HIV Risk Factors

Sexual Acts

 High Risk
 Moderate Risk
 Very Low Risk
Act Male/Male Male/Female Female/Female
French Kissing 1      
Licking breasts/nipples      
Licking Penis 2      
Licking Vagina (Cunnilingus) 2      
Licking Anus (Rimming) 3,10      
Licking (non sexual parts of the body) 4      
Sucking breasts/nipples 4      
Sucking Penis (Fellatio) 5,10      
Sucking Vagina 5,10      
Sucking Anus (Deep rimming) 3,10      
Sucking (non sexual parts of the body) 4      
Penile penetration of Vagina (without condoms) 5      
Penile penetration of Anus (sodomy without condoms or bare backing) 5      
Inserting penis in Mouth without condoms 5      
Inserting substantial part of hand into Anus (fisting) 4,14      
Penis rings / ball/scrotum rings      
Using dildoes Vagina 4,6      
Using dildoes Anus 4,6      
Butt plugs / Butt balls 4,6      
Inserting objects not designed for anal or vaginal purposes 13      
Inserting substantial part of hand into Vagina (fisting) 4,14      
Biting hard 8      
Nibbling (light biting, NO blood or marks) 4      
Urination games onto partner 4      
Urinating in partner's mouth 7,10      
Urinating in partner's anus 5,7,10      
Faeces - any act with, accidental or deliberate 5      

Non-Sexual Acts

 High Risk
 Moderate Risk
 Very Low Risk
Act Male/Male Male/Female Female/Female
Sado-masochism 8      
Enemas 6      
Drug use IV 8,9      
Drug use Nasal 6      
Drug use Inhaled      
Poppers 15      
Shaving 12      
Body Piercing 8,9      
Tattoos 8,9      
Circumcision 8,9      
Subincision 8,9      
Excision 8,9      
Scarification 8,9      
Blood Exchange rituals (Blood Brothers/Sisters) 8,9      
Blood/plasma Transfusions 11      


1 Exchange of saliva seems to represent low risk for HIV; but state of gums may play a role in HIV penetration. Other STDs associated with kissing exist. Current thinking is that about a pint of saliva must be exchanged to present a statistical risk of HIV transmission
2 Presence of rash or open wounds may ease penetration of HIV through skin of penis or vagina also indicative of other STDs
3 Anal membrane carries germs (bacteria) and viruses; body fluids excreted may carry pathogens, including HIV, and Hepatitis.
4 Safe as long as no rash or open wounds.
5 High risk because of combined factors: exchange of body fluids, compounded by open rashes or wounds, and undiagnosed or untreated STDs, such as syphilis, herpes, clamydia,  gonorrhoea, and HIV. The rectal wall allows the transmission of the HIV virus whether there is an injury or not. Research has proven that infective agents in the rectum can and do infect the body. Condoms should always be used when the partner's sexual history is not 100% known and they have not tested clear of HIV infection.
6 Safe as long as tools are thoroughly cleansed before each use. Preferably, each partner should have his/her own private set. Beware tools which are overly large for the orifice. Anything which can cause a tear is a potential danger.
7 Urine does not seem very good environment for HIV, but it does carry other infectious diseases. However, unless the disease is transmittable via urine, it is also sterile at time of emission. Stale urine harbours bacteria.
8 Creating wounds, welts, or any rupture of skin integrity GREATLY enhances infection potential, including HIV. All tools used must be thoroughly sterilized and used only on a single person between sterilization.
9 Any blood exchange is highly risky. This includes blood transfusions in many countries.
10 Proper use of condom or dental dam reduces risks by 95 %
11 Many factors may influence risk: Quality of control of blood and plasma banks varies widely from country to country. If surgery is planned, ask for autologous transfusions and have your own blood stored in view of the incoming surgery.
12 Use electric rather then blades; do not share. Risk is irritation of skin or cuts. If unused to shaving, even an electric razor may cause a rash which can allow infections to pass.
13 Candles, bottles, and other strange objects have been retrieved from anus (or vagina for that matter) by emergency room doctors. It may be tempting, but it's unsafe! Unsafe because object may break, tear the inner linings, or carry infectious agents. Of these objects the candle is the safest for it harbours no sharp corners, and the body's temperature will soften the sharp edges of a breakage. A "normal" size candle broken or lost inside the rectum may be easily expelled at the next bowel movement. Lack of such an explusion will mean a definite trip to the hospital. A portion of candle lost in the vagina must be removed. Surface imperfections mean that a shared candle is dangerous, since it will carry potential infective agents from one partner to another
14 How about using surgical gloves? Better be safe then sorry.
15 Causes carcinomia, destroys haemoglobin, and, in lab animals, affects immune system on a long term basis (about 10 years human to animal ratio). Althrough poppers do not induce aids, they may facilitate HIV's task. Why is this section coded green? Because this document focusses on HIV and STDs transmission, not on all diseases.


Not all condoms are born equal. Be aware that condoms made of animal tissues (so called 'natural') are totally inadequate at preventing HIV propagation. So are 'fancy' thin condoms. They have a higher break ratio then thicker ones. Use latex condoms, or, if allergic, use synthetic latex ones. Yea, I know, they taste bad, but you can get flavoured ones that are efficient.

Before use, verify date of expiration. Latex, even in sealed packages, can get dry or winded. Out of date (even by a day): discard. Hey, you are playing with your life.

Check integrity of package. If not intact: discard.

Unpack some 5 minutes before use (minimum) to let the condom breath. Unroll partly, dab a bit of lube inside. It will ease the installation. Its not in the rush of action that the unpacking should be done.

Leave the tip of the condom loose. It is to collect sperm.

To dispose, roll down slightly until it slips off, and then close and discard, ideally without handling the contents. While semen is not inherently dangerous we are discussing HIV infection prevention.

Do not put two on, one over the other. The friction between them will increase risk of rupture or tear.


Use water-based lubricants. Oil-based (Vaseline) lubricant dissolve the latex condom, the dam, or the gloves and make them porous. Use lubricant inside as well as outside the condom. This will reduce skin irritation.

Lubricants containing nonoxynol-9 (N-9) spermicide are not to be used: they destroy the vaginal and anal linings. KY+ is such a case. [Regular K-Y IS FINE. KY+ carries a spermicide. Do not confuse the two] This increases the risk of transmission; furthermove, N-9 is a solvent and attacks the latex and causes irritations.