So you’ve got yourself a fuckbuddy. A friend with benefits. A regular bum chum.
You’ve set up some rules to keep you both aware of what this relationship is. Maybe you never sleep over, or you agree you’ll meet up on alternate Thursdays.
Good for you! Get that ass.
But remember that if you’re not their only sexual partner – and let’s face it, you almost definitely aren’t – then protection isn’t negotiable. This can be condoms, PrEP, or (if one or both of you are living with HIV) U=U. Also make sure you’re both aware that PrEP and U=U only protect from HIV transmission, but not from any other STIs.
Keep on fucking, but do it safely.
Condoms are the only prevention tool that protect against HIV and most other STIs. They’re cheap (or free!), available all over the place and easy to use.
If you’re having regular sex with a fuckbuddy, then condoms are probably a really good solution for you. They’ll keep both of you safe – and they’ll keep your other partners safe too.
PrEP is a daily pill that prevents HIV transmission. It reduces the risk of HIV transmission by up to 99%, meaning you can enjoy sex knowing you’re protected from HIV.
If you’re HIV-negative, having gay sex with a fuckbuddy and condoms don’t work for you – for whatever reason – then PrEP is likely to be a good solution. Just make sure you’re getting tested for STIs at least once every three months.
Remember that if you’re taking PrEP, it’s your prevention method. Your fuckbuddy shouldn’t rely on your PrEP to keep them safe, just like you shouldn’t rely on their PrEP to keep you safe.
People living with HIV who are on anti-retroviral treatment who reach and maintain an undetectable viral load for at least six months do not sexually transmit HIV.
This is a huge deal for HIV prevention – if we all test often to know our status and those diagnosed with HIV start treatment as soon as possible, we can prevent the virus from spreading any further and end HIV for good.
If you or your fuckbuddy are undetectable, then this is sufficient protection against HIV. But it doesn’t mean either of you are protected from other STIs, like syphilis or gonorrhoea. Because of this, it's a good idea to keep condoms in the mix and to have a regular sexual health check-up.