Couples against aids

EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network http://www.europrofem.org 

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Couples against aids

Freedom without risk

This study was conducted by a work group which consists of "non-conformist" men and women, couple-swingers or not, as well as specialists in the fight against AIDS such as doctors who are members of this association.

June 1996

Risk-free sexual relations, is that possible ? sexual relations, is that possible ?

Yes, if there is absolutely no contact between contaminant "body fluids" and the "entry points" for the virus into the organism.

When one speaks about contaminant "body fluids" and "entry points", what exactly does that mean ?

The only body fluids which can contain enough of the virus to cause infection is the blood (including menstruation) and secretions during sexual relations : sperm, and to a lesser extent, seminal liquid (the drops before ejaculation), vaginal secretions and breast milk.

But the virus can only penetrate the body through certain certain entry points that play a key role : the skin and oral mucous, except for cuts, are not entry points for AIDS. The mucous walls of the vagina, the tip of the uterus, the uterus, the glans, the urethra (the urinary tract) and the rectum (the area after the anus) are entry points because they are covered with cells which allow the virus to penetrate through simple contact, without cuts or wounds.

What sexual activities are completely risk free ?

Hand and tongue caresses on the skin, masturbation, alone or in a group. Massages, rubbing bodies against each other, nipple stimulation, unshared sexual toys, erotic baths and showers, strip-teases, minitel, or pornographic films.

Other activities involve a higher risk factor.

Anal or vaginal penetration increases the risk of transmitting the HIV virus. If ejaculation occurs, the risk increases for persons who have been penetrated. Blood from periods (menstruation), are more infectous than vaginal secretions and increase the risk for the man who penetrates. Anal penetration is the highest-risk activity, in the sense that anal tissue is thinner and permeable.

Furthermore, any irritation or infection of the genital organs and of the anus can facilitate the transmission of HIV.

In case of any irritation, even moderate, a doctor should be consulted.

Any sexual activity that can cause bleeding also increases the risks (anal fist-fucking or arm-fucking, and washing of the rectum before sex).

In any case, it is essential to use a condom for each penetration and to always have extras on hand in case of an accident (tearing or bursting) or of double penetration during sex. If vaginal penetration follows anal penetration, another condom must be used to prevent vaginal infection by intestinal germs.

Can you perform or receive oral sex without risk ?

Fellatio belongs to one of the risk-groups that have yet to be proved or disproved. Nevertheless, it's a sexual act that for now is considered low-risk.

Is it less risky to receive oral sex or to perform it ?

Both have risks, even if they are minimal. The mouth, like the sexual organs, can contain small lesions. If the person giving oral sex is HIV-positive, a small amount of blood could exist in the mouth and get mixed with the saliva which can then be a potential contaminant fluid. And if the sexual organ receiving oral sex has any micro-lesions, then the risk-factor increases.

If the person getting oral sex is HIV-positive, he should defintely not ejaculate into the mouth of his partner which could become a point of entry in case of gingivitis, excessive brushing of the teeth, infections or dental work.

Is there any danger in swallowing the sperm ?

Any risk during fellatio will increase if an ejaculation into the mouth occurs. The esophagus is a mucous membrane. It can be irritated and carry lesions. The same goes for the throat and stomach when ulcerous.

If you get some sperm in your mouth, what should you do ?

Spit it out, wash your mouth out, but avoid brushing your teeth before or after fellatio so as to not create any lesions in the gums.

But many men and women don't use condoms during oral sex.

Isabelle De Vincenzi, a French specialist in AIDS, says "the risk of fellatio without a condom is comparable to the risk of penetration with a condom." It's the same type of risk that a condom could burst during a protected penetration.

We know that the number of "accidents" with condoms diminishes with the habit of wearing them and with the systematic application of gels which are non-grease and water-based during anal and vaginal penetration if the natural lubrication isn't enough. It's also more enjoyable for the person being penetrated.

And for the comfort of the penis..., putting a drop of water-based gel on the glans or inside the tip of the condom before putting it on allows for a more agreable contact with the latex.

So, no vaseline then ?

No, vaseline and all grease-based products (suntanning products, olive oil, natural or not, butter, etc.) are strongly advised against since they leave the latex or rubber more fragile.

Any other advice on how to avoid rupturing a condom ?

Yes. The condom should only be placed on an erected penis. If the erection changes, it's better to switch condoms so that the penis always remains entirely covered and that the condom doesn't get twisted.

Is there any danger in licking a woman's vagina ?

A woman's vaginal secretions are the vector or carrier of the virus. It's like fellatio. There can be a risk involved, especially if there are lesions in the mouth or if the woman is having her period.

Is there any danger involved in licking the anus ?

Like cunnilingus, there is some risk, especially if the mouth or anus has a cut.

Is there less risk in licking or being licked ?

For cunnilingis and anulingis, it's the same as fellatio. The transmission is possible in both. However, studies have yet to prove that these acts alone could be contaminants for the HIV virus. Other sexually transmitted diseases, or STD, such as herpes, hepatitis B, syphylis and gonorrhea can be contracted that way.

SPECIFIC RISKS RELATED TO COUPLE-SWINGERS

In the case of succcessive or multiple penetrations, the condom must be changed between each partner so as to avoid mixing their vaginal and anal secretions, and so as to prevent the HIV virus or STD from travelling from one person to another. Those who have been penetrated can infect each other without knowing it, via the person who is doing the penetrating and who is completely protected against any risk.

Furthermore, many women who are "non-conformist" complain of contracting STD through-repetition.

Is it safe to perform oral sex on one person after another ?

It means increasing the odds of contamination. Secretions containing HIV or STD can be passed on from one genital area to another. There is a "carry" risk from one person to another. The best way to eliminate any risk is by using a new condom for each fellatio or by cutting the condom into a square shape for each cunnilingus performed.

Is it alright to put your finger in one vagina or anus after another ?

The person using his or her finger doesn't risk anything if the finger doesn't have any lesions. However, that person can cause the STD or HIV to travel from one person to another. It might be a good idea to folow the motto : "one opening, one finger". In other words, use a different finger for each different penetration. But since you only have ten fingers, it's a good idea to wash your hands (soap and water is preferable) or to use latex gloves.

What advice is there for penetration using sexuel toys such as a vibrator ?

You should use a new condom for each penetration with a dildo which should be lubricated with a non-grease gel.

And for sado-masochism ?

You should avoid all physical contact, direct or indirect (toys, whips) with blood.

And hepatitis B ?

The Hepatitis B virus is transmitted more easily than HIV. However, as with the transmission of HIV, there is a risk-scale factor involved.

When you develop Hepatitis B, can you die ?

Hepatitis, nine out of ten times, cures itself and most of the times goes unnoticed. But in 10 percent of the cases, the hepatitis can become serious and can develop into chronic hepatitis and, in the long run, into a degradation of the liver and cirrhosis or cancer. Nevertheless, in one out of 1000 cases, the hepatitis can become acute and be deadly. Therefore, if you go to partner-swinging clubs, it's strongly advised to get a screaning test, to chek if you are immune, and if not, to be vaccinated. There is a vaccination available which is reimbursed through Social Security.

Can you get Hepatitis B by kissing someone or drinking in someone else's glass ?

There isn't any proof but we do know that there are a certain number of cases of hepatitis which are unexplained. So there is the possibility of contracting it through saliva (or by micro-lesions). The risk of getting it from saliva is very slim but it can't be excluded as a possibility. A deep kiss where saliva is exchanged could indeed be a vector for hepatitis.

Does the HIV virus die right away in open air ?

Everything depends on the area and the context. If the air is very dry, if it's hot, if it's just a small trace of sperm which has dried quickly, then it dies very fast. If there's a large blood stain or a large amount of sperm, and if the air is humid, it will survive for a long time. But anyway, it is much more fragile a virus in the open air than Hepatitis B.

Is there any risk of transmission of venerial diseases or of AIDS by sitting on a seat where someone has ejaculated ?

Yes, if the genital organs are in direct contact with the area where someone has just ejaculated. Or if the sperm is still fresh.

And on the beach ?

You can't get AIDS by sitting on the beach. But you do risk getting other germs which can cuse irritations such as mycosis.

Where can you get tested for HIV ?

You can be tested for free in screening centers which are public and anonymous. You can obtain the address of the center closest to you by calling AIDS Info Service at 05 36 66 36 (the number is toll-free).

In any case, it is highly recommended for all men and women who are non-conformist and for those who take part in couple-swinging and for those who don't, to be tested for HIV to know whether they are positive or negative. And don't forget that the test doesn't cover the last three months.

"Couples Against AIDS" wishes you a happy holiday.

AIDS information number :

AUSTRIA : 0222 402 23 53

BELGIUM : 078/15 15 15

DENMARK : 33 91 11 19

FINLAND : 9800 2437

FRANCE : 05 36 66 36

GERMANY : 0221 99 20 31

GREECE : 01 723 99 20 31

IRELAND : 021 27 66 76

ITALY : 1678 61061

LUXEMBURG : 40 62 51

NETHERLANDS : 06 02 222 20

PORTUGAL : 05 00 66 66

SPAIN : 91 531 10 19

UNITED KINGDOM : 0800 567 123

SWEDEN : 020 78 44 40

SWITZERLAND : 01 461 15 16

NORWAY: 800 34 000

To help support us, to be informed, become a member of "Couples Against AIDS".

Memership form :

Name :

First name :

Address :

Tel :

I would like to join "Couples Against AIDS" and have enclosed the amount of................F (100 F minimum).

This membership will only become official after approval by the Association's Council of Administration.

Please send to : "Couples Against AIDS", 21 rue Belfort, 69004 LYON

Tel : 72 00 87 36

 


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