Oral sex may be important risk factor for HIV infection
- By: Scott Gottlieb
A study of homosexual men living in San Francisco who were recently infected with HIV-1 suggests that in about 7% of cases the virus was likely to have been transmitted during oral sex.
Dr Frederick Hecht of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues there and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta evaluated 122 people recently diagnosed with HIV-1 infection who were presumed to have acquired their infection between June 1996 and June 1999. They tried to determine how the men contracted the disease.
The researchers used a new HIV testing method that makes it possible to determine if an individual has been recently infected. The subjects were interviewed in unusual depth and, whenever possible, excluded from the “oral sex” category.
Of all the cases, researchers determined that 20 were potentially acquired through oral sex. On further evaluation, and elimination of cases in which