The risks involved in sex

The risk you run of getting HIV and other STIs differs with each sex technique you practice. Since various different factors can play a role in each situation, the exact risk cannot be expressed in numbers.

Different risks

The risk you run of getting HIV and STIs varies according to the sex technique you use. With some techniques, such as beating off, there is very little chance that STIs will be transmitted. Other techniques involve a greater risk of getting or transmitting both STIs and HIV. Of the most common sexual techniques (beating off, blow jobs, rimming and fucking), fucking without a condom carries the most risk in terms of HIV and other STIs. It is not easy to express in numbers precisely how much risk you run with each sex technique. This risk differs each time you have sex and in each different situation.

Factors that influence the amount of risk in terms of HIV and STIs

How much risk you run in your situation depends on different factors:

  • If you have little cuts or wounds, infections, or little ulcers from STIs, your mucous membrane will be more vulnerable to HIV and other STIs.
  • The longer you and your partner have sex, the more chance that your mucous membrane will be damaged. That will make your mucous membrane more susceptible to STIs and HIV.
  • The more HIV someone has in his body, the greater the chance that he will transmit HIV to you during sex. During an acute HIV infection the amount of virus in the blood is extremely high, making HIV much more infectious.
  • Using poppers could potentially increase the flow of blood in the mucous membranes of your anus. That could increase your risk of getting HIV and STIs.
  • If you have HIV, the immune system in your intestinal mucous membrane could be weaker, making you more vulnerable to STIs. That is true even if you are being treated effectively for HIV and have an undetectable viral load.

Kinky sex and fetish

The risks involved in the various kinky sexual techniques such as fisting are described in the relevant articles about kinky sex and fetish. In particular, fisting and group sex are the most likely to carry extra risk in terms of HIV and of STIs such as syphilis, LGV and Hepatitis C for men with HIV.


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