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How to have sex

Are you thinking about having sex for the first time? Or just want some tips on how to protect yourself from HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) while having great sex? Then this section is for you.

Here you can read what to expect when having different kinds of sex - whether you’re straight, gay or anything in between – and get the facts about risks such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), unwanted pregnancy and how you can protect yourself and those around you.

For top tips on oral, anal and vaginal sex click on the pages below. Our ‘safer sex’ section has detailed information on how to use condoms and PrEP.

Last full review: 
08 June 2017
Next full review: 
08 June 2020

Oral sex.jpg

Close-up of mouth sucking on a lollipop
Be aware of certain STIs and use a condom or dental dam to have safer oral sex.

Anal sex.jpg

Back of a man wearing jeans
Lots of couples enjoy anal sex but it carries a higher risk of HIV than other kinds of sex.

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Young couple laughing in bed
Vaginal sex carries a risk of HIV, STIs, and pregnancy so always use a condom.

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Last updated:
08 June 2017
Last full review:
08 June 2017
Next full review:
08 June 2020