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Barebacking dilemma
Mar 12, 2005

I've been poz for almost 17years and have be in several relationships. I'm currently dating a wonderful man who is negative. We engage in unprotected oral sex on a regular basis since that's considered "low risk" behavior. However, when we engage in anal sex he has told me a number of times that he wants to "bareback" and wants me to ejaculate while inside him. I've refused to do this, telling him that I'm not willing to accept the responsibility for possibly infecting him. However, each time we have anal sex the topic of barebacking comes up. Should I continue refuse his request or simply oblige him, since he seems to be fully aware of the possible consequences of barebacking with a poz partner? Is the risk factor from barebacking really that astromonical? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

There are two reasons you should continue to refuse to bareback:

1. You! Barebacking places you at risk for STDs, including HIV superinfection and other conditions that could further compromise your already deficient immune system.

2. The other guy! Whether he is fully aware of the risks or not, you certainly are. Could you in good conscience have unsafe sex? I certainly could not. Knowing the risk to your partner and the potential disastrous consequences of your actions, would sex be at all pleasurable? Certainly it would not be for me.

The mere fact you are writing to me demonstrates you have a good conscience. Talk to your partner about the realities of being HIV positive. Ask him to review the information on this site. Unprotected anal sex carries the highest risk for HIV transmission. Is that a risk you are willing to be a part of? True, not every exposure leads to HIV transmission, just as not every click of the revolver leads to blowing one's brains out when playing Russian roulette. But does this mean you should voluntarily endorse the game?

Protect your partner and protect yourself. Stay safe.

Dr. Bob



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