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