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As a lesbian, am I still at risk for HIV infection?

A lesbian woman asks about her risks for HIV infection, and Dr. Jose Narciso Melchor Sescon provides needed information on this.

Dr. Jose Narciso Melchor Sescon – president of the AIDS Society of the Philippines and current Chief of Clinics of Sta. Ana Hospital – answers all your HIV-related inquiries. For all your questions, email or

Dear Doc,

I’m a lesbian, and I want to know what my risks are for getting infected with HIV.

Curious WSW

Generally, women to women sex risk to HIV infection is on a much lower risk scale when compared with men having sex with men (MSM) sexual risks. Why is this so? Take as an example MSM anal sexual practice, wherein either one partner will have to take the inserter and/or receiver roles.  We know that the receivers in sexual activities have a bigger chance of obtaining HIV, as compared to the inserters; but just the same, there is the risk even with consistent condom usage.

Now for women to women sex (WSW), there are partners who would use gadgets (dildos) to enhance sexual pleasure and/or activity. There is one known case in the US, wherein a discordant couple engaged in WSW and shared dildos without the use condoms. In this case, infection happened – and this was the first ever documented case of HIV transmission through WSW.

For that matter, safer sex practices should be at all times kept in mind, regardless of HIV status.

It is our responsibility to demonstrate care to oneself, and care to our beloved partners. So just keep it safe!

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