Scientific research shows that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is transmitted by contaminated body fluids such as blood, semen (including pre-ejaculatory fluid), vaginal fluids and breast milk. Unprotected sex is one of the leading modes of transmission.
People often perform various sexual activities during a single encounter. That is why it is difficult to assess the level of risk of a particular encounter.
However, the Canadian AIDS Society has developed four categories based on the potential risk of transmitting HIV and on documented cases of transmission.
The risk levels are;
These are acts that present no risk of HIV transmission because there is no exchange of body fluids and no transmission of HIV has been documented:
- French kissing when no blood is present (saliva is not a body fluid that can transmit HIV)
- masturbating (oneself or someone else)
- using a sex toy and not sharing it.
These acts present some risk of HIV transmission because they lead to an exchange of body fluids. However, the amount of fluids and the way they’re exchanged seem to make transmission less likely, and no transmission of HIV has been documented. Negligible-risk acts include:
- fellatio (mouth on penis) given with a condom
- fellatio received with or without a condom
- cunnilingus (mouth on female genitals/vulva) given with protection (can be made by cutting a piece of condom or using a dental dam)
- cunnilingus received with or without protection
- anilingus (mouth on anus) given or received with or without protection
- digital penetration (finger in anus or vagina), with or without a latex glove.
- manual penetration (hand in anus or vagina), given or received with or without a latex glove.
- sharing a sex toy using a new condom for each person
- sharing a properly-disinfected sex toy.
These acts present a risk of HIV transmission because they lead to an exchange of body fluids that can transmit HIV. Infection cases have been documented for acts like:
- French kissing when blood is present
- fellatio given without a condom (when semen or pre-ejaculatory fluid is present)
- cunnilingus given without protection (whether during menstruation or not)
- vaginal penetration with a condom (risk exists for both partners)
- anal penetration with a condom (risk exists for both partners).
These sexual acts present a risk of HIV transmission because they lead to an exchange of body fluids that can transmit HIV. Many infections cases have been documented and many studies have consistently shown a link between these acts and HIV infections:
- vaginal penetration without a condom (risk exists for both partners)
- anal penetration without a condom (risk exists for both partners)
- sharing a sex toy that was not disinfected, without a condom.
Never forget that having sex can also make you vulnerable to other sexually transmitted infections. For more information on sexually transmitted infections, see, “What you need to know about STI – Sexually Transmitted Infections.”
Created for the Canadian Health Network by the Canadian Public Health Association, in collaboration with the Canadian AIDS Society.
For full article go to; Which sexual acts can transmit HIV?