Women and HIV

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infects CD4 cells and uses them to make new copies of itself, which go on to infect more cells. The lower a person's CD4 count, the weaker their immune system will be.

Very low risk but NOT No risk

HIV is transmitted when blood, vaginal fluids (including menstrual blood), breast milk or semen from an HIV+ person enters your bloodstream.

It is true that only a handful of female-to-female HIV transmissions have been documented. The route possibly being sex toys, used vigorously enough to cause exchange of blood-tinged body fluids.

Lesbians are fortunate enough to be in the lowest risk and it’s very rare for women to transmit HIV to each other sexually.

Each woman must assess the risks for herself and decide how she’s going to conduct her sex life. Many of us consider monogamy to offer all the ‘safety’ we need sexually. Although it can’t protect against HIV if someone already carries the virus.

Sexual identity does not necessarily predict behaviour. Just stay aware and enjoy what and who you do!

Safety first

Safer sex for women who have sex with women is a personal choice. If you are concerned you may want to follow the following tips:

  • Use protection during oral sex. Dental dams, cut up condoms, or cling film can be used to minimise contact with fluids during oral sex
  • Don’t share sex toys, or if you chose to, make sure you use a new condom every time it enters a new hole!
  • Cuts on hands create risk during vaginal masturbation/ fisting so you may want to use latex gloves
  • Rough sex is safe if there is no blood involved
  • If you are piercing each other then disinfect the needle and body areas
  • If shaving the vaginal area, do not share razors