terre thaemlitz writings

- Terre Thaemlitz

1993 (comatonse.com). Most of this information was written in committee with others, and Terre is not the sole author. Please note that this information was compiled during the late '80s and early '90s, and some of it may be out of date (statistics, etc.). However, most information is general enough that it is still relevant. In particular, the "HIV/AIDS Lexicon" remains as important as ever. The old "HIV/AIDS Resources" section has been deleted since HIV and AIDS related organizations and referral agencies are easily located through current internet search engines.

introduction | transmission | prevention | testing | lexicon


Risk of HIV infection can be minimized by using any of the following items as a barrier between the mouth and the vagina or anus:

  • Latex Condoms
  • Nonoxyinol 9 (a spermicide shown to kill HIV in test tubes)
  • Dental Dams
  • Latex Gloves
  • Latex Finger Caps

Some people have reported a reaction to Nonoxyinol 9 that results in vaginal rashes, or anal, penile, or vaginal irritation. This in turn can result in a better port of entry into the bloodstream, possibly making its use counterproductive.

If a lubricant is used, it should always be water-based. (The primary ingredient listed on the label should be water. Several brands are commonly available in drug stores, such as KY Jelly, Foreplay, Wet, etc.) Oil-based lubricants like Crisco, Vaseline, and baby oil lead to the rapid disintegration of latex, and therefore breakage.

If not used properly, latex condoms do not act as a barrier of HIV. According to consumer reports, there are increasing numbers of reported incidents of condom breakage during sexual intercourse. It is important to read the directions of a product before putting it on.

If dental dams are unobtainable, use latex condoms for oral sex. Flatten a condom by cutting off the tip, creating a tube. Then insert the scissors into the tube, cutting it from one open end to the other, and creating a rectangular sheet.

Some persons use non-microwavable plastic wrap for oral sex rather than dental dams (HIV can go through microwavable wraps since they have small holes).

Sharing Drug Works

Do not share Works. If there are no works available, clean used works properly with bleach, alcohol, or peroxide (including the needle, syringe, and cooker) and then rinse them thoroughly; and do not use anyone else's cotton or water.

If not properly sterilized, other needles such as thosed used with tatoos, acupuncture, steroids, vitamin injection equipment, and needles used on more than one patient in places where there is a shortage of medical supplies, put a person at risk for HIV transmission.

Blood Transfusion/Blood Products

Most blood facilities now offer individuals the opportunity to have their own blood stored strictly for their personal use. These supplies must be replenished on a periodic basis, as frozen blood eventually goes bad.