HIV + STI RISK

Know Your 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. 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.


Quick Facts on HIV and STI risks:

  • Topping is lower risk than bottoming
  • Anal sex is riskier than oral sex
  • Taking cum in your ass is the way HIV is most commonly picked up
  • Guys with undetectable viral loads have a reduced chance of passing on the virus
  • If you’re going to have sex without condoms, it’s best to put the HIV-positive guy on bottom
  • Most gay guys discuss HIV status before having sex

NO RISK / VERY LOW RISK

Kissing / spit swapping, hand job / mutual masturbation, receiving or giving oral sex with a condom, rimming with a dental dam.

LOW RISK

Receiving oral sex with no condom and no ejaculation in mouth, giving oral sex with no condom and no ejaculation in mouth, rimming with no dental dam, anal sex (topping or bottoming) with a guy with a different or unknown HIV status with a condom.

MODERATE RISK

Giving oral sex with ejaculation to a guy whose status is unknown or different.

HIGH RISK

Anal sex (topping) without a condom with a guy whose status is different or unknown.

VERY HIGH RISK

Anal sex (bottoming) without a condom with a guy whose status is different or unknown.

What should I do if I have been recently exposed to HIV?

If you think you have been exposed to HIV through condomless anal sex or a broken condom, you can reduce the chances of becoming HIV-positive by taking PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) – but you need to act quickly. PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis, is HIV medication given to people soon after they are exposed to HIV to reduce the chances of becoming HIV-positive.