- Fear of HIV has been minimized due to the development and success of protease inhibitors. These drugs have changed the status of HIV from ‘untreatable’ and ‘terminal’ to ‘treatable’ and ‘chronic’. There currently are studies claiming that the likelihood of a non-detectible (>75) HIV positive person passing the virus to others is slim to none.
- Some people only seek out partners with a similar HIV status and therefore don’t see a reason to use condoms. This practice puts HIV positive men at risk of contracting additional strains of the virus, and has given rise to the concept of the HIV superinfection. Serosorting (identifying an individual’s strain of HIV) is thought of one way to prevent men from exposing themselves to different strains.
- Condom fatigue: people have heard the message of safe sex for so long now they have stopped responding to it.
- The rise of ParTying: Use of drugs (Crystal Meth in particular) in relation to having sex lowers people’s inhibitions and causes them to become less concerned about their personal safety and well-being resulting in these individuals participating in unsafe activities and associating with people they normally would not.
- The rise of barebacking sites such as BBRTS lend credence to the practice and provides a means for like-minded individuals to find one another.
- Knowing your partner would be a good start, or at least sharing information regarding each other’s HIV status – otherwise known as ‘the talk’. Discussing sexual history (recent) might also prove helpful. But keep in mind, people don’t always disclose or tell the truth. If you are HIV positive and know your serotype, that could prove beneficial, provided your sexual partner also knows his.
- Doing a visual physical examination on one another is always a good idea, but not a guarantee of anything.
- Practicing good hygiene also a good idea, but, again, not a guarantee of anything.
- Living a healthy lifestyle – eating healthy foods, exercising, getting adequate rest – not only will you look your best, but your immune system will also be firing on all cylinders.
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs. ParTying can result in you putting your body in riskier situations than you would if you were not under the influence of something and also weaken the immune system.
Act responsibly, even with anonymous strangers. Disclose your status when asked.
Do your best to do no harm.
Get tested for all STDs on a regular basis.
Don’t engage in sexual activity with others if you have or suspect you have a communicable STD.
Never pressure others into engaging in unsafe sex.