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Author Topic: HIV among lesbians/bisexual  (Read 5587 times)

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Offline Anne79

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HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« on: February 16, 2009, 01:54:13 AM »
Hi,

I was staying overnight at my friends house and I "borrowed" her razor.  Since we were going out and I didn't want to get any cuts I gently used it on my armpits.  I drew no noticeable blood from them.  I am pretty sure my friend did not use the razor within the hours before that.

Later that night my friend told me things that she had done sexually, including orgies without condoms.  Well then I recalled that I had used her razor and I am now worried.  Of course I read the internet sites and came across information that you can get hiv from sharing razors.  But had she not used it in the hours before me, and I drew no noticeable blood, shouldn't I be save?

Do I even need to be tested?  And no I don't know my friends current status.  I know she tested negative in September, but I also no that she had sex without using condoms with another couple in November.

Can anybody answer my question?


Offline HIVworker

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  • HIV researcher
Re: HIV from razor?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 02:31:05 AM »
You should absolutely NOT test for this. HIV does not spread by passing razors. Please read the lessons section of this forum on how HIV is spread. I am not sure which internet site you have come by that says you can get HIV from a razor, but that is totally untrue. There are many studies that show this.

Please don't test for this, or worry about it. HIV does not last very long outside the body and even if your friend were HIV positive (which you don't know) then you wouldn't get it from them.

There are plenty of studies with HIV positive people who live with HIV negative people that back this conclusion up. Please read the lessons section. It was put together by HIV experts and is correct.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline Anne79

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Re: HIV from razor?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 02:39:17 AM »
Thank you hivworker, you made me smile   ;) 

I just wanted to add as well that I think all the moderators as well as yourself and others like you (I don't know if you are a moderator or not), do so much for people like myself who may have a worry concerning some aspect of HIV.

I hope you have a great day!

Offline Anne79

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HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2009, 06:25:05 PM »
Hi there,

On this site there are a lot of questions from men who have sex with men. 

Being a bisexual woman I am a little confused on the risk one woman has for HIV when performing cunninglus on another woman. 

Is the woman performing cunninglus at risk for HIV (if their partner has it)?
Is the woman receiving cunninglus at risk for HIV?

I have read the lessons section on how HIV is transmitted, and I have read about the studies done among sero-discordant couples.  Yet I am still a little confused as I am unsure if the lessons and/or studies are talking about fellatio AND cunninglus.

Could anybody help me clarify this, as I find it all confusing,

Thanks a Million! 8)

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2009, 07:09:57 PM »
Anne,

I've merged your new thread into your original thread - where you should post all your additional thoughts or questions. It helps us to help you when you keep all your additional thoughts or questions in one thread.

If you need help finding your thread when you come here, click on the "Show own posts" link under your name in the left-hand column of any forum page.

Please also read through the Welcome Thread so you can familiarize yourself with our Forum Posting Guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.


Neither giving or receiving cunnilingus is a risk for hiv infection.

Here's what you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection:

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009, 07:13:54 PM »
Anne, the question of risk in performing cunnilingus is really more in terms of theoretical risk rather than actual. I've never known of transmission to happen by giving cunnilingus. For one thing, your saliva has over a dozen elements which act as a very effective barrier to the transmission of viable HIV. Also, the female fluids which would have HIV are in the cervical area which is significantly further up in the vaginal cavity and away from where cunnilingus is performed.  

However, having said that I will add that common sense dictates that if the receiver is menstruating or the giver has bad oral care or a very fresh open wound in her mouth, then giving cunnilingus should be avoided.

Receiving cunnilingus is like a man receiving oral. I don't know of a single documented case of transmission in that manner.

The real and proven risks for HIV transmission sexually are via unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline Anne79

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Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 07:28:10 PM »
Hi Anne and Andy

LOL!  I am so sorry, I thought I was supposed to start a NEW thread when discussing a new concern.

Thanks for your replies however, its pretty much what I thought but I wanted to be sure.  

It is only this year I have had the courage to "come out", so I don't have many people I can talk to about being bi-sexual and the risks involved when being with another woman.  


No the woman I performed the oral sex on was not on her period.  Truthfully I don't think she even ejaculated.  The reason I say this is that it was my first time being with another woman....so if women ejaculate anything like men do than I imagine I would have known. 

When I myself orgasm I barely let out any ejaculate (okay I know thats personal, but I am just trying to share where my thinking is coming from), however I imagine all women are different.

I have no idea if my partner had an open wound in her mouth, but I don't imagine she did.  There is really no way for me to know though.  As for my own oral hygiene I was at the dentist this summer and only had one cavity and there was no mention of gingivitis.  The cavity was filled and I brush my teeth like I should, so thats safe.   ;D

As for her having sores in her mouth, well I really don't think she did....but we didn't play dentist beforehand, so one can't be sure   ::)  However I had no sores in my vaginal area.

Okay I will stop here, thanks for all your replies you have helped clear some things up for me!   ;)






Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009, 08:02:09 PM »
Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough, but the concern about open sores, oral care and such would not be for the person who is receiving cunnilingus.

It would be for the person giving it as theoretical potential means of transmission TO her.
Andy Velez

Offline Anne79

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cunniglus-high viral load
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 12:07:41 AM »
Is going down on another woman who may have a high viral load a risk for hiv infection?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: cunniglus-high viral load
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 04:59:58 AM »
Return to your original thread where your questions have already been answered.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 06:22:27 AM »
Annie,

Once again, I've merged your new thread into your original thread - get with the program already!

If you need help finding your thread when you come here, click on the "Show own posts" link under your name in the left-hand column of any forum page.

Please also read through the Welcome Thread so you can familiarize yourself with our Forum Posting Guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.



The viral load does not change what we've already told you. Going down on a woman is NOT a risk for hiv infection!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Anne79

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 07:03:44 AM »
Ok sorry for about posting incorrectly again.   :-[

Okay here is my predicament.  I called the HIV hotline in the country which I live, and they told me that although the risk of receiving HIV from performing cunnilingus is small, that it can still happen.

I actually told them about the studies pertaining to oral sex (in which one partner is positive and the other is negative) that I have read about on this site. 

I was told that in most of those studies the partners with hiv where on medication thus repressing their viral load.  And because of that the studies really don't show much about the risks of oral sex as its not even likely to get hiv from penetration when the viral loads are undetectable.

So I then talked to the guy about how it is the cervicovaginal fluid located way up in the vagina that is supposed to be infective, and the chances of coming into contact with that are slim.  Well the guy said that that is not true and that hiv could be found in other vaginal secretions.

Oh yeah he also told me that there have been studies in which microscopic pictures taken of the oral cavities of people who have gotten hiv orally and that in these pictures you can see whereabouts hiv entered the cell within the throat/mouth.

I asked him where I could find these studies, and he said that it was just a matter of googling it.  I cannot find ANYTHING about these so called studies, so I am hoping that this buddy was just confused.

Anyways I am sorry for bugging you guys with this, but it just seems like I am getting conflicting info.  I know you get a lot of people writing questions about the risks of oral sex, so if you don't feel like answering this I understand.  In the end I guess its up to me on whether or not I get a test for this incident.  I just wish I could clear my worries and avoid having to test. :-\

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 07:35:49 AM »
Annie,

I've never been able to find anything like the studies this guy told you about either, and believe me, I've been looking since 2001. He's also wrong about "most" of the people in the serodiscordant couple studies being on meds. There was a pretty good mix in all three studies.

I'm hiv positive, not on meds, and I have no problem whatsoever with someone who isn't poz going down on me. I know it's not a risk.

If this really worries you, you can always use a barrier like a condom split and opened length-ways or use some plastic food wrap. But, where hiv is concerned, this simply isn't necessary. You CAN get things like herpes or gonorrhea from giving a woman oral, so it's all going to depend on your own comfort level.

Ann


Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Anne79

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2009, 08:12:11 AM »
Thank you so much for your reassuring post Anne.

I was kind of hesitant about posting that information concerning (microscopic pictures), because I know that there are many people who write you guys about oral sex...and well I didn't want to feed other peoples worries.

I am thinking that a lot of my problem is guilt.  When I first, in February, gave oral sex to the person I was with (and consider high risk because of her background....she tested negative this past November but has been with men unprotected after that, and during the month before), I wasn't concerned.  But of course stupid me had to surf the internet and scare myself. 

Then I wrote to you guys and you consoled my fears and I was fine for a few months.......until I gave oral sex to my best friend (who is very low risk) in June.  Then I got concerned again....but not for me FOR HER. 

I know that receiving oral sex is also considered no risk, but I remember that while I was visiting (I was visiting her for a month) I bled at one point when I brushed my teeth....something I never do but I had bought a new toothbrush, and I think the bristles were a little harder then I was used to, and I also brushed my tongue.

So then I went through these thoughts again...and started thinking "what if I gave HER hiv because blood from my mouth got into the mucous membranes of her vagina (although I saw no cuts)?" 

Me having it would be one thing, but finding out I gave it to her would be unbearable, because we talked about HIV and I told her that from what I read there was no risk through oral and that I had only participated in oral since my last negative hiv test which was last year.

So anyways I emailed a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist today to see if I can get a time with her, because maybe that is what I really need.  Yeah I do worry she will make me do an HIV test, and I feel nauseous at the thought...but maybe that is what is needed to ease my anxiety and to prevent me going through all these worries again.

Okay so that's about it, and I do thank you for your post.  I hate to bug you guys but honestly I have nobody else to talk to right now about these concerns.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2009, 08:40:36 AM »
Annie,

Unless you've been having unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse that you haven't told us about, or omitted telling us about sharing drug injecting equipment, then you can fully expect any hiv test you take to return with negative results. Seriously.

And even when a person is poz, there's no way they're going to pass on their infection by giving someone oral sex or kissing them, not even if they've bled when they brushed their teeth. Not only is saliva not infectious, but it also contains over a dozen different proteins and enzymes that damage hiv and render it unable to infect.

You're worrying needlessly and it seems you realise that. Good move setting up a therapy appointment - CBT is a good tool to have in your life in general. Good luck with it.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Anne79

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  • Posts: 8
Re: HIV among lesbians/bisexual
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 09:03:14 AM »
Hey Ann,

Nope I haven't ommitted any information, there would be no point of that.

 I was just emailed the number of the therapist, so now its just to get the guts to call.  LOL!  It can be hard for me to speak on the phone especially since the language here is not my mother tongue.  But I know I have to do it, because this fear is ruining me.

Thanks for telling me about you not being on meds and not being afraid of oral, because that really helped me.

 


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