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What does it mean ‘safer sex‘? No sexual intercourse is 100% safe. Safer sex involves taking precautions that decrease the potential of transmitting / acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, through sex. Using male or female condoms correctly every time one has sex is considered safer sex.

Are condoms effective in preventing HIV transmission?

  • Quality-assured male and female condoms (preservatives and femidoms) are the only products currently available to protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. When used properly and regularly, condoms are a proven and effective means of preventing HIV infection in women and men.
  • However, apart from abstinence, no protective method is totally effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any infection. In order to achieve the protective effect of condoms, they must be used correctly all the time.

What is the female condom – Femidom?

  • The female condom is only female-controlled contraceptive barrier method currently on the market. The female condom is a strong, soft, transparent polyurethane sheath inserted in the vagina before sexual act. It entirely lines the vagina and provides protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV infection.

Is there a risk of getting HIV from kissing?

  • Transmission though kissing on the mouth carries virtually no risk; no evidence has been found that the virus is spread through saliva by kissing.

Is it safe for two HIV-positive individuals to have unprotected sexual intercourse exclusively with each other?

  • No, a re-infection with other types of HIV and the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases may occur. Use of male or female condoms always is advised, even when both partners are HIV-positive.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

May I have more than one STI at a time?

  • Yes, you can have more than one sexually transmitted infection at the same time. Each infection requires a specific treatment. You cannot become immune and you can catch the same infection multiple times.
  • STIs can increase vulnerability to the HIV infection.

When you are on ART, can you transmit HIV to others?

  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV does not prevent an HIV infected person from passing on the virus to others. It can keep viral load down to undetectable levels, but HIV is still present in the body fluids and can be transmitted to others through sexual contact, by sharing injecting equipment, or from mothers to childern during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

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“Basic Facts about Safer Sex and STIs”

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