Safer Sex Guide

Understanding risk by sex act

Kissing

(with tongue)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Herpes (HSV)   Gonorrhea Chlamydia
    Syphilis Hep B
    HPV HIV

To reduce your risk...

Avoid kissing if you or your partners have sores on the lips or mouth, or if one of you has an active oral infection (such as a herpes outbreak).


Fingering and hand jobs

(fingerjob, fingerfucking, mutual masturbation)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
    Syphilis Gonorrhea
    Herpes (HSV) Chlamydia
    Hep B HIV
    HPV  

Getting cunnilingus

(oral sex, licking pussy, eating out, going down)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Herpes (HSV)   Chlamydia HIV
HPV   Gonorrhea  
Syphilis   Hep B  

To reduce your risk...

Cover your vagina with a barrier such as an oral dam or cut condom.


Giving cunnilingus

(oral sex, licking pussy, eating out, going down)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Herpes (HSV)   Chlamydia  
HPV   Gonorrhea  
Syphilis   HIV*  
    Hep B  

To reduce your risk...

Cover your partner's vagina with a barrier such as an oral dam or cut condom.

*Learn more about how to lower the chance of HIV passing during sex


Getting fellatio

(oral sex, blow job, getting head, headjob, blowing, going down)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Chlamydia   Hep B HIV
Gonorrhea      
HPV      
Herpes (HSV)      
Syphilis      

To reduce your risk...

Use a condom on your penis.


Giving fellatio

(oral sex, blow job, getting head, headjob, blowing, going down)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Chlamydia   Hep B  
Gonorrhea   HIV*  
HPV      
Herpes (HSV)      
Syphilis      

To reduce your risk...

Use a condom on your partner's penis.

*Learn more about how to lower the chance of HIV passing during sex


Giving and getting anilingus

(rimming, eating ass, eating out)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Hep A   Chlamydia HIV
Hep B   Gonorrhea  
Herpes (HSV)      
HPV      
Syphilis      

To reduce your risk...

Cover the anus with a barrier such as an oral dam or cut condom.


Penis-vagina intercourse

(fucking) insertive and receptive

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Chlamydia   Hep C  
Gonorrhea      
Hep B      
Herpes (HSV)      
HIV*      
HPV      
Syphilis      

To reduce your risk...

Use a condom.

*Learn more about how to lower the chance of HIV passing during sex


Penis -anus intercourse

(butt fucking, anal sex) insertive and receptive or bottoming and topping

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
Chlamydia Hep C    
Gonorrhea      
Hep B      
Herpes (HSV)      
HIV*      
HPV      
Syphilis      

To reduce your risk...

Use a condom.

*Learn more about how to lower the chance of HIV passing during sex


Sharing sex toys

(dildos, vibrators and other toys)

Commonly passed Can be passed Not commonly passed Not passed
  Chlamydia    
  Gonorrhea    
  Hep B    
  Hep C    
  Herpes (HSV)    
  HIV*    
  HPV    
  Syphilis    

To reduce your risk...

  • Wash sex toys thoroughly with soap or disinfectant before and after each use.
  • Use a new condom on inserted toys (such as dildos) for each partner. Make sure you change the condoms between partners.
  • Place a condom or oral dam between a vibrator and the skin.

*Learn more about how to lower the chance of HIV passing during sex