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Why is hetero vaginal intercourse still said to be risky?

Jul 28, 2010

Please note I am not trying to stir anything up or disrespect gay people. I am really interested in finding out why hetero vaginal sex is said to be risky.

The stats according to wikipedia are about 1/2000 for insertive and 1/1000 for receptive. If you look at the studies, they seem to show drug users who have risky lifestyles and the transmissions are when there are additional complications such as lesions on the penis or vagina that increase the risk.

Taking this into account, and the fact that most people don't have HIV anyway, it seems that the risk of catching it from a non drug user is miniscule, smaller than many other risks people happily take every day.

I have lots of respect for people involved in safe sex work and what they do for people. However it seems that straight people who are not addicted to drugs are being told that sex is a life threatening risk and being asked to restrict their sexual satisfaction for their whole lives for little reason.

I'm not close minded and genuinely interested if there is a counter argument.



Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello J,

Worldwide there are over 34,000,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. The vast majority acquired the virus via "hetero vaginal sex" and were not drug users. The estimates of per-act statistical risk that you quote can be very misleading. Please note it's possible to become "positively charged" with a single episode of unprotected hetero-vaginal sex. However, it's also important to note that many HIV exposures do not lead to viral transmission. This is due to many factors involved with HIV transmission: viral factors (viral strain, viral load, etc.) and host factors (immune system integrity, partner's use of effective antiretroviral therapy, local trauma, concurrent illnesses, etc.).

No one is saying sex is a life-threatening risk. Rather what we are saying is that unsafe sex places you at significant risk for STDs, including HIV.

J, I would suggest you peruse the information on this site and read the testimonials of folks who acquired the virus via uncomplicated hetero-vaginal sex. I'll also point out a new infection occurs every 9.5 minutes in the US. Think about it J. Is it worth the risk? Only you can decide.

Dr. Bob

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