Talking to your partner about safer sex
Talking to your partners about being safer in the bedroom can be awkward, but it’s an important discussion to have. Sometimes it may be as easy as asking, “Hey, can we talk about safer sex? It’s really important to me.” Here are a few topics to discuss.
Talk about PrEP
Have you and your partners talked about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP? It’s a once-daily pill that significantly lowers the chances of getting HIV through sex. PrEP must be prescribed by a doctor and you must be HIV-negative before—and while—taking it.
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Talk about condoms
Even if you’re on PrEP, it won’t protect you from getting STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Talk to your partners about using condoms before getting into the heat of the moment.
Talk about PEP
Do you and your partners know what to do if the condom breaks or if you have sex without a condom?
If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a medicine that can prevent HIV within 72 hours of possible high-risk exposure. PEP must be prescribed by a doctor and is meant to be used in emergency situations.
Talk about testing and status
Have you talked about HIV and STD testing with your partners yet? Questions like “How often do you get tested?” or, “Where do you get tested?” are two good ways to start the conversation. View more conversation starters
The CDC recommends that all gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men get tested for HIV and other STDs at least once annually as part of their routine checkup. If you’re having sex and are not in a mutually monogamous relationship, it’s a good idea to get tested more frequently (every three to six months), especially if you’ve had sex without a condom. Search for test sites near you
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