This article was published on June 28th, 2016
May gay men live with the common fear of getting HIV. The fear is so great they don’t question themselves if they will get HIV, they ask themselves when will they get HIV. Since the AIDS crisis of the 1980’s and 90’s, there have been incredible strides in HIV treatment and prevention. However, HIV continues to spread. Here are 5 ways you could get HIV.
- Tops can and do get HIV. While tops have a lower overall risk of getting HIV, they are still at risk, depending on the sexual activities, sexual health, and exposure of semen or blood in the presence of open wounds / sores. Just because you’re a top, doesn’t mean you can’t get HIV.
- The use of drugs and alcohol are prevalent in the gay community. They lower inhibitions and heighten sexual energy. It is at these times when sexual risks are increased, including having multiple partners and not using condoms (or using them correctly).
- Not asking questions. Talking to your sexual partner(s) is extremely important. You have every right to ask the HIV and STI status of your sexual partner. If you don’t ask questions, you’ll never know. You should ask when they where last tested for HIV and STI’s, and what their results were. You also have an obligation to disclose to your partner your HIV status and any STI’s you may have or are being treated for.
- You thought you were monogamous. Being in a monogamous relationship doesn’t guarantee that you can’t get HIV. Sadly, some partners do cheat and have unprotected sex with others, even though they say they say they are in a committed, monogamous relationship. The cheating partner could be putting you at risk of HIV without you even knowing.
- Ignorance is not bliss. Get educated on HIV. Understand what it means to be undetectable, on PrEP, unknown, and positive detectable. Talk to your doctor to see if PrEP is right for you. It’s also important to know your status and to get tested every three months, even if you’re not sexually active.
Becoming HIV positive is not a death sentence anymore. Today, people who have HIV lead very normal, healthy lives. These are just a few of the ways you can get HIV. Protect yourself and be aware.
Do you know of other ways of contracting HIV? Leave your comments below.