This article previously appeared in FS Magazine here. To ask a question, visit GMFA.
I always use condoms but could I have HIV?
If I’ve always used condoms during sex but never had an HIV test, is it highly unlikely I could be infected? Sometimes during sex the condom I was using came off but I rolled it back on or used a new one. About 15 years ago I had unprotected sex but I did not cum inside him. Should I have an HIV test?
Although your risk of HIV infection is relatively low, we advise all gay men who are sexually active to have a full sexual health screening, including an HIV test, at least once a year. If you change partners regularly, or you have any unprotected sex with new partners, you should be getting tested more often than that. Even though condoms are very effective, they do not guarantee full protection all the time. Sometimes they split, other times they can roll off. This could leave you exposed to STIs including HIV.
HIV is also not the only STI you can catch if you are having regular sex. Even if you use condoms all the time, you can be exposed to other STIs including gonorrhoea, chlamydia or syphilis. These infections don’t always present symptoms so you might have them without even knowing it. Being infected with these STIs can also make it easier to catch HIV. For this reason, it is important to get a full sexual health screening regularly so that, if you need to, you can get treated for any infection which you might have picked up – and this will decrease the chances of you picking up HIV.
You can have a sexual health screening free of charge at any GUM clinic listed on our clinics pages. There, you can also find your nearest clinic so that you can make an appointment when it’s most convenient for you. GUM clinics also offer free non-judgemental, anonymous sexual health advice which you might find useful.
Rimming for hep B?
I got rimmed by a guy and then we kissed. How likely am I to get hepatitis A or B?
You can only get infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) if it is present in your partner’s body. Your partner could catch hepatitis from rimming you if you were already infected but there is no additional risk to you if he kisses you after rimming you. To find out more about STIs and how they are transmitted, visit the STIs and How Rrsky is…? sections of GMFA’s website.
For more information, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.
Sucked off by an HIV-positive man
If an HIV-positive man sucked me off without using a condom, is there any risk?
There have been no reported cases of someone contracting HIV from getting sucked off, even if the person giving the blowjob is HIV-positive. It is however possible to catch other STIs, including gonorrhoea and chlamydia if the person sucking you off has the infection in their throat.
Messy anal sex problem
I have just entered a relationship with my new partner, and we have started to have anal sex. It’s been two months now and it has been enjoyable and comfortable. However, recently, I have noticed every time we have sex there is always mess, and I don’t know what to do. I always wash before sex thoroughly, but, there seems to be no let-up of discharge. What can I possibly do? It’s getting embarrassing and I want to sort this out. Can you advise?
Anal sex can get quite messy sometimes and it can put you and/or your partner in an embarrassing situation. You have to remember however that it’s perfectly natural and the best thing you can do in such a situation, is laugh about it and get cleaned up.
Although unavoidable at times, there are a few ways that you can prevent ‘accidents’ from happening. Most of the time, you can empty your bowels sufficiently by going to the toilet before you have sex and washing your bum well. Sometimes, however, it can be quite hard to get yourself completely empty in which case you can use a douche. This is done by squirting water inside your arse and forcing it out with the aim of flushing any leftover shit out.
You can buy douches in pharmacies or online. Some people tend to unscrew the showerhead and use the hose to flush themselves out. However this is not recommended as it’s hard to know the pressure and temperature levels of the water that will come out of the hose. As a result, you could burn yourself or insert too much water without even realising it. Wearing a condom not only helps prevent STIs and HIV but it can also help keep your, or your partner’s, cock clean.
Please note, the advice GMFA provides is intended to support, not replace the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. GMFA recommends you visit your GP or GUM clinic if you have a sexual health need.
This article was taken from FS issue 141.
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