Sex is complicated. It can make us feel really good, but it can also be stressful.
It’s good to know how to have safer sex to prevent yourself from getting HIV and other STIs.
Trans Guys' Health
HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus.”
It’s a virus that infects the body’s blood cells and weakens your immune system. Your immune system is what protects you from illness. HIV makes it harder for the body to take care of itself, and can make you very sick if you don’t get treatment.
There’s no cure for HIV, but it can be treated and managed with medication. If a guy with HIV doesn’t get treatment, it can become AIDS, which is really bad for your health and can lead to death.
People living with HIV are HIV-positive, and sometimes call themselves poz for short.
You might also see or hear guys say they’re undetectable – sounds cool right? More on that later! People who don’t have the virus are HIV-negative. There’s nothing wrong with having HIV, and most poz guys have healthy lives like anyone else, including fulfilling relationships and sex.
Still, having HIV can be hard, and changes the way poz people have to take care of themselves. That’s why it’s good for all guys to know how HIV works and how to stop it from being passed on.
STIs, “sexually transmitted infections,” can be passed between guys during sex. The most common STI symptom is no symptom, especially for people with penises. The only way to know for sure that you have an STI is to get tested.
Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary with your junk.
If your dick is leaking fluid or itchy, or if any of your stuff down there has red bumps or lumps, talk to a doctor to get a test and some treatment. When you go to get tested, they will ask you a few questions about the kind of sex you’ve had and what your symptoms are – be honest, so that they can give you the proper treatment. Their job is to help you, not to judge you!
It’s also worth it to get tested for STIs whenever you go to get your HIV test, since so many STIs don’t have symptoms.
Some common STIs and their symptoms are:
Gonnorhea and chlamydia: These are similar infections that can happen in the penis, vagina, ass or mouth and is passed on through oral, anal, and frontal sex. Common symptoms are “discharge” or fluid leaking out of the penis. However, it is common to have no symptoms at all. It can be cured.
HPV: Most adults have HPV. Sometimes it can make warts appear on the penis, ass, or vagina. There is no cure for HPV, but you can treat warts. There is also a vaccine for men that prevents some common forms of HPV, which you can ask your doctor about.
Herpes: Herpes also can cause warts to appear on the penis, ass, or vagina.
Syphilis: Syphilis looks different depending on how long a person has it. It normally shows up as hard, round spots or sores, on the penis, ass or mouth. It can later can include a rash or fever. It is passed on through oral, anal, and frontal sex where a person comes in contact with one of these sores. Syphilis can be cured.
Most STIs can be treated and cured successfully, and it’s easier to take care of them if you get medicine right away.
The longer an STI gets untreated, the higher the risk of getting HIV. Check out our page about HIV for more info.
Trans guys have a few extra things to think about when it comes to sexual health.
Trans guys still need to get pap smears to look out for cervical cancer, as well as using birth control to prevent pregnancy. It can also feel awkward to get tested as a trans guy. Check out this site for some tips for trans guys on getting tested.
When it comes to sexual health, it’s worth taking a minute to think: What do you want out of your sex life or your dating life? Thinking it through can help with your overall well-being. That’s what most of this website is about — helping you figure out how sex fits into your life, health, and happiness as a guy who likes guys.
If you’re having sex, read up on the tools you can use to take care of your health, like condoms and getting tested.