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"Safer" sex is always the correct term because there's never zero risk The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Jan 7, 1997

"Safer" sex is always the correct term because there's never zero risk. If behavor change is an aim, how can people be expected to modify their behavior when they can't even change to use a correct term?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. There are some sexual activities that are safe sex, that is, 100% safe sex. These include:

Phone Sex. Cyber/Computer Sex. Solo Masturbation. Sex with an uninfected person.

These are totally safe sexual activities, where there would be no risk of infection with HIV, nor other STD's.

Safer sex involves sexual activities that do pose a risk, but it's a very small risk. Safer Sex activities for HIV include:

Mutual Masturbation. Receiving oral sex. Kissing. Sexual activities where a condom is used consistently and correctly. Sexual activities involving exposure to saliva, sweat, and urine.

However keep in mind that activities that may be low risk for HIV, may be high risk for other STD's.

High Risk (unsafe) sexual activities for HIV and other STD's include:

Unprotected vaginal intercourse (both partners) Unprotected anal intercourse (both partners) Giving oral sex, especially if semen, vaginal secretions or menstrual blood gets into the mouth.

Now, I must add that these are just general guidelines for HIV sexual risks. But I will have to differ with you in that there are some sexual activities that are 100% safe, as discussed above.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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