The risk of getting HIV varies widely depending on the type of sexual activity. However, every exposure to HIV does not carry the same HIV risk, and some types of sexual activity are riskier than others. HIV is not spread easily however if you’re sexually active, you can lower your risk for HIV by choosing lower risk sexual activities, taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV, and using condoms correctly and consistently.
Here is a list of some sexual practices, the risks they pose, and how you can reduce that risk:
- Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV.
- Receptive anal sex (“bottoming”) is much riskier for getting HIV than insertive anal sex (“topping”), but it’s possible for either partner to get HIV. This is because the lining of the rectum is thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
- The insertive partner (top) also at risk because HIV can enter through the opening at the tip of the penis (or urethra); the foreskin if the penis isn’t circumcised; or through small cuts or open sores anywhere on the penis. There is evidence that circumcision may decrease the risk of the insertive partner getting HIV during anal sex. There is no evidence that circumcision benefits the receptive partner.
- HIV can found in the blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), or rectal fluid of a person with HIV, which means that there’s a risk for either partner to get HIV even if the insertive partner withdraws (pulls out) before ejaculating.
- The HIV-negative partner (either insertive or receptive) is more likely to get HIV from anal sex if the HIV-positive partner is not on HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy or ART) and virally suppressed. The HIV-negative partner is also more likely to get HIV if either partner has a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
- You can reduce your risk by choosing sexual activities that carry a lower risk for HIV than anal sex.
- You can also reduce your risk of getting or transmitting HIV through anal sex by using a condom consistently and correctly. Even with these things, it’s safer if the HIV-positive partner is always the receptive partner (partner on the bottom).
- Oral sex involves giving or receiving oral stimulation (i.e., sucking or licking) to the penis (fellatio), the vagina (cunnilingus), or the anus (anilingus or “rimming”).
- The chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low. It is difficult to measure the exact risk because people who have oral sex may also have anal or vaginal sex during the same encounter.
- Performing oral sex on an HIV-infected man, with ejaculation in your mouth, is the riskiest type of oral sex activity. However, the risk is still low, and much lower than anal or vaginal sex.
- Factors that may increase the risk of transmitting HIV through oral sex are oral ulcers, bleeding gums, genital sores, and the presence of other STDs.
- You can also reduce your risk of getting HIV and other STDs through oral sex by using a barrier, such as a condoms, natural rubber latex sheet, dental dam, or cut-open nonlubricated condom between your mouth and the other person’s genitals.
- There is little to no risk of getting HIV from touching or fingering an HIV-positive partner.
- You can lower any risk you may have by making sure you have no cuts or sores on your fingers or hands and your HIV-positive partner does not have cuts or sores in the rectum or vagina.
- There is a chance of getting or transmitting other STDs through touching because some STDs can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Use medical-grade gloves to reduce this risk.
- Using sex toys can be a safe practice, as long as you do not share your toys with your partner.
- If you do share your toy with your partner, always cover it with a new condom, and wash it carefully after each use.
Non-Risk Sexual Activities
These activities carry no risk of HIV transmission:
- Non-sexual massage
- Casual or dry kissing
- Phone sex, cyber sex, sexy talk
- Masturbation (without your partner’s body fluids)
- Frottage—also known as “dry humping” or body-to-body rubbing
You can still contract other STDs, like herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), or pubic lice (“crabs”) if you have bare skin-to-skin contact with your partner.
HIV is Not Spread By…
HIV does not survive long outside the human body (such as on surfaces) and it cannot reproduce outside a human host. It is not spread by:
- Air or water
- Mosquitoes, ticks or other insects
- Saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of an HIV-positive person
- Shaking hands, hugging, sharing toilets, sharing dishes/drinking glasses, or closed-mouth or “social” kissing with someone who is HIV-positive
- Other sexual activities that don’t involve the exchange of body fluids (for example, touching).
A person has the right to keep information on HIV status confidential. Under law, a person can fake a name as well while getting this test done as per “Right to Confidentiality“. Therefore you can now book an accurate and confidential HIV Test at the comfort of your home from MedLabz.com or call on +91 7879-800-800 to get more information on HIV test availability at your location.