‘I have sex with men. Why am I more at risk?’

If you are a man who has sex with men, you may be at more risk of becoming HIV positive for two main reasons:

  1. HIV is found in certain body fluids, particularly in blood and semen, and can be transmitted by infected fluids getting into someone else’s bloodstream through sores, cuts or inflamed skin or ‘mucous membrane’ found in the mouth or anus and on the penis. Unprotected anal sex is the main route of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men. There is no risk of infection from sweat, tears, spit or urine - unless they contain significant amounts of blood.
  2. The chances of having sex with a partner who has HIV are, on average, much higher than for men who only have sex with women. The risk of transmission is further increased through having unprotected anal sex.

How to stay safe

At least half of all transmissions occur within a few months of a man becoming infected. This is because he is probably unaware that he is infected and so may not use condoms.

The best way to stay safe is to use condoms and lube properly and get tested for HIV regularly. Early diagnosis can help prevent serious, and possibly life-threatening, illnesses.

Condoms & lube

Find out how to stay healthy and still enjoy your sex life: