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      Oral HIV transmission.

      Journal of the California Dental Association

      Sexual Behavior, virology, physiology, Saliva, Periodontitis, Mouth Mucosa, Milk, Human, Male, Infant, Humans, isolation & purification, HIV-1, transmission, HIV Infections, Female, adverse effects, Breast Feeding, Adult

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          Abstract

          Although transmission of HIV through casual contact with saliva has not been shown, oral exposure to HIV-infected semen, blood, and breast milk can lead to infection. Unprotected orogenital contact, especially receptive oral intercourse, is associated with greater risk of HIV transmission than previously thought. The salivary anti-HIV properties, the local and systemic immunologic responses, the local mucosal integrity, and the level of infectious HIV present at the oral mucosal site all influence the potential for HIV infection through the oral mucosa. Although more information on the exact mechanisms of oral HIV transmission are necessary, based on the current understanding of this process, educational HIV prevention methods must focus on the potential risks associated with orogenital sexual behaviors.

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