Not all sex has the same risk. Your risk of picking up or passing on HIV depends on the kind of sex you have, your HIV status, your partner’s HIV status and condom use. The guys at HIM believe you can have great sex and still reduce your risk by making smart, informed decisions. We’re not going to tell you how to have sex, but we will offer some techniques for reducing the risk associated with the kind of sex you want to have.
Acute HIV + Viral Load
During the first couple of months after someone becomes infected with HIV, their risk of passing on HIV is much higher. If you have sex without condoms and aren’t completely sure of your partner’s HIV status, get tested.
HIV + STI Risk Reduction
Whether you consider yourself a top or a bottom (or versatile), single or in a relationship, it’s important to understand how to minimize your risk for getting or passing on HIV or STIs. While condoms continue to be the primary way of reducing risks for most gay and bisexual men, there are a variety of other tools and strategies that you should be aware of to help protect you and your partners.
HIV + STI Testing
Knowing your HIV status is an important part of a healthy sex life. Testing is the only way to know your status for sure. Whatever the reason for testing – for most guys, it’s better to know their status. In Vancouver, 1 in 5 gay men have HIV. Of those guys with HIV, about 14% are unaware of their positive status.
While sex can be a lot of fun, it can also be a significant source of stress. Whether that’s because we’re having too much or too little for our liking, or for a wide range of other issues, it’s clear that our sex lives can impact our mental health (or the other way around!). Because gay life isn’t always smooth sailing, it’s good to talk to someone about whatever may be troubling you, things you are coping with, or stuff you are trying to sort out.
Coming Out + Being ‘Out’
Whether you’ve already had sex with men, or you’ve just started to consider the possibility, making sense of your sexuality and being able to share it with others is an important aspect of a healthy and fulfilling life. It might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do and may require time and careful planning, but “coming out” opens a world of opportunity to live openly and happily as a gay or bisexual man.