Throughout this site we refer to sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) a lot. That’s because they’re a real health
concern for guys who have casual sex, bareback sex, and multiple
partners. The demands on our immune system increase the more
partners we have sex with. Barebacking adds another layer
of significant risk. The more stressed your body is, the more
susceptible you will be to infections. Tina stresses your
immune system further. Use less and be extra careful if you’re
feeling tired or run down.
There is renewed concern about HIV. Many strains of HIV are
now circulating, including ones that are drug resistant. If
you have HIV, please stay current with your viral load status
and other immune system markers. If you have HIV, be aware
that it can be more difficult to treat some STIs. If you have
HIV and another STI, you’re more likely to transmit
HIV. If you're HIV negative and have an STI, you're more likely
to become infected with HIV if exposed.
Familiarize yourself with STI symptoms. Be aware of what
is normal and abnormal for your body. Don’t delay seeking
a health professional’s assessment when you notice suspicious
Some STIs show little or no symptoms. So just because everything
seems fine doesn’t always mean it is. Regular testing
will help you stay healthy and decrease the chances of passing
STIs to playmates. What is regular? It’s going to depend
on your exposure. Every 6 months might be a good guideline.
Discuss with your health care provider. Free counselling,
testing and treatment for most STIs is available in Toronto.
Infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Bacterial
infections can be cured with antibiotics. Viral infections
can usually be treated, but can't be cured. The impacts of
not following through on our responsibility to ourselves and
each other can be enormous.
Please know that there is currently a Syphilis outbreak in
Toronto and the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) continues to spread.
Now, more than ever, let’s be communities that care
for ourselves and each other.
These Tests Are Recommended:
• Urine testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea if you
get sucked or if you fuck.
• Throat swabs for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea if you suck
• Rectal swabs for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea if you bottom
without condoms. (A genital and external anal exam, and if
appropriate an internal anal exam.)
• Blood test for Syphilis.
• Blood test for HIV.
• Blood test for Hepatitis A, B and C.
• If you see a ‘sore’ you should to get
it swabbed before it heals over to test for herpes.
• You might also need to get tested for LGV; consult
with your health care provider.
Ask your doctor to monitor liver functions and blood pressure
as well. It’s important to monitor potential health
implications of Tina use.
Get Vaccinated For Hepatitis A, B.
The Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted from ass play
to your mouth. Rimming (oral-anal contact) and barebacking
can expose you to fecal matter and put you at risk for HAV
transmission. Even if you don’t rim, it’s a good
idea to get your Hep A shots. The cock and balls are not that
far away from the ass. And you don’t need direct mouth-ass
contact, cock or fingers to ass, then to mouth is enough.
The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is easily transmitted through
barebacking and vaccination is encouraged for anyone with
multiple sex partners.
The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted primarily through
sharing needles and contact with infected blood. There is
no vaccine for HCV.
more information about STIs and our HCV page please check
out our series of articles under the section ‘Multiple
Post Exposure Prophylaxis
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is treatment that can be
used after possible exposure to HBV or HIV through sex, injecting
drug equipment or injury such as needle stick injury. PEP
is given to decrease the risk of infection with HIV or HBV.
It does not reduce the risk of other STIs or infection with
blood-borne viruses like HCV. If you think you have been exposed
to HIV or HBV, access your health care provider ASAP, preferably
within 24 hours for a consultation to see if treatment makes
sense for you. If the delay is longer than 3 days, PEP is
Sources: Hassle Free Clinic and Toronto Public Health