Oral sex, HIV,... and braces

Originally Published: March 7, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: July 15, 1998
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I'm a young gay man, and I'm concerned about oral sex and HIV. What are the risks, statistically and in your opinion, of receiving oral sex without a condom? Also, and this will sound kind of funny, I have braces, so I'm assuming giving head is dangerous.

Dear Reader,

Leading HIV research and care organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), say that the risk of being infected with HIV via receiving oral sex without a condom is virtually impossible.

Where your braces are concerned, if you are giving oral sex, proceed with caution: be gentle with partners and avoid sudden, erratic movements (both of you). If you decide not to take your partner's penis into your mouth, your lips, tongue, saliva, and breath can be wonderful sources of pleasure.

Both the CDC and GMHC have confidential hotlines where you can get information from people trained to provide safer-sex advice:

CDC's National STD and AIDS Hotline [24/7]
1.800.342.AIDS (-2437)

GMHC's AIDS Hotline