Auntyji says, ‘Arre, to begin with, why is all risk about HIV linked with a sex worker...chalo let’s talk!’
Lower than most
So beta Uday, let me relieve your worry first – that in itself the chances of HIV only through oral sex are rather low. There are various theories on this – you will find many similar and yet contrary arguments on the same.
But unless there is a very affected oral hygiene condition – that there are deep enough wounds, bleeding gums, cuts on the mouth or genitals – the chances are considered lower than other acts of sex. As of now, your risk also seems low, if none of the aforementioned conditions exist.
In the scheme of things
Nonetheless, ought one just sit pretty thinking you are absolutely safe? Perhaps not. An exposure is an exposure – it’s better to get tested. So say for instance, oral sex during periods can be more risky than when there is no blood contact – obviously.
Similarly, ejaculate during oral sex – coupled with any genital or oral sore, wound cut or any ‘port of entry’ – can be seen as more compromising. Hence I always say, rather than make guesses and depend on internet searches of all kinds – get a test periodically, whatever the risks. Keep ahead.
Testing for HIV/ STDs and Hepatitis will keep you feeling much more relaxed and in a better space. Did you know that many young people write and ask us – about testing, expressing their fears and doubts – could they have contracted HIV or any other infection and the answer is always one – get tested.
People can make themselves so upset and sick, depressed and fearful thinking they may be infected – and while we can assess risks, testing always clears doubts and puts fears to rest.
Pass the blame
Also, the issue is a little deeper for me to explore beta. Why is all risk always associated with sex workers – as if they are the major vector of the infection? I tell you they are at equal, if not more risk and this is a bit of an unfair attitude to have – I would say.
No one seems to be worried nor bothered about the sex workers’ health! What if something gets passed on to the sex worker? Maybe we all need to wake up to that call too. Waise bhi – sex workers have been very mindful in trying to safe guard themselves from getting infected – by using safety measures like condoms and regular check - ups – after all they are at risk too.
Keep it safe - hamesha
Even in oral sex – you can use protection. People don’t usually choose this option – for the sake of pleasure they say. But if in doubt – consider it – is what I’d say. Do you know that apart from the good old dental dam (used more in dental procedures), you can also cut through a new condom through the centre. And voila! When you open it up – you have something that looks something like a rectangle piece of latex which can be placed on the vagina or anus during oral sex.
Choose any funky colour, taste or even fragrance – as you like it – and as your partner likes it! Sex is always fun when safe.
To protect the identity, names have been changed.