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Guidelines for reducing the risk of contracting
AIDS during sexual contact.

- For Men & Women -

--- Prepared by The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality ---
(c) 1986

Page 1


This is a file about Sexual Management. This is a file about how you can
better manage your sexual interest, sexual actions and sexual negotiations in
the "Age of AIDS."

The several authors of this file have tried to be as honest as possible
in dealing with what is known and not yet known about Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome. The authors are sexologists who know a great deal about
human sexual functioning and who have attempted to be as specific as possible
in dealing with the relationship between sexual acts and Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome.

The responsibility for what you do sexually is ultimately up to you.
Sexologists know that regardless of anything else, people will do sexual
things. Indeed, the thesis of this file is that we want you to do sexual
things, but we want you to consider safe sexual activity.

Page 2


Introduction 1

[1] AIDS -- A Disease And Its Transmission 3
[A] How people become infected 4
[B] How people avoid becoming infected 4
[C] Who is at risk of infection? 5

[2] AIDS Prevention 6
[A] The Negative Approach 6
[B] The Positive Approach 6

[3] Men & Women Protecting Each Other -- "Safer Sex" 7
[A] The Guidelines (Unsafe/Possibly safe/Safe) 7-8
[B] Unsafe Sex - defined 9-10
[C] Possibly Safe Sex - defined 11-13
[D] Safe Sex - defined 14-16

[4] Living By The Guidelines 17

[5] How To Negotiate "Safer Sex" 18
[A] The "Safer Sex" Test 19
[B] Negotiating "Safe Sex" with Others 20
[C] Two conversations 21-23

[6] Especially For Teens 24-26

[7] Appendix 27
[A] "Safe Sex" Products and Where to Get Them 27
[B] HIS and HERS "Safe Sex" Cut-out Cards 28-29
[C] The Authors 30

Page 3


AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the name given to the final
and, so far, mostly fatal stage of a viral infection which destroys the body's
natural immune system. As a result, patients fall victim to one or several
opportunistic infections or may develop tumors, neurological disorders and
many other serious health problems. Very often the disease manifests itself
in a very dangerous lung infection (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) and/or a
form of skin cancer (Kaposi's sarcoma), which was formerly quite rare and slow
acting. It then afflicted mostly elderly men, but in AIDS patients it is now
rapid and devastating.

The virus responsible for AIDS has been named differently by various
researchers who discovered the virus independently (LAV -Montagier ][ HTLV-III
-Gallo ][ ARV -Levy), and it seems to have reached the modern, industrialized
world only a few years ago (possibly 1979, but speculation remains that the
virus may have been present in the late 1960's). There are some indications
that it first appeared in tropical Africa, where by now an enormous number of
cases in both men and women have been reported. The virus then seems to have
been carried to the Carribean, the United States, Europe, and the rest of the
world. However, this theory is not undisputed. The virus may also be older,
or it may have originated elsewhere.

There seems to be some evidence that an infection with the virus is, by
itself, not sufficient to cause AIDS, and that certain other factors (so-
called "co-factors") must be present, such as a previous weakening of the
immune system or some additional, other virus. It has even been suggested
that the AIDS virus itself might be nothing more than a co-factor. These and
many other questions still await further research.

It is still unclear how many of those infected with the virus will
develop AIDS, and if so, when. Moreover, it is by no means certain, only
likely that they will, throughout their lives, remain infectious to others.
On the other hand, many of the infected may never develop symptoms, i.e., they
may never develop the final & lethal stage of the disease. Still others may
develop a few light or severe symptoms after an indeterminate time. Even so,
they may never meet the clinical definition of AIDS.

Such "milder" cases, which can actually be very serious and can even lead
to death, are usually called ARC (AIDS-Related Conditions). At the present
time, there are no reliable statistics of ARC patients. Many knowledgeable
people, however, estimate their numbers to be about ten times as many as the
AIDS cases. Finally, it is estimated that the number of infected individuals
without any symptoms is again a hundred times as high as that of the ARC
patients. Thus, for every confirmed AIDS case, there seems to be about 10 ARC
patients and 1000 infected but otherwise healthy men and women.

The first thing to remember, therefore, is this:
/ \
| They may "catch" the AIDS virus, which then, over a period of time, may |
| or may not cause AIDS or ARC. At this time, we do not know if or when |
| this will happen to any particular infected person. It will probably |
| happen only to some of the infected, although they may all remain infect- |
| ious for life, i.e., capable of infecting others. |

Page 4


The AIDS virus has been found in virtually all bodily fluids of infected
individuals -- blood, semen, vaginal secretions, mother's milk, saliva, urine,
feces, even tears. An infection can occur when any of these bodily fluids
containing the virus enter the bloodstream of another person. This can happen
through direct contact from blood to blood (such as in blood transfusions or
the sharing of unsterilized hypodermic needles among intravenous drug users).
It can also happen if infected blood from an open wound comes in contact with
abrasions, breaks or cuts in the skin of another person. Indeed, such a
person with injured skin can also become infected through external contact
with the aforementioned bodily fluids.

Most of the time, however, people become infected during intimate sexual
contact, i.e., when one or several of these bodily fluids are passed from one
body to another. Infected semen, particularly, which enters the body during
oral, vaginal or anal intercourse may transmit the virus through tiny, often
microscopic internal injuries, of which the people involved remain themselves
entirely unaware. This is, of course, also true of infected semen if it is
used in artificial insemination.

It is still unclear whether the exchange of saliva in deep kissing can,
by itself, transmit the virus, but it does not seem impossible. If one of the
partners is infected with the virus and the other is suffering from bleeding
gums, transmission is a likelihood.

It will probably always be difficult to prove infection is possible via
deep kissing, since those who engage in it usually also engage in other forms
of physical intimacy. On the other hand, it is clear that the AIDS virus is
not transmitted very easily:

/ \
| People catch the AIDS virus only through very intimate physical contact. |


People avoid infection by preventing another person's infected bodily
fluids from entering their own bodies. The AIDS virus is too fragile to be
transmitted through the air or in any ordinary casual contact. Thus, shaking
hands with an infected person, hugging or even dry kissing will not lead to
infection. Neither will sharing a workplace or even living in the same
household. (However, obviously, one should not share the toothbrushes or
razorblades of the infected.)

/ \
| People do NOT catch the AIDS virus through casual social contact. |

Page 5


All people who allow the bodily fluids of an infected person to enter
their own bodies are at risk. Initially, this was especially true of
recipients of blood and blood products (in transfusions and as a treatment of
hemophilia). At the time, the virus had not yet been identified. Since then,
however, the danger has been recognized and effectively countered through the
testing of all blood donors and the treatment of donated blood.

This now leaves two major modes of transmission:
[1] The sharing of contaminated injection needles.
[2] Sexual contact.

A third mode is the transmission from a mother to her child before or
during birth or through nursing.

We know that, in the Western industrialized societies, the first AIDS
cases occured in homosexual and bisexual men as well as intravenous drug
users. It follows that, for the future, we can define five major risk groups:

/ \
| [1] Homosexual and bisexual men (keeping in mind that the bisexual men |
| are much more numerous than the exclusively homosexual men). |
| [2] Intravenous drug users sharing needles. |
| [3] The sexual partners of people in these first two groups. |
| [4] The sexual partners of the aforementioned partners. |
| [5] Children conceived, born and nursed by infected mothers. |

If we look at this list soberly and objectively, we will have to admit
that, potentially, everybody is at risk except those who remain sexually
abstinent or live in a truly exclusive sexual relationship.

At the time, the virus has not yet spread very far beyond the original
risk groups, and thus the general population, even if sexually active without
precautions, is not yet in any immediate danger. However, those who have
sexual contact with persons in the risk groups already need take precautions
today. Eventually, all of us may have to do so. In the meantime, we should
do everything we can to help all those at risk protect themselves, because, in
the long run, they will inadvertently protect everyone else.

/ \
| People at risk of AIDS can learn to protect themselves. |

Page 6


AIDS can be prevented. With the proper precautions, nobody has to catch
the AIDS virus. For example, people who receive blood transfusions or blood
products are now already protected by the testing of blood donors and the
treatment of donated blood. Similarly, intravenous drug users can protect
themselves by avoiding the sharing of needles. However, most importantly,
infection through sexual contact can be avoided by changes in sexual behavior.


For some the solution is very simple: "Stop having sex! Or never have
sex with anyone before or outside marriage!"

Unfortunately, as history and everyday observations show, this advice has
never convinced enough people to stop the spread of sexually transmitted
diseases anywhere. The advice may be well-intended, quite logical and highly
moral, but there is simply no denying the truth that it is ineffective, at
least for most people. Neither counseling nor preaching along these lines has
ever produced the desired results. Neither promises of heaven nor threats of
hell, neither appeals to reason nor draconic punishments have ever produced
universal chastity.

The fact of the matter is that many people continue to have sex with each
other before and outside of marriage, regardless of religious teachings,
criminal law or medical opinion. Posters with skull and bones, pictures of
AIDS patients, drastic warnings of all kinds -- none of these can be expected
to stop sexually transmitted diseases. All of these methods have been tried
for hundreds of years and all have failed.


Sexologists, like all scientists, try to see the world as it is, not as
it might be or should be. They then try to come up with some realistic plan
of action. In the case of AIDS, this is a change in sexual behavior from
"unsafe" to "safe".

Since it unrealistic to hope for universal sexual abstinence or an
immediate, universal formation of permanent, exclusive sexual relationships,
it seems more promising to try reducing the risk of infection in the sexual
encounters that do take place.

Therefore, instead of emphasizing the negative aspects of "unsafe" sex,
sexologists stress the positive aspects of "safe" sex.

Even if sexual patterns have to be changed to prevent infection, they can
still lead to satisfaction and complete erotic fulfillment. Indeed, they may
even increase communication between partners and thus lead to greater intimacy
and mutual understanding.

Page 7


AIDS is, among other things, a sexually transmitted disease. People can
catch the AIDS virus during sexual contact, but they can also avoid catching
it during sexual contact. They can protect themselves and each other by
practicing "safer sex". They can change their usual sexual patterns in such a
way that the exchange of bodily fluids is avoided. This may require some
effort at first, but it is not all that difficult, if both partners really
care for each other and for their own health. Once they start practicing it
consistently, they will soon discover: Healthy sex does NOT have to be dull!
They may even get a real surprise and find that:
/ \
| "Safer Sex" Is Better Sex. |


Sexologists have developed some practical guidelines that can help you to
reduce the risk of contracting the AIDS virus during sexual contact. Needless
to say, if you follow these guidelines, you will also reduce the risk of
infection with any other sexually transmissible disease. Therefore, the
guidelines are a good idea in any case, even without the threat of AIDS.

Basic to these risk reduction guidelines is a close look at all possible
sexual behaviors and their divisions into three major groups:

[1] Unsafe. [2] Possibly safe. [3] Safe.

This general grouping can help us to think more objectively about our own
various sexual practices and to examine the degree of risk they pose to us and
our partners. The guidelines also help us to think about how we can make our
sexual lives safer and healthier. We can try to make each of our sexual
practices safer in itself or to replace it with another, safer practice. The
guidelines are also a challenge to our imagination. Inventive partners may
come up with new, surprising ways of making their own sex lives safe.

In order to get an overall picture of the possibilities, let's begin with
a careful, step-by-step examination of the following list.


"Unsafe" is any sexual practice that can easily transmit the AIDS virus.
Such transmission can occur by way of exchanging bodily fluids, especially if,
at the same time, there develop small cuts, tears or bruises in the skin or
mucous membranes of one or both partners. These injuries can be so
microscopically small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye, or they may
be internal and invisible for that reason. In any case, they greatly increase
the risk of infection.
/ \
| Any exchange of bodily fluid during sexual intercourse is unsafe. |

Page 8

It is also quite clear that the unsafe practices become even more unsafe
when practiced repeatedly or in combination. The risk of contracting the AIDS
virus increases with the number of partners.


Once we recognize that the AIDS virus is transmitted through bodily
fluids, and that any exchange of these fluids during sex is unsafe, we can
consider various ways of reducing the risk. Even some otherwise "unsafe"
sexual practices can be made safer. Every man and woman has to decide for
himself or herself if the risk is worth it in any given situation. Still, it
is useful to list -- and think about -- the "possibly safe" sexual practices
/ \
| Some otherwise "unsafe" sexual practices can be made safer. |

"Possibly safe" sex is safe in exact proportion to our efforts. It is
unsafe in exact proportions to our carelessness.

The precautions listed here therefore have to be taken very seriously and
applied very conscientiously in order to achieve a real reduction of risk.
/ \
| The risk of contracting AIDS decreases with a fewer number of partners. |

The most important elements that can make otherwise "unsafe" sex somewhat
less risky are condoms along with certain spermicides and lubricants. Their
use does not guarantee complete safety [the practices listed here remain only
"possibly safe"/"possibly unsafe"] but in general, condoms and spermicides can
play an important role in reducing the risk of contracting the AIDS virus.


Any sexual contact which avoids even the possibility of an exchange of
bodily fluids poses a very low risk of infection or is actually risk-free.

"Safe sex" requires open communication between the partners, some self-
control and a great deal of imagination, but it does not have to be dull. For
some, it may also require a drastic re-evaluation of their sexual attitudes
and beliefs. For example, many men and women have negative feelings about
masturbating in the presence of sexual partners or being masturbated by them.
However, when they consider the alternatives of "unsafe" sexual contact, they
may find it a little easier to make the necessary adjustment. There is
nothing shameful about wanting to protect each other from infection.
Moreover, safe sex can be fun!

The possibilities listed in this file are not exhaustive. With
cooperation and imagination, men & women can develop their own individual
"safe sex" patterns. Your possibilities are limited only by your level of

-End of Section 1-
-Safe Sex In The Age of AIDS-

  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : SAFESEX.ZIP
Filename : SAFESEX1.TXT

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

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