Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Alcohol May Boost HIV Risk from Oral Sex

ABS News carried a story that I missed a couple of weeks ago regarding the role of alcohol in HIV transmission. As timely as the story was during the holiday-partying-drinking season, it's still timely as we approach any given weekend or happy hour of the year. The story is based on a Reuter's report about a research study published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (December 1, 2004).

The study itself reports that "Lab experiments show that cells that line the mouth become more susceptible to infection with HIV when they're exposed to alcohol." Specifically, "oral epithelial cells exposed to 4% ethanol for 10 minutes showed three- to six-fold greater susceptibility to infection with HIV strain." That's the level of alcohol in a beer, by the way.

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