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Kyle’s (36) Question: Hey Dr D! I often don’t use condoms during anal sex. Can I still protect myself from HIV-infection?

Dr Dick’s response: If you choose not to use a condom, minimise your risk in the following ways:

  • If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to HIV, PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) is an option (PEP is a course of anti-retro-viral medication that is taken within 72 hours after you were potentially exposed to the HI virus to reduce your risk of HIV infection). PEP does have side-effects and is not fool proof form of HIV prevention.
  • Remember to use lots of water-based lubrication.
  • If the penetrative partner is positive pull out before ejaculating – this may help reduce the risk of infecting the receptive partner – and consider less rough sex to limit tearing inside the receptive partner. If the receptive partner is positive s/he could ensure s/he is well lubricated, asks the penetrative partner to go slowly at first to minimise tearing or breaks in skin, and limits the duration (time) and intensity (roughness) of the sex.
  • A lower number of sex partners might reduce your risk.
  • Try to limit your use of drugs and alcohol during sex so that you are more in control.
  • If you engage in very high risk sexual activities and you are HIV negative, speak to your doctor about the appropriateness of PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis in the form of an ARV).