Preventing HIV

Guys use a lot of different strategies to stop HIV from being passed on through sex. It’s good to know what they are so you can talk about them and be ready. It’s an exciting time with so many options! 🍆

HIV is passed through cum and blood, but not through other fluids in our body like pee or spit.

Sex is one of the big ways people can become HIV-positive. Some kinds of sex make it more likely for HIV to be passed on, like bottoming – that’s because the inside of our ass is soft and can tear easily especially if we aren’t using condoms and lube. Pulling out during sex is also not effective in preventing HIV because HIV can still be passed on through cum or pre-cum.

Other types of sex, like blow jobs aren’t likely to cause HIV to be passed on – but you can still get other STIs! Hand jobs, kissing, hugging, touching, and cuddling each other won’t put you at risk for HIV.

Communication 👄

The first step in preventing HIV – and having a better sex life! – is having a conversation with yourself. 💭

Ask yourself:

Do I want to have sex?

What do I want to do? Oral, anal, touching?

What is my HIV status? How do I know?

Should I get tested for HIV? When?

Am I planning to use condoms?

How am I going to start a conversation about HIV status or condoms if the other guy doesn’t?

What will make sex feel good now, and what will make me feel relaxed about sex after I’m done?

Are we on the same page about using condoms?

The next step is having the talk with a guy you’re dating or hooking up with. 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Get into a little sexy talk! You can ask him:

What turns you on? What are you into?

Do you know your HIV status?

When was the last time you got tested for STIs?

Are we going to use condoms? Do we have any?

Are you on PrEP?

If you’re living with HIV, do you know your viral load?

Talking about what you expect or want from sex can sometimes feel awkward, or can sometimes be a turn on. If it ever starts feeling weird, you’re allowed to walk it back and suggest talking about it later. In any case, talking with one another can help you figure out what you both want and how to go about getting it.

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Using condoms is an easy and safe way to hook up. They’re really good at stopping HIV and most STIs, as well as stopping pregnancy.

Condoms slide over a guy’s dick to prevent semen from getting inside the other person. They’re easy to get, free at community and public health organizations, and they’re your best bet for preventing HIV and other STIs. Use condoms when having anal sex or frontal sex.

There is also an “insertive” condom that guys can put in their asshole or frontal hole before sex. This is one way for a guy who is bottoming to take the lead on using a condom. Trans guys sometimes prefer to use insertive condoms as well. They can sometimes be hard to find and are more expensive, but the feeling can be great when it’s in you.

There are a few important things to remember when you use a condom, so you can move on to the fun stuff.

  1. If you’re having anal sex, condoms are your best bet to prevent HIV and STIs. Use them!
  2. Condoms have a date on them to tell you when it’s not safe to use anymore. Double check, and don’t use a condom that is expired.
  3. Make sure the condom is all the way on. The best way is to pinch the tip and roll it down over your dick or the other guy’s dick.
  4. If you feel like you cum too quickly, practice jerking off with a condom on and get used to the feeling- sometimes they can help you last longer!
  5. Only use one condom at a time — wearing more than one at the same time can cause them to break, even if they are different kinds of condom. Broken condoms don’t work! You can only use a condom once. Sometimes they fall off or break during sex, so check to see it’s still on when having sex. If it comes off or it breaks, open up a new one.
  6. You can try to put a little bit of water-based or silicone-based lube inside the condom. It’s more comfortable for some guys! Vaseline or other oil-based lubes might make the condom break and should not be used.
  7. Condoms only work if you use them. If you don’t use condoms, using other prevention methods is even more important, and you should still get tested regularly.
  8. If you are having group sex, or sex with multiple partners, change condoms between people every time.

There are lots of different types of condoms — condoms with flavours for blowjobs, condoms without latex for people with allergies, condoms with different textures!

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Lube squirt emoji

Lubricant, or “lube” for short, is a slippery liquid that makes it easier for different body parts to slide together. Lube makes it easier to slide your dick or fingers into a hole.

It also makes you less likely to tear or rough up the skin inside a person’s anal or frontal hole. Using lube is more comfortable, and also lowers the chance of passing on HIV and other STIs. You can never use too much.

Spit is not a good substitute for lube.

There are different kinds of lube: water-based, silicone-based, and oil-based. Oil-based lubes like Vaseline can break condoms, so they should not be used. Water-based and silicone-based lube is available for free at some sexual health clinics and community-based HIV organizations.

Some organizations also distribute free condoms and lube at gay bars, clubs, and bathhouses. You can also buy condoms and lube at a grocery store or pharmacy, sometimes in the “family planning” section.

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Is PrEP Right For You? 💊

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a daily pill to stop you from getting HIV.

PrEP is used by HIV-negative guys. When a guy takes these meds, it stops HIV from taking hold in the body.

PrEP needs to be prescribed and is not for everyone. PrEP is used for people who know they are at a high risk of getting HIV.

For example, PrEP is used by guys who:

  1. Have a hard time using condoms
  2. Enjoy condomless sex
  3. Are having lots of anonymous sex partners
  4. Want to give up condoms with a regular partner
  5. Are dating a poz person
  6. Use drugs when having sex
  7. Know they are at high risk for getting HIV.

PrEP can be expensive, and requires a conversation with a doctor, so it’s not super common for younger guys to be using it. However, more and more guys are taking PrEP, so it’s good to know what it means.

Check out this PrEP Assessment Tool to see if PrEP would work for you!

Check out Think You Were Exposed to HIV for information on PEP. PEP is medication you can take if you think you were exposed to HIV. For PEP to be effective, you have to take it within 72 hours of exposure to HIV, and you have to keep taking it for 28 days.

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