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Oral sex leads to syphilis

Many people mistakenly believe that oral sex is safe, unaware that they can catch or pass on syphilis through it.

Oral sex leads to syphilis

Many people mistakenly believe that oral sex is safe, unaware that they can catch or pass on syphilis through it.Researchers from the Chicago Department of Public Health found that syphilis is increasingly being spread through oral sex. People who are not in a long-term monogamous relationship and who engage in oral sex should use barrier protection (e.g., male condoms or other barrier methods) to reduce the risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
Researchers saw that patterns of syphilis transmission changed substantially over the period from 1998 to 2002. During the 1990s, they report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, syphilis occurred almost exclusively among heterosexuals. Since 2001, men who have sex with men account for nearly 60 per cent of people with syphilis.To account for these findings, investigators began interviewing people with syphilis during 2000 to 2002. In almost 14 per cent cases, oral sex was the subjects' only sexual exposure during the time they were infected; this was reported by 20 per cent of gay men with syphilis, and 6 to 7 per cent of heterosexual men and women. These figures don't include possible infection through oral sex when sexual intercourse also took place.People suffering from syphilis in the mouth may not have any symptoms, or the sores may be mistaken for aphthous ulcers or herpes. The lesions may carry high concentrations of the bacteria that cause syphilis, and are highly infectious. These oral lesions may increase the risk of being infected with HIV.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,
October 2004
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