“My personal views on barebacking are to just do it with your boyfriend,” said 24 year-old gay male porn star, Brian Bonds. “Just know your partner by asking. Some may think it’s offensive but I just look out for myself by doing so.”
For gay men, knowing your HIV status is important. People have their own reasons for getting tested. Some get tested routinely, others when starting a new relationship, and some because they engage in high-risk sexual activity or have been put at risk. No matter your reason for wanting to get tested, it is important to get tested and know your status.
“Yeah, we all end up [having unprotected sex] on occasion, willingly and by not thinking about it,” said Bonds. “I strongly advise to do it with a boyfriend or a good fuck buddy.”
Although new cases of HIV/AIDS are on the decline in British Columbia, in other jurisdictions this is not the case. Here are some general guidelines to follow, however, it is recommended to consult a health professional for complete information.
For individuals who engage in low risk sexual activities including oral sex, intercourse with condoms and sex with a regular partner, testing is recommended every 12 months. Although transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STI’s are lower under these circumstances, it is not impossible.
Unprotected intercourse (barebacking), sexual activities with multiple partners in a short period of time, and intercourse with a partner who has the opposite HIV status or unknown status, are all high-risk activities. In these instances, testing is recommended every three months.
Education and knowledge is key when protecting yourself and your partner from transmission of HIV/AIDS and other STI’s. If you know you will be engaging in sexual activity be prepared by having condoms, discus the risks in advance, and ask your partner for their HIV/AIDS status.
There may be a time in a monogamous or committed relationship when a couple may choose they no longer wish to use condoms. It is strongly recommended that couples be tested after they have had a three month window of risk-free sexual activity and have not been exposed to HIV/AIDS or other STI’s outside of the relationship.
Getting tested is recommended in situations where a condom breaks, after having unprotected intercourse or after engaging in sexual activity with a partner whom you do not know their status.
To learn more about getting tested consult your physician, or if you are in metro Vancouver, check out the Health Initiative for Men (HIM) resource centre and clinic.