In recovery from alcoholism, addiction and compulsive gambling many people begin to take more responsibility for their sexual behaviors.
Many couples engage in mutual masturbation, oral sex and anal sex instead of penile-vaginal intercourse to prevent pregnancy and avoid catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These activities reduce the risk of pregnancy, but most people don’t know that the risk of spreading an STI stays significantly high.
Various infections may be spread through blood, saliva, semen, and feces. Different organisms have different risks of being spread, but the risk is always increased with open sores and abrasions, or other breaks in the skin, oral or vaginal lining.
Few individuals report using a condom last time they engaged in oral sex, according to a U.S. survey.
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
– The risk of transmission varies greatly with the type of sexual activity. The highest risk occurs with receptive anal intercourse. Condom use reduces the risk by 80%. Although oral sex has a relatively lower risk, there have been cases of HIV infection in men who only engage in oral sex with other men.
- Genital Herpes (HSV) – HSV type 1
(commonly oral) and type 2 (commonly genital) are both known to cause oral, genital and anal lesions. It is common for HSV to be transmitted through kissing and through oral, vaginal or anal sex.
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
– More than 90% of HPV infections will resolve spontaneously, but certain types of HPV can persist and have the potential to cause precancerous lesions and eventually cancer. Penile-vaginal and penile-anal transmission are the most common, but oral transmission can occur. There is a new vaccine available for HPV.
- Hepatitis Viruses
– Hepatitis B virus is found in various body fluids and is commonly transmitted with many types of sexual activity. Hepatitis C, although capable of spreading in this manner, is not commonly spread through sexual activity.
- Bacterial Infections
– More than 13% of recent syphilis cases in Chicago were transmitted through oral sex. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia may be transmitted by any of the aforementioned practices. It can also cause throat infections (pharyngeal), although most of the time people are unaware of this type of infection.