From head to toe, penis to weenis (yes, it’s a real thing Brenda – look it up), the human body is full hundreds of bits ’n’ bobs that make it an incredibly fascinating pile of stuff. It grows and repairs itself from damage. It reacts to and protects us in changes of temperature. You know how your fingers shrivel up after being in the water for too long? That’s your body’s way of giving your hands extra grip in underwater environments – true story!
The human body truly is a masterpiece.
In the fight against HIV, you may not have thought about it, but there are some specific body parts that play big, important roles. Let’s flesh some of them out.
This is a no brainer, pun intended. Condoms and lube have been at the
foreskin forefront of the movement against HIV for decades and it’s no surprise why. They are highly effective at protecting you and your pecker not just from not just HIV but from other STIs. You can buy them nearly anywhere you can buy toilet paper and in some places they are totally free. No matter its shape or size, your penis plays a huge part to ending HIV.
Your inner elbow is more than just a humble joint. Just beneath the skin lies a vein that is perfect for drawing blood samples for HIV tests – something that is crucial to stopping the spread of HIV. Testing takes practically seconds and so for what feels like a small pinch of your inner elbow, it’s a minor sacrifice to make to know your all-important HIV status.
Let’s not be naïve, who doesn’t like a good butt? No matter what shape your booty, the gay man’s bottom attracts a LOT of attention. But with all that action, some care and attention needs to be given. Anal swabs and other STI testing practices such as throat swabs should be considered every time you get tested for HIV. Keep your butt healthy and you can bounce around to your bottom’s delight.
Open wide, come inside! Whether you’re neg and on PrEP or poz and on treatment, that hole in your face plays a huge role to ending HIV. By taking PrEP, guys can protect themselves from acquiring HIV just as guys living with HIV who take their treatment, can not only benefit from greater health aspects of their regimen but also prevent passing on HIV.
Additionally, using your gob to talk to your friends and partners openly about HIV and sexual health is important to keeping HIV a normal topic of discussion. With HIV top of mind we can put an end to the epidemic sooner than later. That’s not so hard to swallow.
Hold that palm up firm and say no to sex that isn’t safe. You are in control of your body and you only have one so despite how hot “32, hung jock, seeks raw fun now” may be, if he doesn’t know his status, consider what risk you’re taking. In fact, why not encourage the bronze-skinned Adonis to get himself tested? You’ll be doing him and all the other torsos a favour.
Flip the bird to HIV-related stigma and stop the potential spread of the virus. Stigma is pervasive and harmful not to just guys living with HIV but to the wider gay community. Where stigma exists, so does misinformation and that can fuel the spread of HIV without you even knowing it.
It may sound ballsy, but ending HIV is possible and you ought to know it. By putting our heads together and uniting as one body, be that practicing safe sex in all its forms, HIV testing and treatment, we can achieve a future free of HIV.
It’s your body’s and everybody’s body’s business.