Safe Sex With HIV

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Is it possible to have safe sex with someone who is HIV positive? While the idea may be daunting to some, if you are careful about what you do and how you do it, it is possible to have an intimate relationship with someone who is HIV positive and decrease your chances of contracting the virus. There are also things you can do sexually that will protect you from any chance of getting the virus.

Remember How HIV is Transmitted

The most important thing to remember is HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids; blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. Once you understand that you can take steps to make sure you do not come in direct contact with any of these bodily fluids. Your risk is also determined by whether you are the person on the receiving end of fluids, such as a man ejaculating inside of you.

You can look at sexual activity with someone with HIV in three ways; unsafe, safe, and safer.

Things that are absolutely NOT safe include:

  • • Unprotected anal sex
  • • Withdrawing the penis before ejaculation. HIV can still be found in pre-ejaculate also known as pre-come.
  • • Any sexual activity that draws blood
  • • Unprotected vaginal sex
  • • Swallowing semen or someone who is HIV positive ejaculating in your mouth
  • • Vaginal secretions of someone who is HIV positive getting in your mouth.
  • • Unprotected vaginal sex with the female partner is menstruating.

Sexual activity that is considered safe includes:

  • • Massage
  • • Masturbating in front of each other
  • • Mutual masturbation with a barrier
  • • Kissing
  • • Cuddling
  • • Holding Hands
  • • Phone sex

Finally, sexual activity that is considered safer but not 100% safe includes:

  • • Anal sex with a condom and lubricant
  • • Vaginal sex with a condom and lubricant
  • • Oral sex with a condom or dental dam
  • • Sex toy use with condoms. Make sure to clean sex toys properly after each use as well and consider using separate sex toys with each sexual partner.
  • • Using a latex glove for vaginal or anal digital penetration, especially if there are cuts on the fingers.

The key is not exposing yourself to someone else’s bodily fluids either by not engaging in behavior that could expose you or by putting a barrier between your body and their body to prevent transmission of fluids from one person to the other. Condoms, dental dams, latex gloves and saran wrap can all be used and should be used correctly and consistently.

If you think you are exposed to HIV you should wash immediately with soap and water and contact your health care provider. There are prophylactic drugs that can be prescribed after an HIV exposure that greatly reduce your risk for infection.

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