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DEAR CHRISTINE: Can you get AIDS through oral sex?

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

DEAR CHRISTINE: Can you get AIDS through oral sex?

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Dear Christine,
I would like to know if having oral sex is unhealthy or normal?
Further, I would like to know if doing only oral sex with an AIDS patient could give a person AIDS.
– M.F.
Dear M.F.,
My hair is standing on end. You are asking an important question, but the idea that you are old enough to write to this column and do not know the answer is really frightening.
Never have sex with an AIDS patient – at least, I should say, unprotected sex. You do not have to be afraid to be in the same room as an AIDS patient. You can shake hands with an AIDS patient, change their bed linens, hug them, use the same washroom, and live in the same house as an AIDS patient, but you cannot have sex [again some people will state, unprotected sex] with an AIDS patient. Persons get AIDS from having sex with an infected person.
I could make this answer more complicated, but I don’t want to.
It is true that you can get the AIDS virus from somebody who is not known to have it but has it anyway. I mean, there are people walking around with this virus and nobody has tested them for it, or the test did not reveal the presence of the virus although it was there. That can happen and it’s why for a thorough testing one has to be tested again after the antigen has had time to develop. So whenever you have sex with a stranger, or someone whose sex life is secret to you, you are risking exposure to the AIDS virus.
I hope as many people as possible see this article, because I am afraid that many, many people cannot understand this simple message.
Oral sex is a personal thing and is healthy enough if you’re doing it with a healthy individual to whom you are committed. It is certainly not something you do with every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes along. You could end up with herpes or a variety of illnesses, as well as AIDS.
Oral sex was widely considered to be a perversion perhaps 80 or so years ago – not by every educated or thoughtful person, not by every doctor or psychologist, but probably by most people you would run into.
Today, it is widely thought of as a sexual activity that all kinds of people do as foreplay, afterplay or for itself. It is not an activity that everyone likes and it would be wrong of anyone to urge another individual to participate in this act, if the individual is opposed to it.