For the guys who like their sex in multiples (whether we’re talking partners or party groups), cast your eyes over these multiple-choice gay-quations …
1 guy + 1 guy =
- just right
- a bit dull
- a good start
1 guy + 6 guys =
- a water polo team
- just that one time
- my kind of night
1 hook-up a month =
- the stuff of memory
- the stuff of fantasy
- get stuffed – I need more than that!
If you answered c) to any or all of these, then chances are you’re a sexually adventurous man – or SAM, for short. You like to push the boundaries, experiment and have fun. You play hard, stay hard, party lots and with lots of guys. For you, numbers count: the more, the merrier!
There’s one pesky little number that might give you pause for thought, and that’s 35: this is the percentage of new HIV infections made up by sexually adventurous guys. However, we’ve got an equation that can help crunch that number down to nothing …
Fuck More = Test More
It’s that simple. Have all the fun you like – we’re not suggesting you change your sex life – but if you’re enjoying multiple partners, we recommend testing for HIV and STIs every three months or more, plus every time you think you may have been exposed to HIV. If you’re not sure how often you should be tested, check out our express tool here. Testing has never been as easy as it is today – in Sydney, four a[TEST] sites run by gay staff offer fast, free testing and your results in 30 minutes; most other clinics can deliver results via SMS in 24 hours. You can book an a[TEST] right now or find a convenient testing site near you.
Craig Does His Sums
“How many hook-ups have I had in the past month? Around three to four,” says Craig, one of several guys who shared their testing experiences with us. He plays the numbers game well, explaining, “Having a lot of sexual partners is why I get tested regularly.” For Craig, testing has become “standard procedure … I go every three months. Sometimes I go every two months, just depending on how successful that month was for me personally.” Peace of mind is clearly a big incentive and lets Craig get back to enjoying the fun stuff. “I look forward to knowing the result,” he says. “I go to put my mind at ease.”
Add it Up
Okay, so: Test More + Negative Result + Peace of Mind = Hot Fucking. Obvs.
But consider this: Test More + Positive Result + Early Treatment = Hot Fucking.
No, really! These days, HIV treatment is so advanced that a pos guy on treatment has the same chance of a long, healthy life as a neg guy. What’s more, treatment reduces the amount of HIV in the body so the risk of passing it on is hugely reduced, which is good news for all guys. Considering that your viral load (the amount of HIV in your body) is very high in the first six months of contracting the virus, you can see how early treatment would make a big difference to you and the guys you play with.
Safety in Numbers
No one wants the worry of HIV to gatecrash their party, especially when testing and treatment can do so much to prevent that. If more guys get tested more often, we’ve got the chance to rewrite the stats and even subtract HIV from our thinking by 2020.
Let’s come back to Craig. “What I would tell people who don’t get tested, if they are being active, if they do have multiple sexual partners, they need to care for themselves and they need to care for everyone else within the community.”
To sum it up: 1 guy testing more regularly = 1 more chance to kick HIV in the arse.
You do the math.