In previous articles on gay barebacking we’ve looked at the consequences of becoming infected with HIV today. If you are infected nowadays, and you’re diagnosed promptly, then it is true that you can expect a near normal lifespan , and a near normal quality of life .
BUT, you still don’t want to become infected with HIV. You’ll have to have a lot of inconvenient check-ups and tests throughout your life. At some point you’ll need to start taking medication, and once you do you’ll have to continue for the rest of your life.
Whilst HIV is far more manageable for guys newly diagnosed today, it still isn’t going to do you any good. You may get some side effects from the drugs you have to take, and you may experience some stigma. It will also affect your sex life as you’ll have a responsibility to not pass the disease on.
So, the best advice is wear a condom to maximise your protection against HIV.
However, in the real world many gay guys still prefer to bareback and that choice should be respected.
To that end, if you decide you still wish to have bareback sex then there are steps you can take which will reduce your risk of catching HIV. Most of them are not anywhere near as effective as using condoms, but nonetheless they may reduce your risk.
The gay men’s Aids charity GMFA publishes a more comprehensive list and explanation on their website. If you do decide to not wear condoms when fucking then consider the following methods of reducing your risk:
1) Bareback less often. Every time you bareback there is a chance you’ll become infected with HIV. The more times you bareback, the greater the chance you’ll catch it. Cutting down on the number of times you bareback will reduce your risk in proportion.
2) Bareback with fewer sexual partners. Every time you have sex with a different guy you are running a risk that they may be positive. The less guys you have sex with, the lower the risk.
3) If you’re negative then bareback with other guys who are negative. Caution - are you sure they’re negative? You’ll both need testing early and often. And you’ll need to trust them too.
4) If you’re positive then bareback with other guys who are positive. However, there is still a danger you may pick up a different strain of HIV this way which may complicate your treatment.
5) Withdraw before you cum. The greatest risk of contracting HIV is for the passive partner when he receives a load up his arse. Although pre-cum still contains some virus in infected guys, it isn’t nearly as much as in the actual cum itself. If he withdraws and doesn’t cum inside you then you’re reducing your risk.
6) Don’t use poppers.
They increase the risk of becoming infected if you’re passive.
7) Care for his/your arse. Warm it up gently maybe with rimming or gentle arse play. Apply lots of lube on his arse and on your cock. Don’t fist him or use toys before fucking him. Basically, you’re trying to minimise any injury to the inside of his bottom. Injuries provide a route for the HIV to pass to him. Easy does it, tiger!
8) If you’re negative then top - bottoms have a greater risk of catching HIV.
9) Remember, test early and test often.
See the full list of precautions you can take to minimise your risk on the excellent GMFA website.
Finally, remember, using condoms is by far the most effective way to minimise your risk of catching HIV.
By David Abrehart
(c) Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
 The Lancet
What do you think about reducing the risk of barebacking? Reckless and dangerous, or practical and realistic? Feel free to engage in this debate below: