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Medical News & Perspectives
March 8, 2000

HIV Risk From Oral Sex Higher Than Many Realize

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JAMA. 2000;283(10):1279. doi:10.1001/jama.283.10.1279-JMN0308-3-1

San Francisco—Oral sex poses a greater risk of HIV transmission than many people realize, according to a new study of gay men in San Francisco. The study, aired here at the Seventh Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, found that up to 8% of new HIV infections appeared to result from unprotected oral sex, a behavior many people perceive as relatively low-risk.

In the study, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), San Francisco General Hospital, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) identified 102 recently infected gay and bisexual men. Information about risk behaviors was elicited by a self-administered and interviewer-administered questionnaire.