Gay and bisexual men can take the following steps to reduce their risk of HIV infection:
Choose less risky sexual behaviors.
Receptive anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting HIV. Insertive anal sex (topping) is less risky for getting HIV than receptive anal sex (bottoming). In general, there is little to no risk of getting or transmitting HIV from oral sex.
Limit your number of sex partners.
The more partners you have, the more likely you are to have a partner with poorly controlled HIV or to have a partner with a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Both factors can increase the risk of HIV transmission.
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
Read this CDC fact sheet: The Right Way to Use a Male Condom.
Consider pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
PrEP is when people who don’t have HIV but who are at risk of getting HIV take HIV medicine every day to reduce their chances of HIV infection. PrEP can be combined with other prevention methods, such as condoms, to reduce the risk of HIV even further. To learn more, read the ClinicalInfo fact sheet on PrEP.
Consider post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
PEP is the use of HIV medicines soon after a possible exposure to HIV to prevent becoming infected with HIV. For example, a person who is HIV negative may use PEP after having sex without a condom with a person who is HIV positive. To be effective, PEP must be started within 72 hours after the possible exposure to HIV. To learn more, read the Clinicalinfo fact sheet on PEP.
Get tested for HIV.
Whether you test HIV positive or HIV negative, you can take action to protect your health and prevent HIV transmission.