I'm a top


Some guys think that they cannot get HIV by topping (fucking a guy’s ass). While topping is lower risk than bottoming (getting fucked), there is still risk involved in topping. Especially since a lot of tops also bottom (see I’m versatile).


Tops are at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and syphilis (STI INFO).


Negative Tops


For negative tops, HIV could be passed from the cells in the lining of the bottom’s ass through the head of the penis, or sensitive cells in the foreskin. Tops are at a greater risk if the bottom is HIV positive and not on treatment (possibly because he is unaware of his HIV status), in which case, he may have a very high viral load, making him more infectious. Having an STI can also make both tops and bottoms more likely to pick up or pass on HIV.


Poz Tops


Tops who are HIV-positive are at risk of passing HIV to a negative bottom, especially if they are not on treatment (possibly because they are unaware of their status) or have another STI.


Both negative and positive tops have to watch out for gonorrhea, syphilis and other STIs.


Uncut Tops


Some recent research suggests that uncut (uncircumcised) tops are at a higher risk for HIV infection than those guys who are cut (circumcised), due to specialized cells in the foreskin which bind more easily to HIV. Other studies have shown that both uncut and cut tops are at risk for HIV infection, regardless of foreskin. Either way, tops are not immune to HIV. Especially since a lot of tops also bottom (see I’m versatile).


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I'm a bottom


Bottoming (getting fucked) is a higher risk activity than topping (fucking a guy's ass). The sensitive cells in the ass are easily torn and very susceptible to the HIV virus and other STI's.


Negative Bottoms


Negative bottoms are at risk of picking up HIV if they are having sex with someone who is HIV-positive. The risk of infection increases if the bottom takes cum in his ass or has an STI. The risk also increases if the HIV-positive top is newly infected (I have recently become HIV-positive), not on treatment, or has an STI.


Some researchers believe that guys who don’t know they are HIV-positive are responsible for a significant proportion of new HIV-infections. Of course this risk can be reduced by having sex with someone who knows their HIV status to be the same as yours, also known as serosorting (this requires both partners to get tested regularly).


If you are going to get fucked without a condom there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:


  • Negotiate that he will not cum inside you
  • Don’t douche just before getting fucked
  • Use lots of lube, be relaxed, do not force it
  • Serosort (find a partner whose HIV status is the same as yours)
  • If he is poz, make sure he has an undetectable viral load


Poz Bottoms


It is possible for HIV-positive bottoms to pass HIV to a negative top, especially if they are newly infected, have another STI or are not on treatment. Both negative and positive bottoms are also at risk of acquiring other STI's such as gonorrhea and syphilis.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I'm versatile


Versatile guys should understand the risks associated with topping (fucking a guy’s ass) and bottoming (getting fucked). While fucking is lower risk than getting fucked, both put you at risk for HIV and other STIs.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I'm in a monogamous relationship


Many guys who are in a monogamous relationship (having sex with only one guy) think they are at low risk of picking up or passing on HIV. This is true, but only if you know your status, that of your partner and neither of you are having sex with other people.


Some guys have a hard time being monogamous. Some guys think they are in a monogamous relationship when they are not. Discussing sex outside the relationship may be a way of reducing future risk. For instance, you may decide that if sex outside the relationship occurs, intentionally or in the heat of the moment, it should be as low risk as possible (examples include no anal sex OR 100% condom use with other partners).


Monogamous couples are still at risk of passing on other STIs even after being diagnosed and treated. For example herpes, genital warts and hepatitis may be present without signs or symptoms. Before you make a decision on whether to use condoms, it’s important for couples to discuss their sexual health and any risks that may exist as the result of a previous STI.


That said, two HIV positive guys who only have sex with each other and two HIV negative guys who know their status and only have sex with each other are at no risk of picking up or passing on HIV.


We're both negative.


The only way to be sure you are both the same HIV status is for you and your partner to get tested. This can mean waiting up to three months or as little as two weeks after being monogamous, depending on the window period of the test being used (for more information on ‘window periods’ please visit our testing site.


In Vancouver a new HIV test is being offered to gay men. It’s known as the Early HIV test and it is able to detect the HIV virus in the blood, within 10 – 12 days after infection. This means the window period is reduced, so that guys don’t have to wait 3 months before knowing their HIV status. It also means that you don’t have to wait 3 months before knowing your partner’s HIV status. You can find out after only 10 – 12 days!


We're both poz.


Two poz guys, who have been tested for hiv and are sure they are poz, have no risk of passing on HIV so they may decide to have condomless sex. Poz couples should be aware of the risks associated with super-infection. Super infection can happen when a poz guy acquires a second strand of HIV virus (although evidence of this is low). This can complicate treatment by creating a drug resistance which may make future treatment difficult.


Magnetic Couples (one poz, one negative)


Couples who are serodiscordant (one is HIV-negative, the other is HIV-positive) must use caution as they have a high risk of picking up or passing on HIV to the negative guy, especially if the poz partner is not on treatment or if either of you has another STI.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


Undetectable Viral Load


The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other HIV/AIDS research institutions have found that the risk of HIV transmission for serodiscordant couples (one is positive, the other is negative) is very low, if the HIV positive partner is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load and is free of STIs.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I'm in an open relationship


Open relationships come in a variety of forms, but most rely on ‘rules’ or an agreed upon understanding. The risk of picking up or passing on HIV and other STIs depends on your behavior inside and outside the relationship. Trust and honesty remain key factors in determining the success of an open relationship and rules only work for the couple when they are followed.


Some open relationships involve more risk than others. Whatever the scenario, all the same risk reduction strategies exist. Except this time, if one partner doesn’t follow the rules, they may be placing their partner, as well as themselves in a risky situation, especially if they are not using condoms with each other.


Things to consider: What kind of sex are you having with your partner? With others? Is your partner the same HIV status as you? Your other partners? How do you know their status? Are you using condoms with your primary partner? With others?


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


Undetectable Viral Load


The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other HIV/AIDS research institutions have found that the risk of HIV transmission for serodiscordant couples (one is positive, the other is negative) is very low, if the HIV positive partner is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load and is free of STIs.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I have a fuck friend


Some guys limit their sexual partners to one or two fuck friends in order to reduce their risk of picking up or passing on HIV. While reducing your number of sexual partners will reduce your risk of HIV and other STIs, there is still risk involved, since most fuck friends are not exclusive.


As in monogamous relationships, fuck friends should know the status of their partner by getting tested for hiv, before making any decisions about condom use.


The only way to be sure you are both the same HIV status is for you and your partner to get tested for hiv.


We're both negative.


The only way to be sure you are both the same HIV status is for you and your partner to get tested. For most fuck friends, this will mean waiting up to three months or as little as two weeks after being monogamous or exclusive with their fuck friend, depending on the window period of the test being used (for more information on ‘window periods’ please visit our testing site.


In Vancouver a new HIV test is being offered to gay men. It’s known as the Early HIV test and it is able to detect the HIV virus in the blood, within 10 – 12 days after infection. This means the window period is reduced, so that guys don’t have to wait 3 months before knowing their HIV status. It also means that you don’t have to wait 3 months before knowing your partner’s HIV status. You can find out after only 10 – 12 days!


We're both poz.


Two poz guys, who have been tested for hiv and are sure they are poz, have no risk of passing on HIV, so they may decide to have condomless sex. Poz couples should be aware of the risks associated with super-infection. Super infection can happen when a poz guy acquires a second strand of HIV virus (although evidence of this is low). This can complicate treatment by creating a drug resistance which may make future treatment difficult.


Magnetic Couples (one poz, one negative)


Couples who are serodiscordant (one is HIV-negative, the other is HIV-positive) must use caution as they have a high risk of picking up or passing on HIV to the negative guy, especially if the poz partner is not on treatment or if either of you has another STI.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


Undetectable Viral Load


The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other HIV/AIDS research institutions have found that the risk of HIV transmission for serodiscordant couples (one is positive, the other is negative) is very low, if the HIV positive partner is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load and is free of STIs.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I have recently become HIV positive


When calculating the risk of passing on HIV, poz guys need to consider the same factors as negative guys. HIV positive and negative guys have a role in preventing the spread of HIV. A poz guy’s risk of passing on HIV depends on the type of sex they are having (Spectrum of Risk), the HIV status of the people they are having sex with and of course, whether or not condoms are used. Poz guys have one additional factor to consider: viral load.


Gay guys who have acute or recent HIV infection are more able to pass on HIV than guys who have been infected with the virus for a longer time. Research suggests that when someone becomes infected with HIV, the amount of HIV in the blood and other body fluids such as cum and pre-cum, gets very high within a few days. During this time, the HIV virus is multiplying very quickly, making an individual much more likely to infect someone else.


It is thought that guys in the acute or initial stages of infection are approximately 26 times more infectious than they will be in the phase following acute HIV Infection (approximately two to four months after infection). Once the body begins to produce HIV antibodies in response to the virus, the amount of HIV drops to a lower and more stable level. The individual is still able to pass on the virus, but the likelihood of transmission is decreased.


Growing evidence suggests that a significant proportion of new HIV infections are acquired from guys who are in the acute or recent phase of their infection, who may not know they are HIV positive, and who likely have a high viral load. This is another reason why gay guys should get tested if they think they’ve been exposed to HIV.


Remember that while poz guys are no longer at risk of acquiring HIV, they are at risk of passing it to someone else (if they are having sex with negative guys) or acquiring another STI which can negatively impact the immune system or complicate treatment of HIV.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I have an undetectable viral load


Gay guys with HIV who are on treatment for an extended period of time, are often told that their viral load is undetectable, which means the lab was unable to detect large enough quantities of the HIV virus in the blood.


The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and other HIV/AIDS research institutions have found that the risk of passing on HIV is lower, if the HIV-positive partner is on treatment, has an undetectable viral load and is free of STIs.


Of course, in order for an HIV positive guy to be on treatment, he would have to know his HIV status, another important reason for you and your partner to get tested regularly.


While having an undetectable viral load reduces your risk, it may still be possible to pass on HIV since it has been found that an undetectable viral load in the blood, may be different than the viral load found in cum or the lining of the ass. Also, it is possible for someone with HIV to have a spike or increase in viral load, due to some other illness like an STI they are unaware of. Since viral load is not tested daily, a poz guy could have a spiked or increased viral load, without even knowing it.


Even if HIV transmission is reduced, the risk of picking up another STI is not reduced by viral load. For poz guys, picking up another STI can negatively impact the immune system or complicate treatment of HIV.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I like variety, lots of it


Research (and common sense) tells us that the more partners you have, the more likely you are to pick up or pass on HIV or another STI. That said, guys will be guys and when so much sex is available, it can be easy to indulge again and again. It’s important to remember that it is possible to have many partners and still reduce your risk of HIV transmission.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

I pick up online, a lot


Whether you’re looking for a date or a dark room, the internet is the way a lot of guys connect. The internet has made it easier for guys to find the kind of sex they want, with who they want it. Since sex is so readily available, the temptation to indulge again and again, may lead to an increase in the number of sexual partners.


Remember, if you’re having sex with a lot of guys from the internet, there is no reason to think they aren’t doing the same. Research (and common sense) tells us that the more partners you have, the more likely you are to pick up or pass on HIV or another STI. Before deciding on whether or not to use condoms, calculate your risk.


Reduce Your Risk


Condoms


The best way to reduce the risk of picking up or passing on HIV is to use condoms when fucking or getting fucked, particularly with guys whose HIV status you don’t know, are unsure of, or with guys whose status is not the same as yours (Condoms). When using condoms, it is a good idea to use lube. Take your time, do not rush it! Rushed or aggressive fucking can increase the likelihood of tears and other problems.


Testing


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner will allow you to make decisions about how to best reduce sexual risk-taking (this requires regular HIV testing).


Limit Your Partners


Another way to reduce your risk is to limit your number of partners, or establish fuck friends or regular partners who you communicate with and trust.


Cum


Sometimes guys forget that cum can be on their hands or face. Try not to get cum in your eyes. Using someone else's cum as lube when you masturbate can also be risky. If a finger goes up your ass, make sure it doesn't have someone else's cum on it.


Harm Reduction (may be less risky, but not risk-free)


Other ways that guys reduce the spread of HIV is by having less risky sex (hand jobs, blow jobs etc.), serosorting (looking for partners with the same HIV status), strategic-positioning (putting the negative guy on top), not cumming inside each other (pulling out or withdrawal) and ensuring that both partners are free of other STIs by getting tested.


Treatment


For poz guys, proper treatment adherence (taking medication regularly) impacts viral load, which also lowers the risk of passing on HIV.


When making decisions about condom use, Do the Math: Calculate Your Risk.


You can find other tools for reducing your risk by clicking here.

Fucking without condoms


Some men prefer to fuck without condoms. If you and your partner are both negative and want to stop using condoms, it is possible to do this safely.


You both need to get an HIV test. Even if your test results are negative, you should keep using condoms until you have a second test to verify the results after your window period. Once the window period ends (see our testing site for more information on window periods of different HIV tests), you can both get a second test. If the second test comes back negative, and you’ve only had protected sex in the meantime, you can be certain that you are both negative. If this is the case then you can consider condomless sex, as long as you are able to maintain open communication and trust in the relationship.


If you are both HIV-positive you should consider the risk of ‘superinfection’ – this is re-infection with a different strain of HIV. Although this is rare, it can affect your health and future treatment options. Another consideration is other STIs. Some STIs such as Syphilis and Hepatitis C have a more serious impact on people with HIV. Make sure you are tested regularly. For more information on HIV and Hep C, talk to Frank.


If one of you is positive and one of you is negative or you just don’t know you will need to keep using condoms when fucking in order to most effectively reduce your risk for HIV.

Condoms


Condoms are the most effective way to prevent picking up or passing on HIV or other STIs when having sex with guys whose status you do not know.


There are different ways to make sure condoms are used, some of them involve talking and some of them involve non-verbal signs. Whatever your chosen form of communication, if you want to use condoms, find a way to let your partner know.


It’s a good idea to be prepared wherever you have sex. If you’re the kind of guy who likes to pick up or cruise for men for sex, it’s a good idea to carry condoms and lube when you go out.


If you end up at your place, having condoms and lube on display lets him know they are on the agenda. You could just grab the condom and put it on yourself or him or hand it to him to get the message. If you want to talk about it, try discussing condoms before starting sex. If you have already negotiated condom use before starting, everyone can relax and enjoy the moment.


In Vancouver you can find free condom dispensers at the following gay venues:


Fountainhead Pub


Pumpjack Pub


1181 Tight Lounge


Celebrities Night Club


Junction Pub


Oasis Ultra Lounge


Numbers Cabaret


Or drop by the HIM Sexual Health Centre Monday to Thursday 4:00PM to 9:00PM, Friday 11:00AM to 4:00PM, or Saturday 10:00AM to 3:00PM; or at HIM on the Drive Monday to Thursday 4:00PM to 8:00PM to pick up free condoms and lube.

Testing Sites


Knowing your HIV status and that of your partner is an important tool for reducing your risk of picking up or passing on HIV.


For a comprehensive website dedicated to gay guy's testing needs, visit


www.checkhimout.ca/testing


Here you will find a quiz to determine how often you should test, a risk assessment tool, email and SMS testing reminders, a partner notification tool and a list of testing facilities in British Columbia.

Counselling/Emotional Health


Our emotional well-being can effect whether we fuck with condoms or not. Things like loneliness, depression, poor body image, and low self-esteem can mean abandoning condoms for reasons including needing human contact, trying to prove attractiveness, fear of rejection or feeling you don’t deserve to protect yourself. All these issues can be addressed with counselling. Talking to a HIM Peer Support or Professional Counsellor may feel awkward at first but it may be worth exploring your concerns around risk-taking and HIV prevention.


An unhealthy relationship can also be the source of emotional problems. Physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, social and financial abuse are all characteristics of an unhealthy relationship. A partner can use any of this abuse to force or manipulate you into fucking without condoms, or cause you to feel so badly about yourself that you do not protect yourself. Not only is this unacceptable, some of it is criminal. If you are worried about your relationship, consider talking to a HIM Peer Support or Professional Counsellor.

Sero-sorting: Poz or Neg?


Some men try to make fucking without a condom safer by trying to find a sex partner – casual or regular – of the same HIV-status. This is often done by:


  • Asking potential sex partners their HIV-status
  • Guessing from what they look like
  • Guessing from whether or not they ask to use a condom


NONE of these are reliable methods for reducing the risk of picking up or passing on HIV during condomless anal sex.


If someone tells you they are HIV negative it may not be true, even if they believe it. There are many men around who assume they are HIV-negative because their last HIV test result was negative: but how long ago was the test and what have they been doing since?


Even if a potential sex partner knows they are HIV-positive, you cannot assume they will tell you, especially in a casual encounter. He may be afraid that you will tell other people, reject him or think it’s none of your business.

Strategic-positioning: Top or Bottom?


Some HIV-negative men think it’s safe for them to fuck without condoms, even with a partner who is HIV-positive, as long as they are the one fucking (the penetrative partner). Similarly, many HIV-positive men think they can get fucked without condoms, so long as they are the receptive partner or bottom. But whatever position you assume (and many assume both), fucking without condoms is a high risk for picking up or passing on HIV.


Being a top is NOT a reliable technique to avoid getting HIV during condomless anal sex. It reduces your risk of picking up HIV, but still remains risky as HIV can enter the body through the tip of the penis and possibly the porous cells of the foreskin.

Undetectable viral load


Some guys believe it is safe to fuck without condoms with someone whose HIV-status is different to theirs if the HIV-positive guy has a low or undetectable HIV viral load.


It is NOT safe to fuck without condoms, even if the positive guy has an undetectable viral load. An undetectable viral load test result indicates that that test cannot find any HIV in a given blood sample. However, this does not mean that their blood is free of HIV, only that there is less than the test can measure. In fact, all HIV-positive people with 'undetectable' viral load still have HIV in their blood, cum and tissues. Detectable levels of HIV have also been discovered in the lining of the ass of HIV-positive men, even when they have undetectable HIV levels in their blood. These men would be able to pass on HIV while being fucked, even with an undetectable viral load.


For poz guys, even if the viral load in your blood becomes undetectable after treatment, this doesn’t mean that HIV has disappeared from your semen. You're still at risk of passing on the virus during fucking if you aren’t using a condom.

Pulling Out/Withdrawal


Some guys think that pulling out before they cum is an effective way of reducing the risk of picking up or passing on HIV, but this is NOT a reliable way to reduce the risk of fucking without condoms. This is because:


  • Pre-cum (the fluid that leaks from the tip of the penis when stimulated) can also contain HIV and can pass it on long before anyone has cum
  • The guy doing the fucking may accidentally cum before he has a chance to pull out
  • A casual fuck may not honor an agreement to pull out before he cums
  • If you’re fucking without condoms, just because the top doesn’t cum, that doesn’t mean the bottom couldn’t pass on HIV. HIV can pass from the bottom’s ass into the top’s cock via the opening at the tip or through abrasions of the skin caused by fucking.

Party 'N' Play (Drugs & Sex)


Using recreational drugs before or during sex may increase the risk of picking up or passing on HIV and other STIs. This is because using recreational drugs can lower your inhibitions and make it more likely you will take risks with your sexual health.


If you are going to be in a situation where drugs and sex are likely to be available, carry condoms with you and let your sex partner know you intend to use them. Keep some spares handy. Plan a safer sex strategy. For example, “when ass play starts to happen, I will reach for condoms.”


Sometimes the hardest time to maintain your safe sex strategy is during periods of coming down, so keeping condoms handy at all times throughout the party experience is important.


If you realize things are getting hot and you don’t have any condoms handy, ask him or anyone else for some or consider lower risk sexual activities or find someone who has condoms.

PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis)


While PEP may not be available to everyone, it is a tool that has been proven to show some success in HIV prevention.


PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a four-week course of anti-HIV treatment drugs you can take if you think you may have been exposed to HIV. PEP can, in most cases, stop HIV from establishing itself in the body and prevent you from becoming HIV-positive, if the treatment is started within 72 hours of exposure to HIV and taken correctly over the next 28 days.


PEP is a combination of two, or sometimes three, of the anti-HIV treatment drugs that HIV-positive people take daily to minimize the virus’s ability to multiply in their body.


PEP is NOT a morning after pill that makes it easy and safe to have sex without condoms. PEP is no picnic; you have to take two or three drugs every day for 28 days for it to work and these often cause very unpleasant side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and headaches.


In British Columbia, PEP is available for free to persons exposed to HIV through a work-related accident or to those who have been sexually assaulted.


Gay guys who think they have been exposed to HIV and want to seek PEP must see their doctor or the Emergency Room for a prescription.


Sometimes medical staff may underestimate the severity of your situation and indicate that PEP is not necessary. If you think you have been exposed, it may be worth insisting on the prescription, but just remember, it will cost you $500 - $1500 in pills! Some private health insurances may cover the cost of PEP, so it is worth looking into.

NOT ALL SEX HAS THE SAME RISK

Not all sex has the same risk. Your risk of picking up or passing on HIV depends on the kind of sex you have, your HIV status, your partner’s HIV status and condom use.

This site is meant as tool to help gay guys calculate the relative risk of the sex they are having.

At the Health Initiative for Men (HIM), we know that risk depends on many factors, and any 'risk calculator' is subject to limitations and interpretation.

HIV SPECTRUM OF RISK

VERY LOW
LOW
MODERATE
HIGH
VERY HIGH
pie_a pie_b pie_c pie_d pie_e

No Risk or Very Low Risk Behaviour

Kissing/Spit-Swapping, Hand Jobs/Mutual Masturbation, Getting a Blow Job with Condom, Giving a Blow Job with Condom, Rimming/Ass Licking with Dental Dam

Low Risk Behaviour

Getting a Blow Job No Condom & No Cum, Giving a Blow Job No Condom & No Cum, Ass Licking/Rimming No Dental Dam, Fucking a Guy with a Different or Unknown HIV Status with Condom, Getting Fucked by a Guy Whose Status is Different or Unknown with Condom

Moderate Risk Behaviour

Giving a Blow Job to a Guy Whose Status is Different or Unknown with Cum (taking Cum in the Mouth)

High Risk Behaviour

Fucking a Guy Whose Status is Different or Unknown No Condom

Very High Risk Behaviour

Getting Fucked by a Guy Whose Status is Different or Unknown No Condom


In this website, our model assumes three things:

  • Gay men are honest, caring individuals who would not knowingly put others in harm. We take them at their word; you know your individual circumstances and follow your instincts.
  • When condoms are used, they are used properly and effectively.
  • HIV negative means HIV negative. If you are engaging in any risk behaviour, the only way to be certain of this is to be tested. If someone is HIV positive and does not know it, they have an 'unknown status'.
The guys at HIM believe you can have great sex and still reduce your risk by making smart, informed decisions. We’re not going to tell you how to have sex, but we will offer some techniques for reducing the risk associated with the kind of sex you want to have.


ALL CONTENT © 2010-2011 HEALTH INITIATIVE FOR MEN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
PRIVACY POLICY


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HIV Risk Calculator


1- What kind of sex are you having?

2- Are you?

3- Your partner is?

4- Are you using condoms?


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