What is HIV?

Living with HIV

Sexually transmitted infections

Get tested

Protect yourself

Sex between men

What do you need to keep in mind about different ways of having sex?

Anal sex

The main difference between passive and active anal sex is, of course, the position, but the risk of infection is also different.

Passive anal sex

Passive anal sex is extremely risky in terms of the spread of all sexually transmitted diseases. The risk is the highest if your partner comes inside you. The mucous membrane of the anus absorbs fluids straight into the bloodstream and if there is HIV in the partner’s sperm, the virus will get absorbed straight into your blood. It’s important to know that precum also contains HIV.

Condoms are effective, but in some cases (genital herpes, genital warts), can still spread, especially if the condom does not cover the entire shaft of the penis up to the root.

Active anal sex

Active anal sex without a condom is a little less risky than passive anal sex, but the risk of infection still exists. Infections inside or around the anus can transmit to the top partner through his urethra.

Make sure you use lube, as there are no natural lubricating substances in the anus and the large intestine like there are in the vagina. So, you need to be careful, because it’s very easy to cause internal injuries and bacteria and viruses (such as HIV or hepatitis viruses) can get in the wounds.

How can risk be reduced? Always use a condom when having anal sex! If you’re having sex with several partners at the same time, use a new condom with each of them.

Fisting or fingering

Fisting is relatively safe, unless there are open wounds on the hands. It’s also not safe if you fist several partners one after the other and have the anal mucus or blood of a partner infected with HIV on your hands, as it may infect the other partners.

How can risk be reduced? Use, for example, medical rubber gloves.

Oral sex

Although oral sex is not as risky as anal sex, all sexually transmitted diseases can spread during this as well. Pathogens from the partner’s urethra end up in your throat and can cause an infection there. Also, the pathogens in your throat can spread into your partner’s urethra during oral sex.

The throat is not as susceptible to infections as the anus. The properties of saliva neutralise some infections, including HIV. Also, the mouth and the throat do not absorb fluids as effectively into the bloodstream as the mucous membrane of the anus.

The risk of becoming infected with HIV is minimal when your partner gives you oral sex, but you can contract other diseases, such as chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhoea, herpes and syphilis, much easier.

The risk of infection is higher if you have bleeding, scratched or injured gums, mouth sores or a throat infection. It’s also not advisable to brush your teeth immediately before giving oral sex.

How can risk be reduced? Always use a condom when having oral sex! Contracting HIV is rather unlikely if your partner doesn’t come in your mouth.

Rimming

The risks of rimming are related to faeces getting into the mouth. Hepatitis A is the disease most commonly contracted from rimming. Gonorrhoea and several intestinal infections also spread in this manner.

How can risk be reduced? Vaccination protects against infection with hepatitis A! Ask your GP about it.

Vaginal sex

The rules and risks of having sex with women are the same as when having sex with men. You can contract all sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, when having sex without a condom. It may seem unnecessary and annoying, but you should actually also use a condom when having oral or anal sex with a woman.

How can risk be reduced? Always use a condom!