Can I get HIV from oral?

Can I get HIV from a blowjob? from giving head? from getting a BJ? Or from swallowing semen?

Oral sex is much less risky than anal or vaginal sex – but HIV still can enter through open cuts and sores, or possibly by infecting the lining of the mouth. There are some documented cases of people getting HIV through their mouth.

Once semen gets past the mouth, stomach acid and enzymes in the esophagus kill the virus. So swallowing or spitting out semen (cum or precum) reduces your risk for HIV, compared with letting it sit in your mouth.
A popular jingle is: Spit or Swallow, Don’t Let it Wallow.

To reduce your risk even more, make sure you keep the mucous membranes in your mouth healthy – don’t perform oral for about 45 minutes after you brush your teeth, floss, or engage in any other aggravating oral behavior, and not at all when you have open sores.

Remember, while the chance of catching HIV from oral sex is very low, you can easily catch other STDs, in particular gonorrhea and chlamydia.

What about other types of sex?

You can read some of our other articles to learn more about the relative risk of different types of sexual behavior

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