Q and A


Can I get HIV from receiving oral sex?


Thanks for the great resource and wealth of information this site provides.

My question is as follows; I am male and have had an ELISA antibody test – I’m not sure what generation it was but it was in Australia, 40 days after oral sex was performed on me (hetrosexual male).

Can I rely on this as 100% proof or should I test again.



Thank you for your question.

The chance of you getting HIV from receiving oral sex is likely to be 0. Therefore there is nothing to worry about. A negative ELISA test at 40 days together with such a low risk exposure means you do not have HIV. Please follow this link for more detailed information.

Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.


  1. Hi,

    I’m sorry but i-Base no longer answers individual questions about risks of HIV transmission or HIV testing.

    This service is based on information relating to treatment of people who are HIV positive.

    Information online
    Most testing questions are already answered on the FAQ page:

    Our guide to HIV Testing and risks of sexual transmission guide has more detailed and easy to read information about these topics. It can be read online at this link:

    Worried about HIV?
    If you are worried about a possible infection contact your local testing centre.
    In the UK you can find your nearest clinic using the NHS website:

    Understanding HIV test results:
    If you do not understand results from an HIV test, please contact the centre where you were tested.

    Worried about symptoms?
    If you are concerned about any symptoms please contact a doctor.

  2. So to add to this question. I received Oral from a guy who is HIV +. I did ejaculate in his mouth, face down and m eon top. I have read that that i might still have a chance of getting HIV from the little space at the tip of my penis head, is that true? There was no visual blood or sores I could notice in his mouth, when I was kissing him. I am geting worried over this to much? can i continue to have sex with other women?

  3. If a person is HIV positive and they give you oral sex can u get HIV?

  4. Please read the below statement from the Director of i-Base:

    Please, before getting upset, or rude, take time to read the explanation above.

    Saying that up to 5% of infections in gay men could be related to giving oral sex is not the same as saying the risk of giving oral sex is 5% per exposure.

    Another example of this statistic is like saying that if 60% of new HIV diagnosis in the UK are in gay men, this doesn’t mean the risk of catching HIV next time two gay men have sex is 60%.

    As I said above, one is a population risk and one is an estimate of a per-risk exposure.

    I do not disagree with your rough figures or the interpretation in your last comment, and we base our information on this site on the same sources. However, the estimate of 0-0.04% is also based on very limited data and it is not much use in an individual situation. I think you may be underestimating this.

    The reason it is not helpful – or at least can underestimate the risk in any single exposure between two real people – involves thinking about the other factors than might explain why HIV can be transmitted by giving oral sex.

    The lower estimate – 0% – is easiest to talk about. Oral sex in general is low risk, and if you add the impact of undetectable viral load from a person who is on treatment, then millions of people every day globally have give oral sex to an HIV-positive person and do not catch HIV. Otherwise the rates of HIV in gay men would be considerably higher than they are. However, the risk in not zero, because I believe there is evidence to support the reports that some people have caught HIV when their only risk was giving oral sex.

    The upper estimate of 0.04% is more complicated. It is probably derived from population studies and worked backwards – ie looking at risk factors reported by x number of people and their reported risk factors.

    For some situations this upper risk must be much higher. So I disagree with your interpretation that it ‘includes all factors’. It will have been derived from a group of say 10,000 gay men who all give oral sex and 4 become HIV-positive. For those four people their risk factors will vary and include: having HIV positive partners, higher viral load, cut gums etc. If you then look at the risk of oral sex in all the partners fulfilling these criteria, the denominator of 10,000 will drop considerably, perhaps to 100, and the risk for people with those criteria now becomes 4%.

    For example:
    - if the HIV-positive person is in seroconversion, say with a viral load of 10,000,000 copies/mL, and
    - the HIV-negative person has poor gum health, or recently brushed their teeth, or eaten a packet or crisps that scratched a gum etc, and
    - the guy takes cum in his mouth
    then the individual risk here could easily be 90% or 50% or 10% or 1% (I can’t say which because this level of detail doesn’t exist in the studies used for the guidelines), all of which are far higher than 0.04% for this individual single exposure. The risk would be higher still if there are other risk factor such as STIs (that have suppressed the HIV-negative mans immunity) or if the HIV-negative person is genetically more susceptible to HIV infection.

    The upper limit of 0.04% doesn’t mean that this is the upper limit for any individual exposure.

    The general risks behind HIV transmission is fairly well understood, but the estimated figures are not supported by very many studies. Very few of those studies allow for viral load for example which is probably the most significant risk factor for any for any mode or transmission, and none of them account for genetics.

    Genetics is particularly important. Large population studies find strong associations between genetics and the risk of catching HIV. The same genetic changes also relate to how fast HIV progresses once someone becomes HIV-positive. See the report from a few years ago:

    Just because we can’t test for genetics, doesn’t mean it is a factor that should not be considered.

    HIV prevention guidelines and many of the community projects involved in prevention too often simplify transmission and miss aspects that are essential if people are to be able to make their own informed decisions about the risks they are happy to take. Someone who thinks their risk from giving oral sex is 0.04% (ie 4 in 10,000) for any act of oral sex is not getting accurate information.

    Many people have fixed their ideas, particularly about oral sex, and have already decided what is right in a way that is black or white. The grey area is more complex, more interesting, and more relevant to broadening knowledge about transmission and empowering people to more confidently enjoy sex, whatever their HIV status.

    Prevention information needs to talk about the range of these other risk factors.

    Low risk from oral sex really doesn’t mean much. Neither does a range of 0-0.04% when you are deciding what risks you are happy with for you and your partners health, especially in circumstances where you may know very little about your partners health.

  5. Moreover, the 0.04% does exist if the performer gets HIV positive cum in his/her mouth.

  6. Yes DDIN very true and the risk is still between 0 and 0.04% for performer.

    i-base.info is giving wrong information regarding to oral sex because they do not know the difference between giving oral sex and receiving oral sex.

    They are referring to PEP Gudeline which states just fellatio is 0 and 0.04% for the giver (sucker) but they think it is the one who is being sucked.

    Who am I? I am a PhD holder guy who loves research.

  7. Let me Clear if the receptive have cuts, sore , bleeding gums then there is the chance of catching HIV for Performer from Oral Sex

  8. Dear Charlotte,

    You are still giving wrong information.
    If you give oral sex to a person, let’s make more clear for you, if you suck a person’s penis, the chance is 0-0.04% for the sucker.

    If you receive oral sex, if a person suck a your penis, your risk is zero. That is because saliva is not infectious. Moreover, it inhabits HIV virus.

    READ the PEP Guideline again. Or visit freedomhealth.com. Or visit aids.ch. Or visit Canada HIV Association. Or visit Australia HIV Association.

    I checked your profile and surprised with your inadequate knowledge. I am sorry.

    Please publish this.


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