SAFER ACTIVITIES Most sexual activity carries some risk of spreading HIV.
To reduce the risk, make it more difficult for blood or sexual fluid to get into your body. Cuts, sores, or bleeding gums increase the risk of spreading HIV. Use a barrier to prevent contact with blood or sexual fluid.
You can also use a female condom to protect the vagina or rectum during intercourse. Pieces of latex or plastic wrap over the vagina, or condoms over the penis, can be used as barriers during oral sex. HIV-negative persons at risk can take medications, pre-exposure prophylaxis (Pr EP, see Fact Sheet 160) before exposure, or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP, see Fact Sheet 156) within 72 hour of exposure.
A HIV person who takes medications and has an undetectable viral load is much less likely to infect others.
UNSAFE ACTIVITIES Unprotected sex has a high risk of spreading HIV.
The greatest risk is when blood or sexual fluid touches the soft, moist areas (mucous membrane) inside the rectum, vagina, mouth, or at the tip of the penis.
THE BOTTOM LINE HIV infection can occur during sexual activity. Odefsey (rilpivirine emtricitabine tenofovir alafenamide)110. IAPAC Guidelines for Optimizing the HIV Care Continuum111. Increasing HIV testing coverage and linkage to care You can print this fact sheet on a single page in Microsoft Word (.doc) format or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.
Sex is safe only if there is no HIV, no blood or sexual fluids, or no way for HIV to get into the body. Click on the links below to open the document in your browser and then print it.
SAFE ACTIVITIES Safe activities have no risk for spreading HIV. Sex with just one partner is safe as long as neither one of you is infected and if neither one of you ever has sex or shares needles (see Fact Sheet 154).
Fantasy, masturbation, or hand jobs (where you keep your fluids to yourself), sexy talk, and non-sexual massage are also safe.
HIV can be transmitted when infected fluid gets into someone’s body. If you and your partners are not infected with HIV, there is no risk.
An “undetectable viral load” (see Fact Sheet 125) does NOT mean “no HIV infection.” If there is no contact with blood or sexual fluids, there is no risk.
If you already have HIV, these diseases can be more serious.