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Question
Posted by: Shy | 2007/03/01

Kissing and HIV

is there ANY way that I could get HIV through kissing someone? Please, I need a really clear answer from you Expert!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Shy and thanks for posting here - HIV-related posts are always very welcome.

HIV is not spread through any act, be it kissing, sexual intercourse, rimming or fisting. Importantly, HIV is spread through body fluids. Examples of body fluids are semen (cum), saliva, tears, perspiration, urine, vaginal juices and pre-cum. For infection to occur we need TWO things:

1) A HIGH-RISK body fluid. There are only TWO high-risk body fluids that you must be concerned about - semen (cum) and blood. These are high risk because they contain a very high concentration of the virus that causes HIV. Note that vaginal juices and pre-cum are considered "low risk", while the others (urine, perspiration, saliva and tears) are considered "no risk".

2) An ENTRY POINT into your blood stream, such as a sore, a cut or any broken skin. Note that semen (cum) or blood in your eye constitutes a high risk and that if semen (cum) gets into your arse the virus is capable of passing through the membrane surrounding your rectum. Which is why you must always use a condom during anal sex.

In terms of kissing, what body fluids are exchanged? Saliva. Which poses no risk at all.

Trust me: if there was any risk of HIV infection through kissing you'd have heard about it - massive campaigns would have been running. Literally millions of people are kissing each other as you read this and they're fine. Kissing is great - don't let your unfounded anxiety get in the way of a hot extended kissing session.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Rade | 2007/03/05

There you have it. Now stop using my username.
Or else.

Reply to Rade
Posted by: Nikki | 2007/03/05

Sorry "Rade" ??

Source = ME !!!

xxxx
Nikki

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: Rade | 2007/03/04

Hey, please stop using my nickname.
You can't preach to Nikki that she should acknowledge her source if you can't even think up your own nickname.
Tsk.

Reply to Rade
Posted by: Rade | 2007/03/02

Nikkii, quote your sources? PLEASE!

Reply to Rade
Posted by: Nikki | 2007/03/02

Is a kiss safe when it comes to HIV?

Based on years of research, the answer has been yes, with some caveats. Past studies show that proteins in saliva appear to neutralize or disable the HIV virus by two- to five-fold, limiting oral (mouth-to-mouth) transmission of HIV. That doesn't completely rule out any risk: Deep kisses are trickier if either partner has bleeding gums or cuts in the mouth, where a tear in the mucosal wall might facilitate transmission. So prevention activists still urge people to be careful when kissing if either partner has bleeding gums or sores on their lips or inside their mouths. HIV-positive people are also urged to fill any dental cavities they may have, since HIV may hide out in these pockets.

Now, according to a small study involving six HIV-negative people conducted by Dr. Samuel Baron and colleagues at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, there's new evidence to back a provocative theory regarding a more powerful protective effect from saliva that has nothing to do with enzymes. Baron's test-tube studies found that saliva, due to its low level of salt, inactivates more than 90 percent of the HIV-infected leukocytes (blood cells) that may be the main transmitter of HIV on mucosal surfaces, thereby blocking HIV transmission by more than 10,000-fold.

That's because salt is needed to keep cells alive, explains Baron, who says that if you put red blood cells (that contain salt) in a glass of water, for example, they quickly pull in the liquid, swell up, and burst. The absence of salt in saliva causes HIV-infected cells to do the same thing. And that's why kissing appears so safe in many instances. Saliva, concludes Baron, "is breaking down the infected cells." His group presented its newest data, which will be published early next year in the Archives of Internal Medicine, at the recent Institute of Human Viro-logy meeting in Baltimore.

Hope it helps

xxxxxxxx
Nikki

Reply to Nikki
Posted by: Mario | 2007/03/02

There is so much speculation around this issue and there are no absolute answers. If there are open sores in the mouth, the chance does exist that bodily fluids can be exchanged. Saliva can carry the HIV virus but an enormous amount of saliva has to be present for infection to occur. Kissing is safe when there is no blood involved. The option here is to dry kiss as opposed to wet kiss but it would be sad that people miss out on the pleasure of kissing. Kissing provides a good motivation for knowing the HIV status of your partner.

Reply to Mario
Posted by: Gareth | 2007/03/01

I have heard that the spit inside a HIV positive person's mouth DOES in fact carry the HI Virus, in a very very low quantity. That means that you would have to drink about a litre of it before you stand risk of contracting the virus from kissing. So the risk is almost nonexistent. I am not sure if this risk gets higher if you as the negative kissee have an open sore in your mouth, but I doubt that the risk is much higher, unless, like rade say, maybe both of you have open wounds in your mouths and there are blood involved (or even semen in the mouth). Expert can maybe confirm the risks here, if not, why not try the HIV Peer Forum. I dated an HIV+ guy a few years ago, and we kissed a lot, and even had sex (very safely of course) and I dunno if I was just lucky, but I am absolutely fine.
Point is, chances are EXTREMELY slim that you would contract HIV from kissing.

Reply to Gareth
Posted by: Rade | 2007/03/01

Only if there is blood contact between the kissers. You might have a sore in your mouth and the partner might have one too and if the blood is transferred, you might have a problem.
This is not limited to only open sores. Brushing your teeth or eating something hard like rusks, may also cause microscopic cuts in your mouth.
Expert should have the official answer.

Reply to Rade

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