‘How can I catch or pass on HIV?’

HIV is found in semen, pre-cum, anal mucous and blood. You can catch or pass on HIV if any of these fluids get into the bloodstream through sores, cuts or inflamed skin.

You are at risk from HIV…

  • if you have unprotected anal sex without condoms and lube, as the skin inside your anus can be easily torn allowing the HIV infection into your bloodstream
  • if you give oral sex and he ejaculates in your mouth
  • if you have cuts or sores in your mouth that could allow HIV to get into your blood
  • if you have rough sex, long sessions, fisting and fingering, and douches, which can all irritate the lining of the anus so it gets infected more easily
  • if you use drugs and alcohol that may stop you noticing any pain or bleeding.

Whether you are the receptive or active partner, you are still at risk of HIV if you have unprotected anal sex.

If you have an STI such as chlamydia, syphilis or gonorrhoea, then you will be more vulnerable to HIV.

Check out your HIV risk now

To reduce risk, always use condoms and lube

Get condoms that fit properly. Change the condom every 30 minutes during long sessions and use a fresh one for every partner. Put condoms on shared sex toys and wear latex gloves for fisting. Plenty of lube stops wear and tear on the anus and condoms.

If you know you have been taking risks and having unprotected sex, arrange to get an HIV test as soon as possible.

Condoms & lube

Find out how to stay healthy and still enjoy your sex life: