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HIV & women who have sex with women

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Are you a woman who has sexual relations with women? Check out these specific HIV prevention tips and facts for you.


Women who have sex with women

As a woman who has sex with women (WSW), you may not always identify yourself as a lesbian, or bisexual. Many WSW had their first sexual experience with a man, have had multiple experiences with men, or still have sex with men.

Is HIV a risk?

  • HIV transmission is a risk between women, via fingering/fisting, oral sex and sharing sex toys.
  • The risk is lower than sex involving a man because less bodily fluids are exchanged between women.
  • Access regular sexual health check ups for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV testing.
Safer sex for WSW

Sex is safer when none of your partner’s bodily fluids (vaginal secretions, breast milk or blood including menstruation) enter your body. Ensure your partner’s fluids do not enter your vagina, mouth or any cuts.

Safe fingering
  • Wash hands before and after sex.
  • Use plenty of lube.
  • Use latex gloves, especially if you have a cut or sore on your hands.
Safe oral sex
  • Risk of HIV is minimal.
  • Avoid if there are cuts in the mouth, or the receiving partner is menstruating.
  • Use a dental dam, or condom cut open between the vagina/
    anus and mouth.
Safe sex toys
  • Wash sex toys before and after use and between partners.
  • Use a new condom every time sex toys are shared.
  • Use sex toys carefully to prevent drawing blood.
You have the right to
  • refuse sex,
  • have sex with women,
  • practice safer sex.
For more information please visit www.cdc.gov