Anal Sex + Risk

Anal Sex + HIV/STI Risk

“I’m a Top”

Some guys think that they cannot get HIV by topping (putting your penis in a guy’s anus). While topping is lower risk than bottoming (putting a penis in your anus), an HIV-positive bottom can still pass on HIV through condomless anal sex, especially if they have been recently infected, have another STI and/or are not on HIV treatment (possibly because he is unaware of having HIV). In these cases, the HIV-positive partner may have a high viral load, making him more infectious. Tops are also at risk of contracting other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea and syphilis.

“I’m a Bottom”

Bottoming (putting a penis in your anus) is a higher risk activity than topping (putting a penis in a guy’s anus). The sensitive cells in the ass are easily torn and very susceptible to the HIV virus and other STI infection. If you are going to bottom with a partner who isn’t wearing a condom, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:

Negotiate that he will not ejaculate inside you; don’t douche just beforehand; use lots of lube, be relaxed and do not force it; find a partner whose HIV status is the same as yours; if he is HIV positive, ask if he is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load.

Learn more about how you can reduce your HIV and STI risk from anal sex: