Pozitively Healthy: A Gay Man's Guide to Sex and Health in Canada
Sex Positive, HIV Positive
When we talked to gay men about living with HIV and having sex, many of them said HIV brings a lot of responsibility. There is no cure for HIV. So many of us will take HIV medications for the rest of our lives. And there is a risk that we will pass on HIV during sex. But your life didn't stop when you got your HIV diagnosis. Like many of us, you were probably shocked and stressed out for a while after you found out you had HIV. Maybe you even felt some shame or guilt. But you went on living. Your sex life can go on too.
What Is "Sexual Health"?
Sexual health means having sex and sexual relationships that are as hot and satisfying as possible. Sexual health also means taking care of your health and the health of your sex partner(s). To be sexually healthy you will probably need to take care of your body, your mind and your emotions. It is important for gay men, including gay men living with HIV, to have the information we need to make informed decisions about our sexual health.
Living Positively and Gay
Homophobia, AIDS-phobia and sex-phobia can affect how we think, feel and behave. Sometimes people direct their phobias and negative attitudes at us. At other times these phobias and negative attitudes might bubble up from inside us. No matter how thick-skinned or "out" we are, these negative attitudes can make us feel ashamed or guilty. Or can cause us to suffer from low self-esteem. Those of us from minority ethnic and racial communities may feel guilt, shame and low self-esteem more intensely. We may have experienced racism and hostility towards our culture on top of homophobia, AIDS-phobia and sex-phobia. Society also judges what it means to be a "normal" man or a "normal" woman. So guys who are effeminate or transmen are judged harshly and may have a hard time feeling good about themselves and their sexuality. You may not always realize how these negative attitudes and feelings affect your health and the decisions you make. But it is important to recognize and deal with the negative effects of homophobia, AIDS-phobia and sex-phobia. This can help you live a proud life and have a fulfilling emotional and sexual life.
HIV Positive People and HIV Prevention
We can reduce the spread of HIV in the gay community if all of us -- HIV negative, untested, and HIV positive -- take responsibility for our sexual health. Most HIV prevention messages are aimed at people who don't have HIV. But people living with HIV also play an important role in HIV prevention. Many of us know a lot about HIV. Many of us educate other people about HIV, including the guys we have sex with. You can take better care of your sexual health when you have useful information about sex, communicating with sex partners, and HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We hope that the information in this guide will help you make decisions that are right for you. We hope that you can use the information to have a fulfilling emotional life and a hot and satisfying sex life. And to help reduce the spread of HIV and other STIs.
You might run into challenges in your sex life. But there are ways to overcome the challenges.
Your Sex Drive
Your sex drive is affected by your physical, mental and emotional health.
Sometimes you might not feel very interested in sex. That's not necessarily a problem. Your sex drive is affected by your physical, mental and emotional health. Many of us feel less interested in sex when we're stressed, tired, sick, or just dealing with other things in life. Here are some other things that can lower your sex drive:
If you are not interested in sex for a long time, and that bothers you, you may want to talk to your doctor. There are probably things you can do to get your sex drive back.
Hard-On, Not Hard Up
If your cock is not getting or staying hard you can do something about it. Prescription medications -- like Cialis, Levitra and Viagra -- can help you get a hard-on. Only a doctor can prescribe these erection drugs for you. They're pricey and your drug plan may not pay for them.
Be careful when you take erection drugs.
If you still get a hard-on in the morning, erection drugs are probably not the answer. Taking care of your emotional or psychological health may be the answer. You can start by finding a doctor, other health professional or counsellor you feel comfortable talking to about your sex life.
Coming Clean on Butt Play
For many gay guys it is important to have a clean ass when we have sex.
For many gay guys it is important to have a clean ass when we have sex. HIV might make that a challenge. HIV and HIV medications give some guys diarrhea. If you have diarrhea, here are some things you can do to stop it:
Diarrhea that comes on suddenly can be a sign of an infection. Go see your doctor. You may need medications to get rid of the infection.
Some guys clean their ass out with water -- called douching -- before ass play or getting fucked. Douching can make the inside of your ass more sensitive and easier to damage. So you may not want to douche, or douche too much. It's up to you to figure out what works best for your body.
New Publication Transcends Language Barriers to Share Untold Stories of Gay Men Living With HIV Around the World
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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