May 12, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Oral sex and open-mouthed “French” kissing increase the risk of acquiring oral infections of human papillomavirus, or HPV, a study shows.
“Performing oral sex is not without risks,” Dr. Maura L. Gillison told Reuters Health.
It is associated with gonorrheal pharyngitis – a sexually transmitted infection of the tonsils and back of the throat that immediately causes symptoms, she noted, and now is associated with mouth HPV infections that are silent “yet may lead to oral cancer 10 to 20 years later.”
Gillison from The Ohio State University, Columbus, and colleagues explored whether sexual behaviors were associated with the odds of oral HPV infection in 332 adults and in 210 college-aged men. They found that 4.8 percent of the adults and 2.9 percent of college-aged men had oral HPV infection.
Among adults, the odds of oral HPV infection were significantly elevated among current tobacco smokers and among individuals who reported having either more than 10 oral or more than 25 vaginal sex partners during their lifetime.
Similar risk factors applied to the college-aged men. For them, having at least six recent oral sex or open-mouthed kissing partners were independently associated with increased odds of developing oral HPV infection.
For the 28 percent of college-aged men who reported never having performed oral sex, having at least 10 lifetime or at least five recent open-mouthed kissing partners was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing oral HPV infection.
Comment from Leslie
The Fear Factor is is alive and well on this one….Merck’s Gardasil market is shrinking – teenage girls and women in their 20’s are ignoring the “One less” campaign – because they are educating themselves about this vaccine – and now an article about French Kissing….OMG
HPV is a VIRUS – in most women it passes through the body in two years…most of us have been exposed to it already – and if our immune systems are intact we will not have outbreaks…just like Herpes.
Get a grip.