HIV: How Dangerous Are Different Types of Unprotected Sex?

Statistics from amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) show that close to 40 million people around the world are living with HIV and there are more than 2 million new infection cases every year. This data shows that HIV is a severe and widespread disease, and the worst part is that even the modern anti-HIV drugs don’t always save the patients’ lives.

no condom - no sexUnprotected sex is still the leading cause of the HIV infection, but many people do not seem to understand that most kinds of unprotected sex drastically increase their risk of getting the ailment. Below is a breakdown of the common types of unprotected sex and the dangers that they pose.

Vaginal Penetration

Unprotected vaginal intercourse is the most frequent method of HIV transmission. Contrary to what some women believe, it is highly possible to get HIV even if the penis does not ejaculate inside the vagina. The reason behind this is the fact that the virus is still present in the pre-ejaculate fluid. Deep or shallow insertion of the penis into a vagina also poses a high risk of infection for both partners.

Anal Penetration

Anal sex is about a penis penetrating the anus. The National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles estimates that more than 17% of the male adult population in the USA and more than 15% percent of women practice it at least occasionally. Sadly for people who enjoy anal sex, it has the highest risk of HIV infection than other types of unprotected sex. The increased chance comes from the fact that the anus lining is thin and hence more prone to tears, which raises the infection vulnerability.

Oral Sex

Oral sex is any activity that entails kissing and licking the vagina (cunnilingus), penis (fellatio) or the anus (anilingus). More than 75% of ladies and more than 77% of men have this type of sex at least once year. There is a risk of getting HIV if you are either receiving or giving oral sex, and this is because the virus can be present in the vaginal fluid and semen. The risk of getting the virus increases when those practicing it have some cuts or sores around the genital area or mouth. However, the risk of passing HIV is lower for oral sex as compared to vaginal and anal penetration.


Fingering also qualifies as a type of sex, and it entails inserting fingers into the partner's anus or vagina. Although it is not common for fingering to spread STIs, it is important to know that there are still some risks involved. If there are some sores or cuts on the fingers (and this is regardless of their size) the risk of passing HIV increases significantly. And so, with this kind of unprotected sex it is the broken skin that enhances the probability of passing HIV and other infections.