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Safe sex, Safer Sex or No Sex ?

Jun 18, 2001

Dear Dr. Ryan. Very good work on this forum, hope you can keep on and help more people. I always practice safe sex, that mean whatever oral sex(Both giving and receiving) or anal sex (Receiving) all use condoms all the time. In addition, everytime whatever oral or anal sex is without any ejaculation. I always use mutal masturation to finish the sex play. I get tested once a year, until now, everything is fine (-ve). However, I really get tired of getting tested, since once upon a time, I went to see an Aids Counselor and talk to him about my situation, he still say whenever you have sex with an unknown person, even you have practice safe sex, you still need to get tested. I suddenly feel very disappointed, since if referring to the aids counselor, you can only have sex 4 times in a year, with 3 months as an interval (The test result is 99 accurate at 3 months.) Would you give me some guidlines whether I should contiune to practice safer sex (Safe sex ?) or no sex at all ? Thanks

Response from Mr. Kull

First of all, it sounds like you are doing all of the right things. You are doing your best to protect yourself from HIV infection by using condoms during oral and anal sex and you are getting antibody tested. It is highly unlikely that you would get HIV infected if you are using condoms for oral and anal sex and if they are used correctly. If no fluids that potentially carry HIV come into contact with your mucous membranes or bloodstream, then infection can't happen.

If you are a gay man in the United States, Europe, and some Western countries, you are more likely to come into contact with HIV when you have sex than many other people (remember, this is not true for people who live in Africa where heterosexual transmission predominates). For this reason, HIV counselors may suggest that a gay man gets HIV tested on a routine basis.

Please remember that getting HIV tested is a highly personal choice; no one can tell you what is right and wrong. If you feel that you are not at risk for infection and you are tired of getting tested, take care of yourself and take a break.


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