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Safer sex

What are common reasons for having safer sex?

My own health

  • I want to run as little risk as possible of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as hepatitis C, syphilis or chlamydia.
  • I am afraid of becoming infected with a different strain of HIV that could be resistant to my HIV medicines or that is stronger than the virus I already have.

My sex partner’s health

  • I want to reduce as much as possible the chance that my sex partner will get HIV from me.
  • I want to reduce as much as possible the chance that my sex partner will get an STI from me.

Emotions

  • I don’t want to wonder later whether or not I was infected with an STI or reinfected with HIV.
  • I think it’s my responsibility to make sure I do not pass on my HIV.
  • I don’t want to feel guilty later about possibly having infected my sex partner.
  • I may want to see my sex partner more often and therefore I want to prevent having to have a difficult conversation later on.

What are common reasons for having unprotected sex?

  • I want to become pregnant or I want to make my partner pregnant.
  • I consider the risks to be very slight.
  • I accept the risks.
  • I get more enjoyment from unprotected sex.
  • I experience more intimacy through unprotected sex.
  • I have an erection problem when I use condoms.
  • I think it’s a let-down to have to stop sucking a guy if he is about to come.

What determines the risk?

  1. Safer sex: what to do and what not to do
    Safer sex is sex in which no sperm, vaginal fluid or blood enters into the other person’s body. The most important things to keep in mind:

    Condom and lube
    For both vaginal and anal sex (fucking and arse fucking), use a condom and a lot of lube.

    Blowjobs (fellatio)
    Make sure that no sperm enters your mouth when you are giving a blowjob and that you do not come in the other person’s mouth when you are receiving a blowjob. If you want to be certain about this, you can use a condom. If you have HIV and you are giving someone else a blowjob, he runs no risk of getting HIV from you.

    Eating pussy (cunnilingus)
    The chance that someone could become infected from licking a woman’s clitoris and vagina (‘eating pussy’) is extremely slight. If that is done while the woman is going through menstruation, the risk increases somewhat.

    Physical contact
    You cannot pass on HIV to someone else through physical contact such as stroking, kissing, massaging, masturbating, or ejaculating (coming) on his or her skin.

    Some ‘unsafe’ sexual techniques are more risky than others:
    • The risk of passing on HIV is greater through anal contact than through vaginal contact.
    • The person who is fucked (passively) runs more risk than the one who fucks (actively) him or her.
    • Fucking is much more risky than blowjobs are.
    You can find a detailed overview of the different techniques and the risks they involve in terms of passing on or getting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) but also pregnancy on www.soaaids.nl/english/safe_sex/safe_from_sti.
  2.  Your viral load
    If you have had an undetectable viral load for at least half a year and you have no other STI, then the chance that someone could get HIV from you can be practically ruled out. There are people with HIV who begin taking HIV medicines earlier in order to reduce their chances of passing their HIV on to someone else. In that case, your compliance with the therapy becomes part of your relationship.
  3. The number of different sex partners you have
    It is a question of calculating the probability: the more often you cross the street, the greater the chance you will have of being in an accident… If you have just one partner in one year’s time, you run less risk than if you have more than one partner.
  4. The number of times you have sex
    This too is a calculation of probability: the more often you have sex in which you run risks, the greater the risk.
  5.  Agreements, communication and trust
    If you and your regular (sex) partner want to have unprotected sexual contact, you can agree with each other to be monogamous, or that you will only do it safely with other people. And that you will tell each other if you have run any risks in any contacts you have with others, for example so that you can both get checked for STIs. Then it comes down to a matter of trust: are you both keeping to your agreements?
  6. The level of risk that your sex partner runs
    If your sex partner runs a lot risk, you also run more risk than you would if your partner runs little risk. Often it is ‘not done’ to discuss this in depth, but you are probably able to assess the situation. For example: STIs are more common among gays than they are among straights. Or: if you are going somewhere where people have multiple sex partners, the sex partner you have there is more likely to have HIV or some other STI than a high-school student would be on his or her first date.

 

 

 

 

 

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