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Author Topic: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.  (Read 34801 times)

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Offline komnaes

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #100 on: September 21, 2008, 10:08:16 AM »
I don't think we arrange on much of anything Mecch, in particularly after reading your last two posts..

This thread starts again with a proposition that we don't talk about oral transmission, as if it's a skeleton in the closet, which is not true to start with. And then there are folks making claims that people who think they were infected via oral sex are lying because some of us have prejudices and are making value judgments.

What we are just saying is that whatever one said about how s/he was infected here is just an anecdote. Nothing more. If one is so sure that s/he was infected via oral sex, s/he should talk to her/his health providers and doctors, who will then investigate and report the case as part of the overall statistics gathered regularly. If there are enough cases with overwhelming evidences suggesting that oral transmission is very real or even common (i.e. the risk is less than academic), then the data and evidences will be reviewed and confirmed, which will then be adopted for the drafting and amending of safer sex guidelines.

And we're just saying that those reviewed guidelines should be what we relay on to tell negative folks to assess their risks. Is there any prejudice or value judgment in relaying on this process that we need to be mindful of?
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 Bucko

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #101 on: September 21, 2008, 12:24:09 PM »
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.

Bingo, Shawna-

You hit the nail on the head. It's where this discussion always seems to lead, which is why "nobody likes to talk about it".

Much as it's been strenuously denied, there is a deep vein of sexual prohibitionism that runs through many of the posts here. When I find it similarly expressed by AIDSphobes in other places on the web, I go full-throttle attack. Here, for the most part, I've bitten my tongue.
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #102 on: September 21, 2008, 12:48:56 PM »
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

Interesting thread, everyone.  And for the most part, respectful.

I haven't read every word, so if someone else said this, I'm sorry for the big ditto...

For me, the big unmentionable thus far is this:  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "NO RISK," IN ALL HUMAN ACTIVITIES.  Everything we do in life carries with it some small level of risk, including risk of death -- everything.

Thousands of people die each night in their sleep, so each night, when we fall asleep, we're entering a state of risk..  of death.

Thousands of people die each day in car accidents, so each time we enter a motor vehicle, we enter a state of risk.. of death.  Same goes for every mode of transportation available to us.

Thousands of people are seriously injured or die each day in their homes (most often in their showers or bathtubs).  

You get my point.  Each and every second of the day carries a theoretical risk of death, which rises and lowers depending on what we're doing at that moment in time.  

There is no moment in our day when the risk falls to zero -- it never happens.

So it's all about relative risk, and choosing our levels of risk.  The frustration I and others feel about the above quote (and similar quotes by others in this thread) is that there are many people who are choosing and even championing the avoidance of remarkably small sexual risks, while choosing to take far higher risks with other activities, often on a daily basis.

For instance, are those that choose sexual abstinence due to a fear of oral sex or sex with condoms also choosing abstinence from motor vehicles?  If not, then they are being illogical.  There are approximately 36,000 motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year, or put another way, 1 in 7,700 Americans die each year in a car accident.  If blowjobs caused anywhere near that number of HIV infections, we'd have data to show it.

So Mike and Mecch -- do you avoid cars as well?  Do you leave your homes each day (all sorts of risks outside the home!)?  Have you stopped taking showers (a leading cause of falls leading to disability)?

Sure, there are people in this world who are general risk avoiders -- who don't go outside, and take all possible precautions in their homes.  I think they aren't living, but at least they're consistant.

But I've never heard from those sad souls in these forums.  Instead, our "Am I Infected?" forum is filled with folks worried about blow jobs and leaking condoms who drive to work on busy highways each day.  Why are they freaked out about a hard-to-measure risk, but have seemingly no problem with well-defined risks?

I think the answer is related to stigma in some way.  Then again, I can't read your minds.

My two cents.

Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #103 on: September 21, 2008, 01:42:00 PM »
Well many people are misreading me. I fully support the science that says that the risk of HIV transmission via oral sex is very low.
I also took the title of this forum to mean that someone wanted to talk about this whole issue anyway.
I also shared my own experience that perhaps I am one of those one in several million meteor hits - meaning my serocoversion is linked to a evening with one man, several sexs acts, and no unprotected anal intercourse. We have gone through all the "special rare circumstances" that might explain how the virus was transmitted either orally or anally and I participated in all those discussions with an open mind.
I never suggested that I had a fear of oral sex, past, present or future, in fact the contrary.
I also pointed out the contradictory recommendations of one of the noted HIV specialists in my country, who is also my doctor - in that oral transmission is considered not likely but then the recommendation that ALL SEX stop until astronomical viral loads were eliminated - and the rationale was to err on the side of caution because in those circumstances, (very high viral load) oral sex might -- REPEAT MIGHT -- be more risky, and no doctor is going to say otherwise.
Every country and many AIDS organisations take a slightly different stance on this ORAL TRANSMISSION issue regarding their safer sex guidelines.
People who don't want to read all the thread can conviently dump on me as being in denial or advocating for fear but I deny nothing and don't wish to make anyone afraid of oral sex!

Best to all

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

Offline bocker3

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #104 on: September 21, 2008, 01:47:30 PM »
Peter -- thanks for your excellent post.  While I think that everyone has a right to choose their risk taking comfort without ridicule -- championing the same is a different story (whether that be no sex or anything else).
In the end it seems we can sum it up as:

Life is terminal -- enjoy what you have while it is here.

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline Mike89406

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #105 on: September 21, 2008, 03:51:21 PM »
Interesting thread, everyone.  And for the most part, respectful.

I haven't read every word, so if someone else said this, I'm sorry for the big ditto...

For me, the big unmentionable thus far is this:  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "NO RISK," IN ALL HUMAN ACTIVITIES.  Everything we do in life carries with it some small level of risk, including risk of death -- everything.

Thousands of people die each night in their sleep, so each night, when we fall asleep, we're entering a state of risk..  of death.

Thousands of people die each day in car accidents, so each time we enter a motor vehicle, we enter a state of risk.. of death.  Same goes for every mode of transportation available to us.

Thousands of people are seriously injured or die each day in their homes (most often in their showers or bathtubs).  

You get my point.  Each and every second of the day carries a theoretical risk of death, which rises and lowers depending on what we're doing at that moment in time.  

There is no moment in our day when the risk falls to zero -- it never happens.

So it's all about relative risk, and choosing our levels of risk.  The frustration I and others feel about the above quote (and similar quotes by others in this thread) is that there are many people who are choosing and even championing the avoidance of remarkably small sexual risks, while choosing to take far higher risks with other activities, often on a daily basis.

For instance, are those that choose sexual abstinence due to a fear of oral sex or sex with condoms also choosing abstinence from motor vehicles?  If not, then they are being illogical.  There are approximately 36,000 motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year, or put another way, 1 in 7,700 Americans die each year in a car accident.  If blowjobs caused anywhere near that number of HIV infections, we'd have data to show it.

So Mike and Mecch -- do you avoid cars as well?  Do you leave your homes each day (all sorts of risks outside the home!)?  Have you stopped taking showers (a leading cause of falls leading to disability)?

Sure, there are people in this world who are general risk avoiders -- who don't go outside, and take all possible precautions in their homes.  I think they aren't living, but at least they're consistant.

But I've never heard from those sad souls in these forums.  Instead, our "Am I Infected?" forum is filled with folks worried about blow jobs and leaking condoms who drive to work on busy highways each day.  Why are they freaked out about a hard-to-measure risk, but have seemingly no problem with well-defined risks?

I think the answer is related to stigma in some way.  Then again, I can't read your minds.

My two cents.

I think I was misunderstood and perhaps I should have elaborated more I said the only safe way to avoid infection is abstinence and this was directed to 2 persons in particular that are worried about oral transmission and the risk. I don't share the same concerns and my life has been filled with risk. I am married to a wife who has been negative and been with me even before I was infected but I still enjoy my sex life in fact if I did practice abstinence truth be told I'd be a single man right now. The point is If anyone is scared of giving a BJ or cunnilingus then I don't know what to tell you.

I did mentioned earlier that it doesn't matter how you were infected but that no matter what you still have the virus.

Hope this helps.

Mike

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #106 on: September 21, 2008, 04:42:15 PM »
Mike & Mecch -- thanks for the clarifications.

I guess the thread title and subject matter still irks me a little, so I vented.   Instead of "nobody likes to talk about oral sex and HIV transmission," wouldn't "most folks don't feel the need to talk about.." be more apt, given its apparent rarity?

The original post from Sarah asked us to stop using the phrase "no risk" to describe an act (like ALL acts -- see my post above) that carries a theoretical risk.

I don't have a problem telling someone with unwarranted fears about that blowjob they gave last night that it was "no risk."  Similarly, I would have no problem telling a parent that is considering NOT immunizing their child because of unwarranted fears of causing autism that there is actually "no risk" that one will cause the other -- even though a theoretical risk remains (since it's almost impossible to prove a negative relationship).

For someone suffering from unwarranted fears, the phrase "theoretical risk" is wide enough to drive their biggest fears through, and a ticket to all their doomsday scenarios.  You may as well say "you're right -- you are going to die!"


Offline Mike89406

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #107 on: September 21, 2008, 05:44:03 PM »
Mike & Mecch -- thanks for the clarifications.

I guess the thread title and subject matter still irks me a little, so I vented.   Instead of "nobody likes to talk about oral sex and HIV transmission," wouldn't "most folks don't feel the need to talk about.." be more apt, given its apparent rarity?

The original post from Sarah asked us to stop using the phrase "no risk" to describe an act (like ALL acts -- see my post above) that carries a theoretical risk.

I guess i too felt that there was a feeling that people were worrying more about oral sex & not so much anal sex. But I understand where Sara is coming from.

Mike

Offline ColtbearNJ

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #108 on: September 24, 2008, 06:47:18 PM »
First let me give a shout out to Ann, Peter, Andy, Tim, Jonathan, Alan, Rod, and many, many  others whom I have known since I became poz in 2001 (started meds 2 years later), who got me through it here - I love and appreciate all of you every bit as much now as I did then (if not more), and have always valued your opinions and posts.  Not only that, but your patience, compassion and caring (uh, did I mention patience?),   ;)  continues to amaze me to this day.  Now, I'd like to say hello to the many "new" and not so new members whose intelligent, controversial, timely, funny, but above all, caring posts and threads I have read.  This one being a prime example of exactly why I have always thought of this site as family and home - especially when I've needed specific and accurate information, as many are seeking here, there is a reason why I specifically posted to this thread.

Though I'll never know for sure, and have stopped beating myself over the head over my status years ago, there will always be a tiny part of me that also wonders if I became positive through someone going down on me who happened to be poz, and either didn't know or chose not to tell me.  I have always taken safety precautions when playing with sex buddies whom I didn't know, to the point of using "munchkin rubbers" (finger cots), for any cracks on my fingers due to dry skin because of my type 2 diabetes.  As Mecch said in one of his posts above, I can't help but wonder, being well-endowed and hitting the back of my partner's throat roughly and repeatedly with my cock - if he happened to have a high viral load, could it have been possible that I contracted the virus through my urethra?

Countless feelings also come into play here, as with each of us, especially regarding how each of us became positive - which is a deeply personal matter, not always shared readily with others (and rightly so), but we owe it to ourselves to be honest with ourselves as well.  And I would be lying to myself if I said that was the only risk factor that could have contributed to my own uh, "positivity" back then.  There was the isolated incident (during that same time period), when, (even though I knew better), I went down on this incredibly handsome and well-endowed guy and took his load, not once, but twice. And, in a rare moment during another time (also during the same time period), when I actually let someone fuck me - with a condom, of course, but when he came, there was the terrifying realization that the condom had slipped off somewhat while he was fucking me, because when he pulled out, I noticed there was cum that I could feel on my skin back there, as well as some inside the condom.

So, here I am today, thankfully undetectable since I started taking the Sustiva and Trizivir five years ago, but still with that tiny shred of wonder about if I became poz due to oral transmission... and also with the realization that, if I truly believed that, I would have the moral responsibility (as well as a possible legal one), of telling each and every sex buddy that I go down on of my status, and that is how I believe I became positive. 

Do I?  Absolutely not.  Though the "no-fault of mine" train-of-thought would love me to believe that oral transmission was the case (and absolves me of any self-responsibility for my status), I don't believe that to be the case for one second.  There were too many other variables, and I truly believe that the condom slippage was, in fact, the true cause.  The one time I let an unknown sex partner do that to me (well, ok, we had seen each other twice before, but had only engaged in oral sex), was the one time too many.  And, above all and most importantly, purely accidental.  I am now one who believes that the lower (or undetectable) a person's VL is, the risk factor is commensurately lower, and never having any pre-cum, as long as there are no bodily fluids exchanged, do not feel the need to disclose.  Which brings me to the following.

I have been single for many years now, and at 53, am finding I need (rather, want), more than casual sex at this point in my life.  I met a great guy about 6 months ago, and when things were becoming serious, I told him my status.  I thought the best way to do that was to show him my lab test results, and pointed to the blank space where my VL was supposed to be, and the phrase below, "cannot be measured due to the non-numeric value...", but also told him, "there's a difference between virtually no risk and absolutely no risk, and you need to be aware of that."  As have all of the "being hit by a bolt of lightning, a meteor, a bus or train" threads above have (justifiably) mentioned.  I also told Tom that, "There's a difference between having a healthy concern about the virus and being paranoid about it to the point of being frozen and not willing (or being unable) to get past that.  Which, for people who want the latest information and wish to stay informed will always be found on this site and the few others like it.  But I'm beginning to wonder if Tom falls in the latter category and if he'll truly be able to get past this, despite everything I've said and how honest I've been.

Well, I think I've said more than enough for now.  If what I've said can help someone in any way, for that I'm truly grateful.  And if anyone has any suggestions as to how I might be able to help get Tom past this, your input and suggestions are more than welcome (you can PM me.)

Thanks to everyone on the site for making (and keeping) it the true force of human nature that it is and always has been since its inception, and

Wishing everyone love, blessings, and the best of health always (and bear hugs),
Steve


Offline mecch

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Re: Nobody likes to talk about it ... oral sex and HIV transmission.
« Reply #109 on: September 25, 2008, 08:22:02 AM »
And I would be lying to myself if I said that was the only risk factor that could have contributed to my own uh, "positivity" back then.  There was the isolated incident (during that same time period), when, (even though I knew better), I went down on this incredibly handsome and well-endowed guy and took his load, not once, but twice. And, in a rare moment during another time (also during the same time period), when I actually let someone fuck me - with a condom, of course, but when he came, there was the terrifying realization that the condom had slipped off somewhat while he was fucking me, because when he pulled out, I noticed there was cum that I could feel on my skin back there, as well as some inside the condom.


Ummm, you mentioned three possible transmission routes - two unconvincing and one kind of mysterious ("cum on my skin back there").  Back where, man?

Wait, anyway, don't answer!  I'm coming round to the idea that it was the best advice - those who told me to stop pondering unsolved mysteries..

Hope your partner deals with his fears. If not, bid a sad adieu and find someone affirmative.


« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 08:28:01 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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