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What Men Should Know

Oral Sex

Many men associate oral sex with safe sex. Oral sex includes stimulating a penis (blow job) or an anus (rimming) with your mouth.

Oral sex can put you at risk of getting one or more sexually transmitted infections (STIs).


To date there has not been a confirmed case of someone becoming HIV-positive through oral sex (blow job) published in scientific literature. However, it remains possible for transmission to occur if the person performing the blow job has small cuts or sores in his mouth and his partner cums in his mouth. There is no risk of HIV infection for the guy receiving the blow job. Rimming does not pose a risk of HIV infection, provided there is no blood present. Remember that someone who is HIV-positive, on ARV treatment and undetectable poses no risk of passing HIV onto you but other STIs can still can passed on through oral sex. 

  • Look!
    Look carefully at a penis or anus before you put your mouth on it. Do not perform oral sex if there are any sores, blisters or warts on or around the penis or anus. Don’t let someone perform oral sex on you if he has any sores, blisters or warts on or around his mouth.
  • Think!
    Be aware that your partner may have an STI without any visible symptoms. He could have a sore inside his mouth which you can’t see or he may have gonorrhoea in his anus. Think about the potential risks before you have oral sex; mutual masturbation is always a good option.
  • Know!
    Knowledge about STIs and sexual health can help you make decisions that are right for you.
  • Test!
    All gay and bisexual men who have oral sex should be tested every six months for syphilis. If you’re a couple, have the test together. Consult your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any possible symptoms of an STI so that it can be treated as soon as possible.
  • Less is more!
    Reducing the number of people you have sex with, and using a condom and water based lubricant for anal sex, especially if you do not know the person or can be sure of their HIV status.
  • TASP! Which stands for “Treatment as Prevention”. Going onto PrEP if you are HIV-negative or taking your ARVs everyday if you are HIV-positive are excellent ways to prevent passing on or getting HIV from a partner.