CDC recommends that all sexually active gay and bisexual men get tested for HIV at least once a year. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting tested more often, for example, every 3 to 6 months.
How does HIV affect gay and bisexual men? What factors put gay and bisexual men at risk for HIV infection? Because of the high percentage of gay and bisexual men who are living with HIV, the risk of being exposed to HIV is increased for a gay or bisexual man. Other factors may also put gay and bisexual men at risk for HIV infection: Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or spreading HIV. Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination. Negative attitudes about homosexuality may discourage gay and bisexual men from getting tested for HIV and finding health care to prevent and treat HIV.
What steps can gay and bisexual men take to prevent HIV infection? Gay and bisexual men can take the following steps to reduce their risk of HIV infection: Have less risky sex. Unprotected anal sex is the highest-risk sexual activity for HIV transmission. Insertive anal sex topping is less risky for getting HIV than receptive anal sex bottoming. Unprotected oral sex can also be a risk factor for HIV transmission, but it carries a lower risk than anal sex. Limit the number of sex partners.
The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with HIV whose HIV is not well controlled or to have a partner with a sexually transmitted disease STD. Both of these factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission.
Use condoms consistently and correctly. Read this CDC fact sheet: Consider pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP. PrEP should always be combined with other prevention options, such as condoms. Consider post-exposure prophylaxis PEP. PEP is intended for emergency situations. It is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. Get tested for HIV. How often is HIV testing recommended for gay and bisexual men?
I am a gay man living with HIV. How can I protect my partner from HIV? Take HIV medicines every day. Having less HIV in your body will improve your health and also reduce your risk of passing HIV to your partner during sex, but will not eliminate the risk completely. In addition, remember to always use condoms during sex. And for added protection, talk to your partner about using PrEP. Where can I find more information about HIV and gay and bisexual men? Browse the following CDC webpages to find more information.
This fact sheet is based on information from these sources: