Mar 7, 2004
which risk is higher, having receptive anal sex with a gay man, or having insertive vaginal sex with a woman?
Response from Mr. Spinks
I'm glad you asked that very important question. I hear it all the time. But it's not who you are, but what you DO that puts you at risk for HIV and STDs.
What you may not know is that there's a difference in risk depending upon if you are the RECEPTIVE or INSERTIVE partner. So in order to answer this question effectively, lets look at RECEPTIVE vaginal sex (ie the female) and RECEPTIVE anal sex versus INSERTIVE vaginal and anal sex.
Research shows that the RECEPTIVE partner of anal sex is in the high-risk category for HIV infection. The potential transmission occurs when precum or cum stays inside the rectum (inside the ass), which, after intercourse, may have some torn or damaged tissue. So semen enters into the blood stream through these tiny tears in the tissue.
RECEPTIVE vaginal sex has similar risks...where tiny tears in the vagina allow infected semen to get into the bloodstream.
If you look at INSERTIVE vaginal or anal sex (this refers to the person who puts his penis into someone's ass or vagina), although categorized as high risk for HIV infection, it is not as risky as receptive sex (although it is still very risky). Research has shown that receptive anal sex is eight times more risky for HIV infection than insertive sexual contact. Both activities, of course, are equally as risky for other sexually transmitted diseases.
Nevertheless, if you were thinking about participating in either scenario, I'd encourage you to use a latex condom with water-based lubricant. Make sure the lubricant is without nonoxyonl-9, a spermicidal product that may cause irritation to mucous membranes and increase the risk of HIV transmission.
Take care and be safe!
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