever. Maybe the active has VERY high viral load.  Maybe the active gets niked during the blow job. Maybe a cock ring cuts the lip of the passive. Whatever.  (The risk seems to me something comparable to the risk of super-infection - there are how many cases out of the millions of HIV in the world - just a couple of dozen known? But it does exist!)

In other words, the standard safe sex guidelines work almost all the time - but statistically a few people are going to convert through oral sex, since there are millions and millions of oral sex acts - a few people will fall into that small risk.

F.Y.I. - The only reason I didn't think twice about his impotence injection was that I had previously had a lover, hiv neg he said, and a nurse and responsable guy, who used to do the same thing, so I was kind of used to it, so this time with a different guy, it didn't raise my red flags of caution. Its a very small needle, like for insuline. There is no blood really.  

Stupid decision, this time, eh?  But maybe it was precum anyway.  He did not know he was recently poz.  Precum of a guy in serocoversion is not something you want, if he has a viral load in the milions, for example.  But then I know some real oral cum pigs who never contract HIV.

By the way, the more now I read about safe sex for positive guys, the more it seems that ORAL safe sex guidelines are not refined enough for many gay mens sex practices.  Many positive guys, treated or untreated, shed a lot of viruses via their mouths and their butts, besides HIV.  Some of those viruses in turn, may be cofactors in HIV infection, so it might go in a circle.  Lets say a negative guys get anal warts from safe sex with a positive guy. Happens all the time. Then eventually the negative guy might have a risk factor for HIV, for instance, if a untreated positive guy then fingers this negative guy, who might have bloody warts in his butt. (Yuk but hey).

Obviously, standard safe sex guidelines are generally quite protective. Very rarely, or in very special circumstances, it seems they are not.  

Finally, what about genetic predispositions?  Some people smoke and never get lung cancer. Other people smoke and get it.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2008, 06:20:15 PM »

Obviously, standard safe sex guidelines are generally quite protective. Very rarely, or in very special circumstances, it seems they are not.  

Which is why they should be called "safer sex" not "safe sex" as there is no 100% safe sex except with a porn DVD and the palm of your hands.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #59 on: September 17, 2008, 06:27:27 PM »
Whoa, hang on here:

Many positive guys, treated or untreated, shed a lot of viruses via their mouths and their butts, besides HIV.

Saliva is not infectious. Show us the studies where hiv has been shown to be "shed" through the oral mucosa.

Then eventually the negative guy might have a risk factor for HIV, for instance, if a untreated positive guy then fingers this negative guy, who might have bloody warts in his butt.

Fingering is NOT a risk for hiv infection. Period. End of story.

Conceding that giving a blowjob - under the rare combination of mitigating factors which include a very high viral load of the insertive partner - could be a possible route to infection, is a far cry from the stuff you're coming out with now. Cool it and bone up on your transmission lessons.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #60 on: September 17, 2008, 06:30:05 PM »
HIV is not shed in the mouth. But HPV viruses are. I said "besides HIV" so my lousy grammar i meant "not including HIV"
Fingering is a risk factor for HIV, in my opinion. Don't be silly. If a guy is wacking off, and has cum or precum on his fingers, you dont want that in your butt, particularly if the guy has a high viral load.  So fingering is only safe when the finger is "clean". 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline thunter34

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #61 on: September 17, 2008, 06:35:55 PM »
Thank you, Ann.  I was just looking at that about the fingering.

How the heck did I get "on thin ice as it is" in that thread when I have only posted two posts in it?  And neither of mine were attacks on anyone.  I just said it was damn amazing how many found their way to AM...and it IS.  

You don't really have to answer that - this thread is too dicey for my tastes as it is.  Maybe you just meant that we are all inherently skating at our own peril in this thread.  I can definitely see that!

I really would like to know about how many here really feel they got HIV via oral, but as I think on it I am not too sure how much a poll would tell us anyway.  I've never created one on here, and thought the anonymous aspect of it might help....but then there is really nothing from preventing a bunch of WW's from sliding in and casting a quick vote for "yes", is there?  And people can cast multiple votes, can't they?
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #62 on: September 17, 2008, 06:36:22 PM »
Why am I being censored for voicing my views, except perhaps if the way I express them has been misunderstood. I read very scholarly journal articles about viral shedding in HIV+ people, and spoke to my infectious disease/HIV specialist in my country, and these are real, unaddressed, unspoken concerns.  Thinking that the epidemiology of HIV transmission starts and stops with one virus is rather outdated, when so many other infectious cofactors can be involved, besides also behavioral factors.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #63 on: September 17, 2008, 06:39:28 PM »
Mecch, thank you for the clarification on the first point. I did read you wrong.

But on the second point, I'm not being silly, I'm being factual. Hiv just does not remain viable and able to infect once outside the human body. Last time I checked, the skin on my hands is on the outside of my body. Fingering has NEVER been implicated in hiv transmission and never will be. It just doesn't happen in the real world.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #64 on: September 17, 2008, 06:46:14 PM »
How the heck did I get "on thin ice as it is" in that thread when I have only posted two posts in it?  And neither of mine were attacks on anyone.  I just said it was damn amazing how many found their way to AM...and it IS.

Actually, you posted five times in this thread before I said you were on thin ice. Aside from the jokey hijacks of a serious thread, you also said this:

Count me as another one who got HIV through oral sex...

OK....I didn't really expect any of you to buy that.  I, for one, will readily own to taking it up the pooper...absolutely raw and uninhiBBited, as they would say on the web.  But do count me as another one who is really getting curious to know just how many people on this board swear they got the bug via blowjobs or cunnilingus.  Good grief...you people seem to be coming out of the woodwork.  Either such transmissions are truly rampant...or it's damn remarkable how many of you found your way here.


That reads to me like the thinly veiled thowing down of a gauntlet. You know, the whole coming out of the woodwork imagery. We know how you feel about this subject and we know what you're getting at. Don't take us for fools. 

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #65 on: September 17, 2008, 06:50:58 PM »
Well, I would say in all likelihood, transmission by fingering does not happen very much at all. But as someone mentioned above, no study is going to get into the details of the rare circonstance in which it would present a risk.  
This makes me think of a friend of mine who did seroconvert through unprotected fisting, with no sperme involved.
But fingering is getting off the oral topic, isn't it. I take a very holistic view that seemingly unrelated behaviours and risk factors might converge into an unfortunate result.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline thunter34

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #66 on: September 17, 2008, 06:54:40 PM »
Well, excuse me.  I didn't ever think "Buckles...protected sex....LOL" or "Who wants popcorn?" would ever be catagorized as inflammatory.  Now did I think the last post would either...it IS damn amazing that for an event that YOU have helped teach me to be so incredibly rare that so many people would be leaping out from all corners to declare they were infected that way.

And those "jokey highjacks" were meant to help diffuse the tensions in this thread, not escalate them.  I would have thought that would have been pretty obvious, but I guess not.

Whatever.

kthxbye.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #67 on: September 17, 2008, 06:55:40 PM »
Why am I being censored for voicing my views

Mec, you're not being censored. If you were being censored, your post would have been deleted or edited, or you would have been banned or otherwise silenced. You haven't been.

However, you cannot expect people to not respond in kind with their own views. As long as there are no personal attacks or blatent misinformation being bandied about, we do not engage in censorship here.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #68 on: September 17, 2008, 07:01:08 PM »
Tim, don't twist my words. I said JOKEY HIJACKS, I never once mentioned the word inflammatory. And in a serious thread like this, jokey hijacks tend to make people feel like they're being belittled. Sometimes the best way to help calm a situation down is to say nothing. If you wish to make jokey asides to someone, there's always the PM function and guess what, you can PM more than one person at a time. Try it next time instead of hijacking a serious thread. Thanks.

I do still firmly believe that oral infection is rare. However, that does not mean we will allow members to give a hard time to other members who believe they were infected this way. Yes, it can sometimes make our job harder in Am I. But we can handle that. I'm not worried about it and neither should you be.

Ann


Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #69 on: September 17, 2008, 07:13:39 PM »
Hi Ann
Delay in post and typical asychronous communication led to misunderstandings so I only saw your acceptance of my clarification after I posted about being censored :)  All is well.

However,
"Cool it and bone up on your transmission lessons" is a kind of censorship - well at least an editorial. 25 years of being HIV neg and with three poz boyfriends, I know well my transmission lessons. Finally I got caught with my defenses down.  

Also, on the topic of oral transmission, a word to all:  there are studies on the psychological denial recently seroconverted people can have about the acts that led to the transmission. So people are appropriate to be suspicious or inquisitive about POZ people who claim seemingly unlikely routes of transmission (such as oral sex) - when everone wants to believe it had to have been purposeful unprotected anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles.  People tend to enjoy/expect/assume others human foibles and mistakes.  

However, as most countries national epidemiologists accept Oral transmission as a slight risk (I think Australia says not at all...?) then some people who did get HIV orally should be given the benefit of the doubt.  

What does it matter in the end.  

The point of the discussion is that education needs to be clear about SAFER versus SAFE sex, give more details about all the circumstances to avoid, and also, i think, as a gay man, that safe sex for positive people has to get a lot more attention and this includes issues surrounding ORAL sex and transmission of cofactors to HIV.  There is no research yet explaining the reason why such a large population of Poz gay men should also be poz for HPV, and which came first, and the relation between the two viruses in TRANSMISSION of each, if there is any.  (There are studies of course on HPV progression related to HIV progression)  Same for herpes, EBV and misc hepatitus.


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2008, 07:29:11 PM »
there are studies on the psychological denial recently seroconverted people can have about the acts that led to the transmission.

Thank you, mecch, this is exactly why myself and the other admin/mods here do not like to see people being browbeaten over the way they believe they were infected when it comes to giving blowjobs. Sometimes people are really fragile about this and who are we to shatter them further? In the context of a support forum, it serves no purpose. All we can do is point out that it's not probable, but it is on the fringes of possibility.

Ann
 
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline madbrain

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2008, 08:45:54 PM »
Ann,

The fact is, if the person being blown is unknowingly recently seroconverted with a viral load through the roof, it is entirely possible that together with other mitigating factors, infection may result. I didn't say probable, I said possible.

At the end of the day, how a person believes they became infected is entirely a personal, private matter. As long as they're not going to the national media and shouting it from the rooftops, I think we should just let them to their beliefs. After all, a person's beliefs do not change over 25 years of scientific study.

I'm glad you acknowledge the first point. Is it proven ? Are there scientific studies in the last 25 years that tried to study that case, and calculate the odds of infection orally from a person experiencing seroconversion ? I am not aware of one, but I would be glad to read it if there is one. And it might very well change my mind.

Maybe the remaining science on oral HIV transmission will never be done, given how rare these events seem to be. I still wish we knew more about it.

And I do not think this subject is only about the beliefs of those of us who think they were infected with HIV orally. Ultimately, we all have to deal with HIV, regardless of how we got it. I don't think there is any more shame to have regardless of whether the transmission path was anal sex, oral sex, vaginal sex, IV drugs, the mother, or a blood transfusion. For me personally, oral sex is the theory that makes the most sense based on all the facts I have. I would like to be able to disprove that theory just as much as I would like to be able to prove it.

I do think this issue is not just about those already infected, but also about making more accurate recommendations for safer sex and knowing which cofactors increase the usually very low risk of oral transmission, and by how much, for those who are currently HIV negative.

« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 09:01:57 PM by madbrain »

Offline madbrain

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #72 on: September 18, 2008, 09:06:00 PM »
Which is why they should be called "safer sex" not "safe sex" as there is no 100% safe sex except with a porn DVD and the palm of your hands.

My wrist says even that is not 100% safe ;)

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #73 on: September 19, 2008, 08:08:58 AM »
I'm glad you acknowledge the first point. Is it proven ? Are there scientific studies in the last 25 years that tried to study that case, and calculate the odds of infection orally from a person experiencing seroconversion ?

No, there are no specific studies that I'm aware of. I base what I say on the fact that in the three long-term serodiscordant studies, not one of the negative partners became infected despite not using barriers for oral (when condoms were being used consistently for intercourse). Some of the positive partners were on meds and undetectable, but not all; some were not on meds and did have detectable viral loads. However, none of them were newly infected with out-of-control viral loads, either.

It would be difficult to ethically do a study on oral sex in the recently infected with high viral loads. I can't see it ever happening.

Please understand that I'm not saying I think this is a common occurrence. However, I do believe there are a few unfortunate souls out there who have given a blowjob to someone who didn't know they were recently infected. Perhaps the blowjob-giver also had tonsils. Maybe those tonsils were slightly inflamed. Maybe they had a small cut in their mouth. Maybe their gums were in a really crappy condition. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I really do have to stress that I think this is a VERY rare occurrence. There are too many factors which would need to come together, with a sky-high viral load being important.

Rather than scare-mongering about oral sex, I think the world's population would be better served by getting people to understand the REAL risks of unprotected intercourse and importantly, get people to TEST REGULARLY. Most new infections are the result of the positive person NOT KNOWING their positive hiv status.
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Offline Finnboy

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #74 on: September 19, 2008, 10:45:13 AM »
I do think this issue is not just about those already infected, but also about making more accurate recommendations for safer sex and knowing which cofactors increase the usually very low risk of oral transmission, and by how much, for those who are currently HIV negative.

Every current safer sex resource I am aware of is quite clear about the co-factors which are likely to increase the otherwise very low risk of infection through receptive oral sex; but, given that we are dealing in such rare and difficult to observe occurrences, it is next to impossible to put numeric values to the change in risk associated with those co-factors.

There just comes a point where it is up to the individual to make some decisions for themselves and just accept responsibility for the fact that nothing fun is without ever risk. If risk is going to freak them out, then they should be using a rubber – not expecting society to give them assurances which they can later use to absolve themselves of any responsibility, when things don't work out the way they would have liked.

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #75 on: September 19, 2008, 10:59:55 AM »
This bears repeating:

There just comes a point where it is up to the individual to make some decisions for themselves and just accept responsibility for the fact that nothing fun is without ever risk. If risk is going to freak them out, then they should be using a rubber – not expecting society to give them assurances which they can later use to absolve themselves of any responsibility, when things don't work out the way they would have liked.

I find it rather telling that in all the years I've been working in the Am I forum, never has someone tested over giving a blowjob and found they'd been infected. Conversely, we have had several people (six or so) test over unprotected anal who tested positive. Never oral though, and we see a lot more people worrying over giving blowjobs than we do unprotected anal.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline srmn98

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #76 on: September 19, 2008, 12:39:06 PM »
I'm glad this thread has resulted in some good discussion. Thank you all for participating.

The whole point of starting this thread, for me, was to put it out there that there is a certain amount of risk in unprotected receptive oral. We think the risk is low, I think we can all agree on that, but we (largely) agree that transmission is a possibility in certain cases.

The fact that transmission is possible is the main thing I wanted to make clear. People can decide for themselves what risk they are comfortable with. I agree that we all must take responsibility for our actions. I find that easier to do when presented with all of the information.

Ann-- On another note, think using words like "never" when it comes to transmission issues is tricky. I think saying "to my knowledge" or "as far as we know" is more accurate. When we say "never has somebody tested over giving a blowjob and found they'd been infected" -- it sounds as though that case has never happened. Realistically, with how things go on this particular website, people get attacked for saying that they were infected orally, so it is possible that people just don't want to go through the harassment that often occurs. The moderators lately have been doing a good job of curbing this harassment but I still think it is a deterrent for people to say they were infected orally. Mecch, in this forum, said exactly that-- he believes he was infected via giving a blowjob. So people do say it, although he said it in "living with" not in "am I." I do agree with you that it is interesting that people do seem to worry a lot more over oral -- I'm not sure why that happens but it seems to be the case. Perhaps people abstain from vaginal/anal contact when they are unsure of their partner's status but are more comfortable risking oral since it is much safer, and then they get worried after the fact since nothing is 100%. Just a theory.

I think it is important for us to let people know that oral transmission is rare without downplaying any possibility of it. It is a fine line to give people the information without freaking people out about the risks. Educating people about viral loads and treatment, as well as encouraging more people to get tested, will help.

Take care,

Sara





Offline Bucko

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #77 on: September 19, 2008, 04:50:50 PM »

Ann-- On another note, think using words like "never" when it comes to transmission issues is tricky. I think saying "to my knowledge" or "as far as we know" is more accurate. When we say "never has somebody tested over giving a blowjob and found they'd been infected" -- it sounds as though that case has never happened. Realistically, with how things go on this particular website, people get attacked for saying that they were infected orally, so it is possible that people just don't want to go through the harassment that often occurs. The moderators lately have been doing a good job of curbing this harassment but I still think it is a deterrent for people to say they were infected orally. Mecch, in this forum, said exactly that-- he believes he was infected via giving a blowjob. So people do say it, although he said it in "living with" not in "am I." I do agree with you that it is interesting that people do seem to worry a lot more over oral -- I'm not sure why that happens but it seems to be the case. Perhaps people abstain from vaginal/anal contact when they are unsure of their partner's status but are more comfortable risking oral since it is much safer, and then they get worried after the fact since nothing is 100%. Just a theory.

I think it is important for us to let people know that oral transmission is rare without downplaying any possibility of it. It is a fine line to give people the information without freaking people out about the risks. Educating people about viral loads and treatment, as well as encouraging more people to get tested, will help.

Take care,

Sara


Sara-

Please re-read what Ann wrote:



I find it rather telling that in all the years I've been working in the Am I forum, never has someone tested over giving a blowjob and found they'd been infected. Conversely, we have had several people (six or so) test over unprotected anal who tested positive. Never oral though, and we see a lot more people worrying over giving blowjobs than we do unprotected anal.


Are you seriously proposing that Ann temper the way she describes her own experience to better fit with your paradigm of what's "possible"?

It's not sufficient that she acknowledge the scientifically theoretical possibility of HIV transmission through oral sex, but now must re-write her experience to the detriment of truth?

When she said "never" (in italics yet!), she meant it. Never in her years of good work counseling people with their fears and assessing real-life risk has one resulted in a positive test result after a "risky" oral-only encounter.

She can expound on various theories, but her actual experience over the years must surely be able to stand for something, no? 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 04:53:02 PM by Bucko »
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Offline srmn98

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #78 on: September 19, 2008, 05:28:43 PM »
Hi Bucko /Ann -

Maybe I misunderstand what Ann wrote --  I was just pointing out that in this very thread there is somebody who says he had oral contact and then tested positive. He just posted a few messages ahead in this very thread. Correct ? So I guess I'm confused by what Ann meant that it had never happened, maybe she can clarify.

I appreciate Ann's commitment to this board, I value Ann's opinions and valuable information -- but perhaps I'm misunderstanding Ann's statement ? 

I do think that educators, doctors, etc walk a difficult line. We do value their individual experiences. But when people we look to for advice come across as definitive (I'm NOT pointing at Ann, this is just a scenario), particularly those whom we look to for advice, we often believe them whole-heartedly. That's why I'm just saying it is tricky when to say something with definitive language when it is not definitive.

When I was making my choices about HIV, I was under the impression that oral was a no risk activity instead of a low risk activity. I wish I had known the true risks, low as they may be. I take full responsibility for my actions, but I still wish I had made the extra effort to get the correct information. Now I want to make it easier for others to at least be informed.

Sara

« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 05:37:50 PM by srmn98 »

Offline madbrain

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #79 on: September 19, 2008, 05:34:50 PM »

No, there are no specific studies that I'm aware of. I base what I say on the fact that in the three long-term serodiscordant studies, not one of the negative partners became infected despite not using barriers for oral (when condoms were being used consistently for intercourse). Some of the positive partners were on meds and undetectable, but not all; some were not on meds and did have detectable viral loads. However, none of them were newly infected with out-of-control viral loads, either.

It would be difficult to ethically do a study on oral sex in the recently infected with high viral loads. I can't see it ever happening.


Indeed, it would be unethical not to treat someone who is known to have a very high viral load merely for the purpose of those studies. So what that says is that the studies just don't cover the 25% of HIV carriers who aren't aware of their HIV status I believe, let alone of their viral load.

Quote
Please understand that I'm not saying I think this is a common occurrence. However, I do believe there are a few unfortunate souls out there who have given a blowjob to someone who didn't know they were recently infected. Perhaps the blowjob-giver also had tonsils. Maybe those tonsils were slightly inflamed. Maybe they had a small cut in their mouth. Maybe their gums were in a really crappy condition. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Indeed. And maybe the odds of 1 or more of those events happening is very low, but they could still well be much higher than being hit and killed instantly by a meteor.

Quote
Rather than scare-mongering about oral sex, I think the world's population would be better served by getting people to understand the REAL risks of unprotected intercourse and importantly, get people to TEST REGULARLY. Most new infections are the result of the positive person NOT KNOWING their positive hiv status.

That may very well be true on a global level, not many infections will be prevented even if all oral transmissions were completely stopped. On an individual level however, HIV is still bad news, and I do think people should be better informed about what risks they are taking, because it should be their decision whether or not to take those risks.

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #80 on: September 19, 2008, 06:27:34 PM »
Hi,

The fact that transmission is possible is the main thing I wanted to make clear. People can decide for themselves what risk they are comfortable with. I agree that we all must take responsibility for our actions. I find that easier to do when presented with all of the information.

Absolutely, the more complete and accurate information, the better decisions people can make.

Quote
I do agree with you that it is interesting that people do seem to worry a lot more over oral -- I'm not sure why that happens but it seems to be the case. Perhaps people abstain from vaginal/anal contact when they are unsure of their partner's status but are more comfortable risking oral since it is much safer, and then they get worried after the fact since nothing is 100%. Just a theory.

I can only speak for myself, but in my case I never got very worried after doing unprotected oral with a lot of guys, despite getting other more benign STDs through oral years ago (chlamydia). I thought HIV was a much more fragile virus than that bug based on what I had read about the odds of oral transmission. I only had to re-examine my behavior about oral sex when it was too late, after I had seroconverted, and I started suspecting that I had gotten HIV that way too.

Offline madbrain

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #81 on: September 19, 2008, 06:49:39 PM »
Hi,

Every current safer sex resource I am aware of is quite clear about the co-factors which are likely to increase the otherwise very low risk of infection through receptive oral sex; but, given that we are dealing in such rare and difficult to observe occurrences, it is next to impossible to put numeric values to the change in risk associated with those co-factors.

I was certainly never aware of the co-factors before my infection. It's not for not having read about STDs. I had gotten material about STDs from my doctor's office, from the periodical newsletter of the SF AIDS foundation to which I donated for many years before I seroconverted. I don't recall seeing the co-factors for HIV oral transmission ever being stated anywhere before I tested positive.

Quote
There just comes a point where it is up to the individual to make some decisions for themselves and just accept responsibility for the fact that nothing fun is without ever risk. If risk is going to freak them out, then they should be using a rubber – not expecting society to give them assurances which they can later use to absolve themselves of any responsibility, when things don't work out the way they would have liked.

I disagree. Individuals cannot make informed decisions if they are given incomplete or inaccurate information about risks of transmission.

And we do get told a lot of fun things are without risk, you only have to read this whole thread - check about masturbation, fingering, etc. I'm not putting any of these into questions, just to be clear, but hypothetically, if any one of them was proven 5 years from now to have more than zero risk, and somebody got infected that way, would someone following that advice have the right be upset and to blame society for giving them the wrong information about the risk they took ? And do you think they might want the corrected risk information to be distributed to others ?

Offline Mike89406

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #82 on: September 20, 2008, 01:22:09 AM »
Sara,

As far as my personal experience goes with this topic I don't know a single person HIV+ personally that has been infected cunnilingus or fellatio. I can say that the research is speculative and since there are no official documented cases of oral sex transmission we may not know for a long time, but what we do know is that in order for there to be any chance for this infection to transmit the virus to a HIV- person some criteria has to come in to play. Cuts inside the mouth, canker sores, brushing and flossing your teeth a couple of hours before oral sex or less will cause cuts or compromise the membrane which could put you at a higher risk. If there aren't any cuts, sores and wounds inside the mouth there is no risk for exposure however what people giving oral sex have to watch out for is other STD's that can be transmitted through the mouth.

My doctor & other HIV specialists have explained to me that there is a minuscule amount of HIV in the saliva from a POZ person but you would have to extract all the HIV out of gallons of saliva and forcibly inject it into someone to infect them.

I'm not a expert on the topic I learned some of my information from 8 almost 9 years being + and surrounded by some of the best ID doctors and research nurses from the NIH in Bethesda and doing my homework.

Sara:
  There are also people who test positive for HIV and claim that unprotected fellatio was their only risky behavior. However, it's virtually impossible to know if these people are always reporting their sexual behavior accurately. (Study volunteers often have a difficult time admitting the truth about potentially embarrassing behavior to healthcare professionals conducting scientific studies.)
Regards Mike
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 01:32:47 AM by Mike89406 »

Offline Finnboy

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #83 on: September 20, 2008, 03:39:44 AM »
I was certainly never aware of the co-factors before my infection. It's not for not having read about STDs. I had gotten material about STDs from my doctor's office, from the periodical newsletter of the SF AIDS foundation to which I donated for many years before I seroconverted. I don't recall seeing the co-factors for HIV oral transmission ever being stated anywhere before I tested positive.

OK, well, according to your signature line, you were infected and diagnosed in 2006. The following is typical of the sort of advice that I would have seen long before then (in fact, this is copied word for word from a 2005 Terrence Higgins Trust safer sex leaflet):

Quote
Can HIV be transmitted through oral sex?

The short answer is yes. But the risk is lower than some other sexual activities.

Recent surveys have shown that only a small minority of new cases of HIV that are diagnosed are due to oral sex. Although HIV is present in vaginal fluids, semen and the clear fluid that your penis produces for lubrication before orgasm, it is unlikely these will come into contact with your bloodstream during oral sex. But while it’s unlikely, it’s not impossible.

The risk factor is largely due to your oral hygiene. If you have ulcers, dental bleeding or lacerations then theoretically the infection could reach your bloodstream. However, saliva has enzymes that inhibit transmission and the cells in the mouth aren’t very absorbent, so the chance of transmission is low.

Ways to lower the risk

If you’re performing oral sex on a man then you could:

    * avoid getting semen in your mouth
    * use a condom
    * have oral sex with fewer men.
    * look after your oral hygiene.

Do not have oral sex when you have a throat infection or have bleeding gums.

If you’re performing oral sex on a woman then you could:

    * use a barrier such as cling-film, a dental dam, a Femidom or a sheet cut from a condom
    * have oral sex with fewer women
    * look after your oral hygiene.

You should avoid oral sex when a woman is having her period.

The current leaflet goes even further and talks about not flossing, using mouthwash or brushing your teeth.

I disagree. Individuals cannot make informed decisions if they are given incomplete or inaccurate information about risks of transmission.

If telling people that there is a risk and what they can do to lower the risk - even telling them when they should avoid the activity altogether - really isn't enough; then that most certainly isn't society's problem. It is the individual problem of someone who isn't able to (or doesn't want to) take responsibility for their own actions.

OK, so you could go one step further and say something along the lines of: "Don't give head when you are recovering from oral surgery" - which conveniently covers the high risk factor in the one convincingly documented Australian study case that I am aware of - but there are certain things that come under the heading of plain common-sense.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2008, 04:38:34 AM by Finnboy »

Offline newt

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #84 on: September 20, 2008, 03:52:59 AM »
Yes, but, erm, oral sex with barrier protection is like eating a banana with the skin on
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Offline komnaes

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #85 on: September 20, 2008, 04:34:39 AM »
Quote
I disagree. Individuals cannot make informed decisions if they are given incomplete or inaccurate information about risks of transmission.

Hmmm.. we're talking about an infectious disease with established routes of transmission. But like all infectious diseases this is always a game of chance. You just need that one contact to get infected.

We know there are definitive high risk behaviors (bareback penetrative sex), and there exists a range of low risk to academic/theoretical risk behaviors. That's as accurate a method of risk assessment as one can get, you cannot get more definitive or specific than that because within that range of low/theoretical risk behaviors there are many many variations (e.g. I may have a cut on my finger when I finger her, etc).

Otherwise any education materials will read like a medical journal. I attended many trainings years ago and heard so many questions about those variations (e.g. I just jerk off a guy and with cum still on my hands I rub my eyes, will I get infected; some cum might have landed on a pimple when he cum on my face, will i get infected, ad infinitum, etc). Even at that time it sounded to me those asking were already thinking of possible excuses to tell people when and if they got infected.

Well, who knows, it could have been that one time I stepped on some cum in a sauna while I had this cut on my toe.
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Ann

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #86 on: September 20, 2008, 07:32:30 AM »
quote from Sara: Maybe I misunderstand what Ann wrote --  I was just pointing out that in this very thread there is somebody who says he had oral contact and then tested positive. He just posted a few messages ahead in this very thread. Correct ? So I guess I'm confused by what Ann meant that it had never happened, maybe she can clarify.

what I said: I find it rather telling that in all the years I've been working in the Am I forum, never has someone tested over giving a blowjob and found they'd been infected. Conversely, we have had several people (six or so) test over unprotected anal who tested positive. Never oral though, and we see a lot more people worrying over giving blowjobs than we do unprotected anal.

I was speaking strictly of my experiences in the Am I Infected forum of this website - not the other forums. I would have thought it was rather obvious.

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Offline LordBerners

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #87 on: September 20, 2008, 02:10:05 PM »
This bears repeating:

accept responsibility for the fact that nothing fun is without ever risk.

I'd like to chime in, hopefully without offending anyone.  Of course what is 'fun' is rather subjective, but for me masturbation is more fun than 'safe sex', and certainly is devoid of risk.
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Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #88 on: September 20, 2008, 03:00:32 PM »
Is this thread still quite active?  Well some people kindly wrote to me privately to thank me for sharing my "transmission" experience. 
The title of this thread - nobody likes to talk about it.   The title was not lets prove there is or is not oral hiv transmission. 
Someone mentioned that there won't be studies of high viral load active partners (e.g. recent seroconvertors or althernatively those poz people somewhere close to or in AIDS diagnosis) because it would be unethical to not treat those people known to have high viral loads.
In fact, in my country, it was only one or two years in around 2005 that many people were treated at seroconversion - in acute HIV that is.  Now it is back to the viral load and CD4 test.  So everyone known to be seroconverting is ADVISED by the medical community to avoid sex if possible until the viral load goes down, and if no possible to avoid, to absolutely practice strict safe sex, not "safer sex". 
Unfortunately many people DO NOT know they are seroconverting!  (That was the case of the guy who trasmitted to me.  And, as I said, the contact was verified by subsequent genotype testing)

I hear the pendulum is swinging back, after AIDS mexico 2008, to treatment at Acute/Seroconversion stage. To my knowledge, there is only one doctor in my part of the country who seems to get away with perscribing the treatment and having insurance companies not object! 

What a mess, really!

I shared my experience NOT to instill fear in those who get hung up over giving blowjobs.  Rather to show that, yes, special circumstances combined with oral sex, can be an HIV transmission risk.

If all you naysayers want to object, so be it.  How many of you would be willing to risk your sureness on this  issue by giving oral sex to a group of seroconverters with high viral loads!   Not me.

I for one, also believe in superinfection - and nobody wants to talk about that either because the science is so scant and the evidence is so few cases around the world.

But the science evolves EVERY year. Who knows what we will discover eventually.

I also believe that I ONLY became infected after 25 years of the same "safer sex" practices - oral and deep throating but no cum in the mouth - because as it happened I was very sad and stressed for a few months when I did get infected, and I believe my natural killer cells and thymic functions were reduced!  Combined with poppers. Combined with a particularly big dick, which reached into my throat (dedric cells). Combined with the guy having a high viral loads.  Combined with him having used injection to treat his impotence.

But there was no unprotected anal sex. And no sperm exchange. 

Its exhausting and sad to think about all those special conditions.  Mind boggles.

Life goes on.  I am on HAART since August.  I know its working to radically reduce my viral load, which was 5,000,000 in August.   I get more results next week.

I hope it leads to undectable by Christmas and I have many healthy years ahead of me.

Less stigma, less shame, more acceptance on however people get HIV (hardly ANYONE wants to get it, afterll) more understanding of the benefits and advances in treatment circa 2008, will lead to more TESTING, and hopefully more treated poz people, and less transmission.   

When i was seroconverting in early May, a very reputable clinique surveyed my practices and didn't recommend HIV testing precisely because I always used condoms. 

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #89 on: September 20, 2008, 04:01:05 PM »
You know, I learned something contributing to this thread:

It seems that some people accuse people who say they got HIV through oral sex of being in denial about an alternative route of transmission - I'm not saying anyone in this thread did that, but just generally.

Related to that theory about the orally-infected-poz-person (oipp?) is the unspoken assumption that the oipp must feel shame about the supposed non-oral but true transmission act. 

But actually, one could turn that argument around. What if most people have a hierachy of shame and guilt attached to HIV transmission. Maybe those who deny oral transmission think oral transmission is less shameful!  And maybe they don't want someone to have a "less shameful" story about it.  As in, (for us gays at least) "come on, you were an irresponsible barebacker so just admit it".   

Oral transmission is rare, but it happens.

I don't care how anyone gets HIV, actually. Because I believe that almost noone wants to get infected. If people are reckless, it could be for million different reasons and it could be just once or all the time. Who is to judge. If people are unlucky, then they are just unlucky - everyone gets bad deals a few times in life!

Its a virus. Hard to transmit often, often quite avoidable, but not always.

How about this: happens all the time: Your run into your friend at a party and she/he says "I'd kiss you hello but maybe not, cause I've got/I'm getting the flu."   

If someone knew they had a high viral load, it would be nice to avoid ANY risk, no? I would not KNOWINGLY give oral to a person with a 1,000,000 viral load. 

I do believe there are more details to "safer sex" that could be profitably shared with the public, but perhaps not all the public will be clever enough to manage it.  Someone above mentioned the opposite idea - as in we can't possible warn people of all the "common sense" wisdom of unwise hiv risk actions...(Do not walk in a busy sexclub steam room with cuts on your feet, etc...."  This is sort of insulting.

The Swiss announcement about a new "safer sex" rule - treated and undectable means nontransmissable in faithful, closely monitored hetero couples -- is dangerous when it justifies poz guys in my gay world saying they are non-transmissable because undetectable, so they can bareback whomever they please. BUT THAT doesn't mean the Swiss announcement is completely indefensible.  Maybe it's erring to the benefit of intelligent people.

As I said, only after one seroconverts in my country do doctors warn poz people about dangers of high viral loads - e.g "protect other people".  And they don't give HAART, normally.  But they know the number of seroconversions go in fits and starts over the year, grouped into mini-waves.

I'm not glad I have HIV, I'm surprised how i got it, I'm surprised to discover that I would have been a hyper fast "progressor" were not for effective treatment, so actually I'm glad I got tested and I'm glad I am now treated so fast (in "acute phase") precisely because I can soon resume my sex practices knowing that I'm not radioactive with high viral loads - greatly lessoning my own and my partners hesitation about sucking dick again without condoms.







Best regards,
Mecch
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #90 on: September 20, 2008, 05:00:25 PM »
Mecch, I read your thread on MedHelp. You don't know if you contracted HIV from oral sex or not. You said it was possible that you had a condom failure.

Offline bocker3

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #91 on: September 20, 2008, 05:26:50 PM »
I'm been following this thread and tried to stay out because each time the topic comes up people get so ugly, but.........

It's one thing to state an opinion on whether or not you think oral transmission is possible, probable or what not -- it's an entirely different thing to start spouting whether or not YOU think someone got infected one way or another.  Unless you were there at the time of infection, you really have no say in it.  It's none of your business.
I think Ann has been doing a great job at trying to keep this thread informative and civil -- but it is probably hopeless.  The personal attacks and downright meanness is just unnecessary. 

And... before someone starts throwing out the old, "I'm just thinking of all the worried well in Am I Infected", spare me.  Unless it's a crazy thing like "I got HIV from sharing someone's lipstick", we aren't going to be sparing them any worries by bashing someone else.  The moderators and members do a pretty good job of talking sensibly to the WW.  In this particular topic, it's simply an excuse to demean and be mean to others.

OK -- I got it off my chest.  Now back to regular programming, already in progress.

Mike
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Offline Bucko

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #92 on: September 20, 2008, 05:40:25 PM »
Mecch, I read your thread on MedHelp. You don't know if you contracted HIV from oral sex or not. You said it was possible that you had a condom failure.

Link, please, Rod?
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Offline BT65

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #93 on: September 20, 2008, 09:50:35 PM »
I just have to chime in and say a bit from my personal experience (and believe me, it runs deep and goes back a few miles).  I've given more head than Andy Warhol, all "unprotected," and have never, ever gotten any kind of disease or dis-ease from said act. And I've had many, many unsightly johns. I have gotten many STD's from unprotected vaginal and anal sex. 

My take is that people aren't getting honest, plain and simple (or are in denial).
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Mike89406

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #94 on: September 21, 2008, 02:57:26 AM »
No one can say for certain that mecch did or didn't become POZ by oral transmission. I certainly won't argue the point simply because I'm not a medical expert, I do believe I'm highly educated in my status as I have been schooled by my various doctors, nurses, and HIV researchers enough to know what safe sex is or isn't and various routes of transmission and to practice universal precautions. Having said that the only sure way of preventing transmission is abstinence if you want to get down to brass taxes because the fact remains anal sex as we all know is the easiest route of transmission and oral sex while very low is probable but not certain in most cases.

Just because a person uses a condom every time during anal sex does not prevent you from transmission, truth be told all it takes is a little semen leaking out any place on the condom or the base of the condom rolling and a little semen comes in contact in the anus passage.

What does this all mean? You can be the safest person with a condom check the expiration dates and think your being careful using the condom even though a condom doesn't rip or you can't see leakage  doesn't mean the receptive person is safe I think the condom effective rate is 90 something percent but still a higher infection rate than oral transmission.

Does this mean people like mecch is lying or denying anything? Certainly not maybe he is sure of or strongly believes that this is how he received HIV and if that's the way it happened or what he believes so be it. Who am I to judge.

Last thing though there are HIV+  persons out there that will deny the real way they were infected to avoid embarrassment or that's just they're nature. That's the point I was trying to make.

Mike

Offline komnaes

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #95 on: September 21, 2008, 03:31:18 AM »
If we want to go as far as abstinence except when one is in a committed relationship, we might as well not to have sex at all. Think about all the cases of folks getting infected by their partners in relationships they thought were monogamous. That's why I always think abstinence is a moral position, not a practical position, in educational and public awareness campaigns.

I tend not to believe in claims of oral transmission, and you don't really need to be a medical scientist to have an opinion, because I have been living with HIV for many years even before my diagnosis and I have seen enough cases to have an educated opinion. If a friend or someone I know is to tell me that s/he got it through oral sex, I won't go on to argue or insist that s/he must have done more than that to get infected, or that s/he is lying. It's done deal, so, except from a medical research perspective, it really doesn't matter at all now as s/he is HIV positive.

And for the folks that are still negative - the more sensible approach, for me at least, is to tell them that there exists an academic risk of transmission via oral sex, then they can decide what they'd like to do with the information. You just cannot get more definitive in term of risk assessment by also adding that one should regularly check for STDs and HIV if one has an active sex life.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 03:33:42 AM by komnaes »
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Offline Mike89406

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #96 on: September 21, 2008, 05:07:15 AM »
I won't go on to argue or insist that s/he must have done more than that to get infected, or that s/he is lying. It's done deal, so, except from a medical research perspective, it really doesn't matter at all now as s/he is HIV positive.

I wont argue it either because all that really matters is the last sentence because you can debate how or how you didn't receive it. What matters now is that the person has the virus. 

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #97 on: September 21, 2008, 06:52:14 AM »
I agree with Komnaes and Mike.
If someone gets HIV its a done deal. I agree that we can be suspicious of frequent reports of oral transmission and certainly be informative when people have fears about oral transmission.
My post to MedHelp was before I had genotype matching to the source of my infection so there were about five likely partners and sex acts (late march or April) that could have let to the infection.  I spoke to the source of my HIV and we reviewed our sex acts and I can only go on faith theirfore to believe him that there was no condom failure. I didn't see condom failure with any of the five, actually. I said on MedHelp it was a theory.  Just as I say here that oral transmission is a theory for me.  (I believe it is likely and my seroconversion symptoms concur.) 
Someone above then starts to talk about sperm leaking out the edge of a condom during anal sex and so then we start of the same track of strange circumstances that can turn "safer sex" into unsafe sex. Just like the list of unlikely circumstances that may have led to oral transmission in my case - the fact that the source was seroconverting and had high viral load (and didnt know, which he confirmed subseqently) for example or that he.... blah blah blah I've already discussed this list above....

Strange that those who are really not interesting in allowing for possible oral transmission -- (and aren't we really talking about THROAT transmission if we are talking about deepthroaters enjoying large penises - try to find that in printed safer sex guidelines, by the way) --  would now go down a hershey highway of special circumstances in which protected anal sex (or vagainal sex, for that matter) could lead to transmission.

I believe I opened this conversation sufficiently that EVERYONE involved could benefit from examining their own values and prejudices they bring to such a conversation, in addition to the epidemiological science about the low risk of oral transmission.  Its not just the OIPP (potentially... orally infected positive person) who needs to examine their "beliefs" and acts.

For me, its cool to read this, no personal offense taken. I don't know any of you so say whatever you want.


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #98 on: September 21, 2008, 07:38:30 AM »
I just have to chime in and say a bit from my personal experience (and believe me, it runs deep and goes back a few miles).  I've given more head than Andy Warhol, all "unprotected," and have never, ever gotten any kind of disease or dis-ease from said act. And I've had many, many unsightly johns. I have gotten many STD's from unprotected vaginal and anal sex. 

My take is that people aren't getting honest, plain and simple (or are in denial).

Bettytacy, I don't follow the logic of your post.  You would have say which STDs you go through unprotected vaginal and anal sex and how you know transmission was only through that and not through a blow job. For instance the viruses that cause anal or vaginal warts can be transmitted orally. 

On the other hand, I do agree with the general gist of your comment. I think you are representing the "experiential evidence" contingent regarding the low risk of HIV transmission. I gave tons of head for 25 years and did NOT seroconvert.  By the way I was not a sperm taker - only happened a couple of times when the active didn't ask.  On that count, I know oral sperm pigs who have never seroconverted. 

This "experiential evidence" also proves the rarity of oral transmission and general sureness of safer sex guidelines about oral risk and HIV.

I believe that a few in this thread are making the point that perhaps "safer sex" education could (for certain ages, population, perhaps) use an overall about to match the evolving science.  That was my point in bringing up the new Swiss guidelines about transmissability of HIV in unprotected vaginal sex.

A LONG LONG time ago, when I lived in the USA... William F. Buckley at the beginning of the epidemic recommended that HIV poz gay guys be tatooed on the ass.  EVERYONE was scandalized by this, rightly so. But I had a mixed reaction to it at the time. I thought, thats not the worst idea from a transmission standpoint.  I mean, if in the 80's with all the fear and unknowns then, if you knew that someone was POZ you could make decisions based on that for your own either 1) protection or 2) peace of mind.

I thought it was REALLY strange that my specialist made such a point of telling me about my high transmissability when I had viral load of millions during seroconversion this summer.  I mean I agreed with him and followed his guidelines - but where is that info beforehand.

Yes it wouldn't do much good for personal choice in choosing your sex acts if the other person doesn't know their POZ status, let alone their viral load. 

But it seemed to me my doc - who also does NOT think oral sex is much of a risk for anyone - was hypocritical because then when I was radioactive he was telling me not to have ANY sex because suddenly oral sex was a risk. 

So in a nut shell - keeping this thread on ORAL TRANSMISSION - it seems many of us are looking forward to a day when much more of the population is regularly tested for HIV with the hope that knowing you are POZ is going to lead to honesty and also choices to prevent risk acts with other people.  Also lower the stigma of being POZ, of having the dreaded HIV virus.  The effective treatment helps here too.

This knowledge in the POZ community and this info coming form science to the POZ community (the obligation to be vigilant to protect negative people) doesn't match what negative people commonly know about risk. 

So wouldn't it be extra nice in the future if POZ people 1) knew they were poz and 2) knew how much virus they had so as to 3) were told the advantages and risks of early HAART and offerred the choice of very load viral loads if they choose to go on HAART - which would be paid for by insurance companies upon the patients and doctors choices - not some antiquated C4/viral load guideline and 5) share some of that info with their partners.  (As in - "you should know before you deep throat my beautiful big penis that I have a high viral load and a lot of precum".)  Hahaha - I go pretty far I know.  But you are all clever enough to see my point.

So aren't we coming around to an evolved knowledge somewhat related to Buckley's original, provocative and vulgar proposition!



“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline atlq

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #99 on: September 21, 2008, 09:45:26 AM »
I really did not want to come here and post. But I guess my inner stupid is overwhelming me now. I hold no animus toward people who believe they become positive through oral sex . But I do have a problem with this idea that there is a "conspiracy of silence" on this subject or that those of us who are questioning on this issue are seeking to stifle discussion.

 
You know, I learned something contributing to this thread:

It seems that some people accuse people who say they got HIV through oral sex of being in denial about an alternative route of transmission - I'm not saying anyone in this thread did that, but just generally.

Related to that theory about the orally-infected-poz-person (oipp?) is the unspoken assumption that the oipp must feel shame about the supposed non-oral but true transmission act. 

But actually, one could turn that argument around. What if most people have a hierachy of shame and guilt attached to HIV transmission. Maybe those who deny oral transmission think oral transmission is less shameful!  And maybe they don't want someone to have a "less shameful" story about it.  As in, (for us gays at least) "come on, you were an irresponsible barebacker so just admit it".   

 



?????..Yeah...I lie in bed at night, tossing and thinking "If only I had become positive by sucking dick instead of having intercourse....I would feel so much...cleaner....."

I find this talk from some the OP's (meaning Oral Pozzies) about the lack of medical advice on oral sex to be ....unconvincing?

I remember having conversations (many in fact) with my then partner (who is negative) about sexual boundaries that made us both comfortable. And I distinctly remember having discussions about oral sex, theoretical versus documented risk, etc... . This was in the mid nineties.



 
 
A LONG LONG time ago, when I lived in the USA... William F. Buckley at the beginning of the epidemic recommended that HIV poz gay guys be tatooed on the ass.  EVERYONE was scandalized by this, rightly so. But I had a mixed reaction to it at the time. I thought, thats not the worst idea from a transmission standpoint.  I mean, if in the 80's with all the fear and unknowns then, if you knew that someone was POZ you could make decisions based on that for your own either 1) protection or 2) peace of mind.

 

 

 

Good God....

I guess we could all be forceably  tattooed....or  maybe each person who has sex could , oh I don't know, just read some basic information on HIV transmission and take prudent and reasonable precautions....


I always disclose to my sexual partners. It just works better for me. And yeah, I think disclosure is good and healthy. But universal disclosure (barring Buckley's mass branding) is not going to occur. Therefore, it is up each of us to use prudent precautions when having sex... I really don't see it as being significantly more complicated then that.

If you are uncomfortable having oral sex because of theoretical risk, slap a condom on the thing (gag!)....


Submitted with all due respect,

 :)







« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 09:51:15 AM by atlq »
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