In bed with a casual hook up, I said: “I realize that when we’re already naked is probably not the best time to have a discussion about condoms, but it’s not exactly the worst time, either.”
“I’m happy to use condoms. No problem,” he replied.
“Well, um, how do you feel about not using condoms?,” I asked sheepishly.
And then he said it: “Are you clean?”
John (not his real name) would tell me later that I looked like I was about to punch him when he asked me this question. Instead, I continued grinding steadily and rhythmically against his cock as I told him about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), treatment as prevention (TasP) and how people living with HIV are just as “clean” as anyone else. I explained that it would be much safer for him to have sex with someone who is HIV positive and on treatment than for an HIV-negative person to have sex with someone like him. I explained that those who most often transmit HIV to others are unaware of their status. They may get tested and sincerely believe themselves to be HIV negative. But many, like him, are vulnerable because they’re not on PrEP and rely solely on their partners’ claims to be negative in deciding whether or not to use a condom.
Read more of Brandyn’s new article at TheBody.com