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What is safe sex?

Safe Sex

Safe sex is any sexual activity which prevents the transmission of possibly infected body fluids from one person to another. These body fluids are blood, semen and vaginal fluids.

Below is a list of sexual activities. They have been divided into categories according to their safety from infection by HIV or Hepatitis.

Safe Activities:

  • massage
  • hugging
  • kissing
  • body to body rubbing
  • sex toys, provided they are not shared
  • body kissing
  • mutual masturbation
  • any sexual activities that do not involve the sharing of body fluids
  • vaginal/anal intercourse with a condom

Less Safe Activities (with low risk of infection):

  • oral sex (using a latex barrier would reduce the risk)
  • fingering the vagina or anus when there is a cut or sore on the fingers

Unsafe Activities:

  • anal intercourse without a condom
  • vaginal intercourse without a condom
  • fisting (placing the hand or fist inside the rectum or vagina). This is likely to cause tears to the walls of the vagina or rectum sharing sex toys
  • oral/anal sex (rimming) This is particularly unsafe for transmission of Hepatitis A
  • having sex without a condom during a woman's menstrual period
  • having sex without a condom when someone has another sexually transmissible infection (eg chlamydia, herpes). HIV transmission is more likely at this time.

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