Unprotected Sex vs. Protected

Question

Dr. Ryan, Based upon the entire board here, it seems most the people who are worried are at low risk. Has there been any studies as to the number of people in the US who practice safe sex vs. the number who don't and what the tranmission rates are.

Basically - it seems that you hardly ever see someone post about unprotected sex. Do these types of people just not worry? I can't believe the 60 or more of the population practices safe sex. That would seem just too high.

What are your thoughts and can you give some input.

I am in the window period and had unprotected hetero-sex as the insertive male. So of course I am worried, but I am frustrated with seening all these posts from people who had protected sex.

Doesn't seem logical for someone to think protected means anything other than PROTECTED..

Answer

It's impossible to determine the frequency of condom use in the U.S. We have good ideas of condom use among certain populations in certain regions, and it is possible to generalize those findings to other populations, but it's complicated to figure out what everyone does. However, there are reliable statistics out there about transmission rates. See the
CDC's website.

It is pretty clear these days what puts one at the greatest risk for infection (during sexual contact): having unprotected anal or vaginal sex with an HIV infected person. It seems that a lot of people who visit this forum are more concerned about the gray areas (like oral sex), or need education about ways that HIV is not transmitted. Information and education is important, regardless of the risks involved.

RMK