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Confused about low risk

Question: 

Hello,

I know receiving oral is a negligible risk meaning so small as to be of no concern and that giving oral is low risk aswell as condom protective sex being low risk.

Why are protective condom sex and giving oral both classes as low risk?

Is they are both low risk, is it basically worry free to perform either?

I know there can be minor risks with condom breakage and with oral very very specific circumstances that can cause infection ( pre exsisting sti in the throat, poor oral health and poor overall health).

Are they both in the same risk level category?

Thanks you in advance for your reply.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as your source of HIV/AIDS related information.

Vaginal or anal sex with a condom and giving oral sex (either on a man or a woman) are both regarded as low risk activities because there is a potential for HIV transmission to occur as both activities may involve an exchange of bodily fluids under certain circumstances. These would be if the condom broke during intercourse or if a person had large cuts and sores in the mouth that could easily come into contact with the receptive person's bodily fluids, such as pre-cum, semen or blood.

The reason both are regarded as low risk activities is because only few reports of infection are attributed to these activities.

As both pose a low risk, HIV transmission is unlikely to occur but as a sexually active person engaging in these activities, it is a good idea to test for all STIs, including HIV, on a regular basis as part of a healthy lifestyle. Some people with regular testing cycles will test every few months, once a year or bi-annually, whatever suits the person best.

In Health,
Matthew
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer