Safer Sex

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Back to home » HIV 101 » Safer Sex

Table of Contents

Vaginal Intercourse

Anal Intercourse

Oral-Penile Sex

Oral-Vaginal Sex

Oral-Anal Sex

Digital-Anal or Digital-Vaginal Sex

What You're Talking About
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I Watched Charlie Sheen on The Dr. Oz Show So You Don't Have To (blog) (14 comments)

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

Safer Sex

The reason why sexual activity is a risk for HIV transmission is because it allows for the exchange of body fluids. Researchers have consistently found that HIV can be transmitted via blood, semen and vaginal secretions. However, researchers have also confirmed that some sexual practices are associated with a higher risk of HIV transmission than others. believes everybody-regardless of their HIV status-should enjoy sex to the fullest. Though the facts about HIV transmission are the same for HIV positive and HIV negative men and women, even the tiniest bit of misunderstanding about how HIV is (and isn't) spread can lead to a lot of confusion when it comes to making important decisions about safer sex.

There are a few basic facts to consider:
  • Abstinence is the only 100-percent way to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you have a partner who has tested negative for HIV, does not inject drugs and is having sexual contact only with you, there is minimal risk of being infected with the virus.
  • Being infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can increase an HIV-positive person's chance of transmitting HIV, just as it can increase an HIV-negative person's chance of acquiring HIV.
  • An HIV-positive person with a detectable viral load is more infectious-more likely to transmit the virus to somebody else-that an HIV-positive person who is receiving antiretroviral treatment and has an undetectable viral load.
  • Safer sex practices, including correct and consistent use of condoms for vaginal or anal sex, can reduce the spread of HIV and other STIs.
  • Getting intoxicated or high on drugs, including alcohol, can impair judgment and cause people to forget to take care of themselves-or their sexual partners.
  • Safer sex is not just about vaginal, anal or oral intercourse. Masturbation (alone or with someone else), body rubbing, erotic massage and kissing-they're all fun, no-risk activities.
To learn more about the risk of HIV transmission associated with different types of sexual activities, check the sections listed along the right side of this page.


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