Medical experts say using saliva as a lubricant during sexual intercourse increases the risk of the human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis, and herpes infection.
They also noted that sexually transmitted infections like candidiasis, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhoea can also be transmitted through the practice.
The physicians urged couples to indulge in foreplay to get lubricated naturally, or get a lubricant that is medically certified before sexual intercourse is initiated.
Speaking a General Practitioner in Minna, Niger State, Dr. Akinkoye Akinpelu, said an HIV-infected man might have a bleeding gum and once the saliva with traces of blood is used to lubricate, the woman will become infected.
“You know that HIV is a disease transmitted through blood contact. A man or woman might have a bleeding gum and probably any of the partners already has a cut due to friction during intercourse. By the time they lubricate with the saliva, the bacteria or virus present gets transmitted.
According to the World Health Organisation, HIV is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the white blood cells, called CD4 cells.
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The WHO noted that HIV destroys these CD4 cells, thereby weakening a person’s immunity against infections, such as tuberculosis and some cancers.
“HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having killed almost 33 million people so far. The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.
“Within a few weeks of HIV infection, flu-like symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, and fatigue can occur. Then the disease is usually asymptomatic, until it progresses to AIDS,” the WHO stated.
Dr. Akinpelu, who is the Medical Director of Top Medical Centre, said the private part of the woman is a very good environment for bacteria growth, adding that a slight bruise is an easy pathway for any infection to penetrate the body.
The physician also warned against indulging in oral sex, noting that it is another avenue to get STI infections.