As a year is divisible by its days, our lives too are divided by seasons; seasons of sex. The type and frequency of sex you have today could be entirely different to sex you had a couple of months ago, so it’s important to think about what safe sex strategies befit you in your current time of life.
It’s hot, you are recently single and ready to mingle. A veritable sea of cock (and parties) lay before you, leading up to Mardi Gras. You are going to need more than glitter to get you through…
PrEP is a great preventative method for guys who have a lot of sex. It’s a once a day pill that prevents you from contracting HIV. You can use PrEP with condoms for added protection or without – the choice is yours. PrEP won’t protect you from other commonly contracted STIs though, so if you are using it you should book regular HIV/STI screens.
The last of the parade confetti has fallen and you have just shooed the backpacker from your bed before heading to brunch with the girls. *brrrrpt* goes the Grindr alert. He’s 800 metres away, handsome AF and has a UVL. But what does ‘UVL’ mean?
UVL, short for undetectable viral load, is a term that applies to HIV positive guys who, after being on HIV treatment, are able to reduce their ‘viral load’ (the amount of the HIV virus present in the body) to an undetectable level. Undetectable means HIV cannot be transmitted to partners and is another great preventative method when it comes to picking a safe sex strategy. HIV positive guys need to adhere to their treatment regime and have regular check-ins with their doctors to monitor their viral loads.
He tells you about UVL, but you want to play it safe so you decide to use a condom for the hook up as well. It’s hot as hell. You can’t get enough, neither can he so this one-night-stand becomes something more. You’ve been hooking up for two or three months now, the sex has been satisfying and rather ‘inventive’ so your other regulars have fallen of the phone book. You talk about it and now you’re exclusive. So do you keep using condoms?
As time changes you can find yourself in different ‘positions’. The type of safe sex you had before might not make as much sense now as it did before. In this scenario you could decide because you are in a monogamous relationship and your partner who is HIV positive is Undetectable you could stop using condoms all together. Or you could keep using them. Or you could start on PrEP and stop condoms. The choice is yours!
It’s been about six months and bae has turned into boo. The sessions have been long and dirty, but you’ve decided you want to open things up a little. You and your Mr. discuss the how and where, and the who does what to whom… That’s when you realise, is it time to use condoms again?
Condoms can be a great choice for casual partners, and can certainly be part of your safe sex strategy if you are in the position to open up a relationship and have sex with more casual partners. Condoms are both great to use as a barrier against HIV and STIs, but if you are having lots of casual sex whether you’re in a relationship or not, getting regular HIV tests should be a part of your strategy. Similarly, PrEP could also be a great choice for added security in this instance.
The seasons of sex may come and go. Sometimes there will be a lot of it, sometimes it’ll quieten down. Sometimes it’ll be hot, sometimes it’ll cool down. But whatever the season of sex, make sure you know what safe sex options are there for you, so that when the time comes to cum, you get to choose.