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HIV: Risks of Sexual Contact - Topic Overview

During vaginal, oral, or anal sex, the receiving partner has the higher risk of getting infected with HIV. Men who allow other men to perform anal sex on them have the highest risk. The inserting male partner has a lower risk, but the risk increases if he is uncircumcised. Women who have vaginal or anal sex with infected men also have a risk of getting HIV. The risk decreases with the use of condoms.

HIV also can be transmitted through small sores in the mouth or bleeding gums during oral sex.

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HIV-positive women who are thinking about getting pregnant -- or already are pregnant -- have options that can help them stay healthy and protect their babies from becoming HIV-infected. Since the mid-1990s, HIV testing and preventive measures have resulted in more than a 90% decline in the number of children in the U.S. infected with HIV in the womb. And after three decades of research, doctors now understand how to craft a detailed plan to keep babies of HIV-positive women from getting the...

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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: April 05, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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