UCSF study finds no cases of HIV transmission from receptive oral sex

November 21, 2002

No cases of HIV transmission through unprotected receptive oral sex were found by researchers at UCSF's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) in a new study. The study looked at men who have sex with men and who exclusively practice oral sex as the receptive partner.

"HIV infection through receptive oral sex is a very rare event--statistically our study showed a probability of zero--and is rarer than HIV infection through receptive anal intercourse using a condom," said the study's lead author Kimberly Page Shafer, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at UCSF's CAPS. The findings are being published in the November 22, 2002 issue of AIDS.

The study enrolled 239 men who have sex with men starting in 1999 from anonymous testing and counseling sites in San Francisco. The participants reported no anal or vaginal sex and no injection drug use in the six months prior to entering the study. The participants reported a median of three partners with whom they had been the receptive partner for oral intercourse and ninety-eight percent reported unprotected receptive oral intercourse. Twenty-eight percent knew their partner was HIV-infected and of those, thirty-nine percent swallowed ejaculate.

"If you compare our group, which practiced oral sex exclusively, with men who engaged in receptive anal intercourse from the same testing sites during a similar time period--and considering both those who reported using protection and those who did not--you find significant HIV transmission even among those who used protection during receptive anal intercourse," said Shafer.

The participants were screened for HIV infection and also for recent HIV infection using both the standard test for HIV and a test for HIV that is "detuned" to detect only those HIV infections that have occurred within the six months prior to taking the test.

"Although this study is the first to try to systematically define the risk, case reports exist of HIV infections acquired through oral contact. While rare, acquiring HIV infection orally is possible and many other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are transmitted orally," said Shafer.

The study is ongoing and the researchers will amend the findings with greater numbers.
-end-
The study's co-authors are Caroline Shiboski, DDS, MPH, PhD, assistant clinical professor in UCSF's School of Dentistry's stomatology department; Dennis H. Osmond, PhD, UCSF associate professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics; James W. Dilley, MD, executive director of UCSF's AIDS Health Project; Willi McFarland, MD, PhD, co-director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health's HIV/AIDS Statistics and Epidemiology Unit and UCSF assistant adjunct professor of epidemiology and biostatistics; Stephen Shiboski PhD, associate adjunct professor in UCSF's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Jeffrey D. Klausner, MD, MPH, director of STD prevention and control at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and UCSF assistant clinical professor of medicine; Joyce Balls, project coordinator at UCSF CAPS; Deborah Greenspan, DSc, professor of clinical and oral medicine in UCSF's School of Dentistry's stomatology department; and John S. Greenspan BSC, BDS, PhD, FRC Path, ScD [hc], FDSRCS [Eng], professor and dean for research in UCSF's School of Dentistry.

The study is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

University of California - San Francisco

Related HIV Articles from Brightsurf:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.

The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.

Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.

NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.

Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.

Read More: HIV News and HIV Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.