As gay men, we should feel free to have the kind of relationships that suit us, without judgement, prejudice or negativity. Indeed, true freedom often comes when we stop judging ourselves for our sexual lives. However, with that said, there is no denying that some sexual choices put us at higher risk of STDs than others.
The vast majority of HIV transmissions between men happen during anal sex without condoms. If you do choose to go bareback without PrEP, there are still some things you can do to reduce your risk of HIV.
- You can’t catch HIV from someone who is HIV positive and ‘undetectable’ on treatment. You’re much more likely to catch HIV from someone who thinks that they’re HIV negative but has caught it since their last test.
- People on PrEP who get regular check-ups are much less likely to have HIV. Barebacking with someone not taking PrEP would be higher risk.
- Do not skimp on lube. Using plenty of lubrication reduces the risk of skin tears in the arse and cock, which allow HIV into the bloodstream.
- Fucking after fisting increases the risk of HIV transmission, as there is more likely to be damage to the skin of the arse, even though any tears may not be clearly visible.
- The harder you fuck, and the longer you fuck for, the more likely you are to damage the delicate skin of the arse. Agree on how hard you want to go before things get started and think about spending more time on foreplay and less on fucking.
- There is less risk of HIV transmission. If you are the insertive partner (Doing the fucking) rather than the receptive partner (being fucked)
- Do not use poppers when getting fucked bareback as this dilates the blood vessels in the arse, making the presence of blood near the surface of the skin more likely.
- Remember, just because you have barebacked once does not mean you have to get raw with every partner.
Take some time to complete Plan ZERO to find out what is best for you.
Remember, if you are having condomless sex with casual partners you should get a full STI check up every 3 months. If you have condomless sex and are not protect yourself with PrEP, you should also test for HIV every month. Do not forget, you can use the PRIME text to walk into Dean Street Express without an appointment. You can also order a home HIV test online here.