Sex without condoms is as old as creation, yet among gay men it remains a controversial topic, 40 years into the HIV epidemic. It’s refreshing that Avert, a long-standing HIV organization committed to providing quality information about HIV, has produced some terrific content around this topic.
Avert created a thought-provoking video entitled “Gay Health: Getting Real About Sex Without a Condom.” Their efforts are grounded in the belief that, “If we want to promote sexual health, we need to help people understand their HIV prevention options, not judge their choices.” The video simply and easily breaks down the issue and encourages people to engage in conversation around the topic of sex without condoms. Check out the video below.
In addition to the video, Avert also conducted podcast interviews with writers and activists.
The first interview was with Greg Owen, founder of IWantPrEPNow, and Phil Samba, writer, activist and PrEP user. Greg and Phil talk about changing the narrative around sex without condoms and how PrEP and a person’s undetectable status provide an opportunity to engage in these much-needed conversations.
I was fortunate to be part of the second podcast, discussing my experiences and perspectives around what sex without condoms means to gay men.
It’s great that we now have more options than ever to prevent HIV, but gay sex is not just about HIV prevention. We must decouple gay sex from disease, because at the end of the day, all those scientific advancements don’t really matter. At the core of any discussion about condomless sex is the basic premise of self-determination: Do gay men have the right to determine for themselves what they do with their own bodies?
Autonomy over one’s body is fundamentally about human rights and social justice.
It’s a theme that often comes up around PrEP users, and it’s something that has been central in regards to women’s reproductive health. Unfortunately it’s not front-and-center when we talk about gay men’s health or LGBTQ equality. But we have the power to change that.
Gay men can talk unashamedly about the value of sex without condoms, and by doing so we can reduce stigma and advance social justice.