CDC Content Warning

This website and accompanying blogs may contain content only suitable for adults.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics. HIV prevention materials funded by CDC must be approved by local program review panels. However, some viewers may consider the materials controversial.

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February 2013

28
Feb

Sex without condoms? You can still reduce your risk!

Condoms are a highly effective way to avoid HIV infection and are the best protection from STDs.
If your condom use is inconsistent or nonexistent, here are some tips to reduce your risk of getting HIV:

Know your status – Get tested regularly for HIV and STDs—even if you don’t have symptoms because most STDs don’t have any symptoms.

Guys with STDs are 5 times more likely to get HIV. (BTW rates of syphilis have increased over 400% in Polk County from 2011 to 2012!)

If you have unprotected sex partners and don’t know their HIV status or they’re HIV-positive*, get tested more frequently than once a year. Click here to assess how often you should test.

Project HIM offers FREE HIV testing, as well as Chlamydia & Gonorrhea screenings. We also provide referral services for other STD screenings, such as Syphilis. Go to our Free Testing page to schedule an appointment.

Discuss HIV status: yours and your partners’ – We understand that having THAT conversation isn’t fun. But it’s important! Some guys have found that telling their status empowers others to do the same. However you choose to do it, discuss your status with partners BEFORE things get too hot & heavy!

Remember, you’re not at risk for HIV if you and your partner(s) are all HIV-negative or if you and your partner(s) are all HIV-positive.

Bottoming puts you at greater risk for HIV than topping – The membrane inside your anus is sensitive and easily torn (the tears may be microscopic). During anal sex, it’s easier for HIV and other STDs (if present) to be transmitted because of this. If you are the bottom, take precautions to keep yourself safer.

See the tips below and check out BarebackHealth.Net  And if you’re taking loads, it increases your risk for HIV. If you are the bottom and your partner ejaculates inside you, it puts you at more of a risk if you don’t know their status or they’re HIV-positive*.

By not taking loads or taking precautions if you do (see next tip), it will help to decrease the risk of getting a HIV/STDs.

Medications such as PrEP and PEP can reduce risk for HIV. – PrEP is a single pill called Truvada taken once daily before potential exposure to HIV in order to prevent HIV infection in people who are at high risk of getting HIV.

Read this previous Ask Our Experts entry.

Check out these resources to learn more —and consider talking to your health care provider to see if this is an option for you.

Love May Have Another Protector

My Life on PreP – Positive Frontiers 

My PreP Experience

Is Taking PrEP the Right Choice for You?

PEP (or Post-exposure Prophylaxis) taking anti-HIV drugs as soon as possible after potential exposure to HIV in order to reduce the chance of becoming HIV-positive. It consists of taking antiretroviral medications (HIV meds) for 28 days.

To be effective, it must be started within 72 hours of potential exposure to HIV. Click here or check out PEP411.com for more information about PEP.

*Along with PreP and PEP, there is Treatment as Prevention.

HIV-positive partners can greatly reduce their risk of passing on HIV to their sexual partners by regularly taking HIV medication.

Learn more here: HIV Treatment As Prevention or Positive Frontiers.

25
Feb

Thinking Out Loud : Starting at the End

JPAs a child and teenager I knew two things about homosexuality; one, you didn’t want to be one and two, if you were, you better not express it.

 

When I entered college I realized public opinion on homosexuality was changing, hatred and bigotry still existed but it seemed as though the easier going and rational people around me were more frequently speaking up in objection when someone said something in ignorance. With a greater influx of gay friendly media influences, the subject of homosexuality was no longer becoming a taboo conversation subject. I am still unsure if my new college setting or increase in popular media exposure to homosexuality had a bigger impact on my coming out, but at one point I came to the conclusion that being a gay man was something I would eventually want to address because times were changing and I was ready to face the facts. With this hesitant outlook I set about what I thought would be the hardest years of my life.

 

I will use future blog entries to talk about different aspects of my experience over the last 5 years, but I want to cut to the chase (Spoiler Alert) in this opener as a way to offer hope to anyone reading this and considering taking a similar journey.

 

 

I don’t regret any of it.

 

I’m not just talking about the actions I have done, but I can say with confidence that if I were offered to go back and be born a heterosexual male, I would pass. I believe my life has been more interesting, exciting, challenging, rewarding, confusing, hilarious, and vivid because of my deviation from the conventional life plan.

 

5 years ago I challenged myself, my friends, and my family to find out who I was. Instead of discovering who I was, I instead set in motion a set of events that would constantly force me outside my comfort zone providing a wonderful, brilliant, and yes occasionally freighting range of experiences which have helped shaped the person I am today and which continues to change the person I will become.

20
Feb

Small Town Queer: Deep Thoughts

The hardest times come when I lose innocence; believing, perhaps innocently, that there was none left to lose.
Fragility is something you must grow out of. Like everything fragile, sometimes you break. There are gaps of putty holding you together. Not until you are fired in the kiln do you grow hard and learn how to hold water.
Love is not a patient, kind thing. Love is vigorous and ferocious. Love is visceral and cannot be forced. Love is the captivating emotion.
Anger is only useful if you are powerful enough to channel it. Anger can define your intentions. Anger will ache and masquerade as many things.
An infatuation can electrify you. Thousands of volts are screaming through you. Once grounded, letting go can be impossible.
To grow is to understand that nothing is perfect. Good, bad, ugly and unfathomable exist in all things.
Perspective requires growth. Perspective changes as we do, backing up from the image until we see new shapes. As those shapes change, so does our interpretation.
“No matter what bothers you now, in a year you will laugh at it” –Joan Rivers

8
Feb

Pride Yoga

Namaste!

Pride Yoga

 

Stretch your body, mind, and spirit in an accepting, judgment-free environment. Through our partnership with Glaza Studio, we are pleased to offer Pride Yoga. 

This class will incorporate yoga-inspired stretching and peace of mind through breath-work and intentions of gratitude and acceptance of oneself. Each class will begin with intentions and relaxing breath-work. We will continue with intentions as we stretch the body and work to gain strength and flexibility. This class is suitable for all skill levels-including beginners.

Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to open your heart. 

Sundays, starting March 10th. 12pm – 1pm

Glaza Studio, 502 E. Locust

$5 Drop-in or $35 for an 8-week pass.

Click here to download the registration form.

Project HIM assumes no liability, claims, demands, actions and causes of action whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, or injury, including death, sustained while participating in this class.