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A how-to guide for safe, enjoyable sex if you’re HIV positive. 

The answer is yes.

Living with HIV doesn’t mean you’re cut off from your sexuality. It simply means the safer the sex, the better. You can still enjoy sex with a partner by taking extra steps to ensure you’re not passing HIV to them. 

There are several ways you can continue being sexually active while living an HIV positive life. Among them: Using condoms, getting HIV treatment and testing.

Condoms

You may have heard the phrase “no glove, no love.” This motto carries an important message that anyone who’s sexually active can live by. Condoms, along with dental dams, are your best friends and should be used anytime you plan to have oral, anal or vaginal sex with anyone – no matter if you are with a partner who has a penis or vagina. Condoms and dental dams can also help to cut the chances of spreading other sexually transmitted diseases (a.k.a. STDs) as well.

While anyone can pass HIV, anyone can also step up and stop the spread by using condoms or dental dams. 

HIV Treatment

Though there is no cure for HIV, treatment is available and effective. ART, or antiretroviral therapy, is one of the most common, modern HIV treatments your healthcare provider will recommend for you if you test positive for HIV. 

Seeking and beginning treatment sooner than later is key to keeping up with your health. If you test positive, talk to your healthcare provider about getting treatment as soon as possible. 

If you’re on an HIV treatment plan and taking medicine as prescribed, you can lower your viral load to the point where you can become undetectable. Reaching an undetectable status means that your body has been given the necessary boost to lower your viral load, or the amount of HIV in your body. 

When your viral load is lowered, an HIV test may not be able to detect it, which means you’re also less likely to transmit HIV through sex. While this may be, to ensure you don’t pass HIV to a partner, it’s still best to use condoms whenever possible.

PrEP 

PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis, is a medication made to protect against HIV. It’s only recommended for those who are not yet HIV positive. PrEP helps to protect those who may be at a higher risk of exposure to HIV via unprotected sex or drug use where needles or other injection methods may be shared.

When taken properly, PrEP can be 99% effective at protecting against HIV. If you or your partner are at a higher risk of being exposed to HIV, PrEP may be a tool for you to use to enjoy sex safely.  

You’re free to live an HIV positive life, love yourself and your partners with the right safety plan in place. Visit TakeControlHIV.com for more information on safe sex, taking control of your HIV and more.