The Gay men’s health charity GMFA recently released the latest issue in its FS magazine, and in it they released information from a survey about barebacking in the gay community.
The way they went about the survey was to ask 523 gay and bisexual men a series of questions such as when was the last time they had sex, when they were last tested, and what risky sex means to them.
The results of the survey found that:
- 65% of respondents said that they did not use condoms the last time they had anal sex.
- 8% of men in that earlier percentile said they or their partner were on HIV-prevention drug PrEP.
- 14% of the 523 men surveyed said they had bareback sex with someone who is HIV-undetectable.
- Meanwhile, 32% of the men did not know if their sexual partner is HIV-negative before having sex.
- 11% of men who took part said they have bareback sex and did not worry about the risk.
- While, 27% of respondents admitted to having a “risky sex life”.
In response to these results, Ian Howley, the Chief Executive of GMFA said:
“The results of the survey has shown that sex is complicated and there is no one size fits all safer sex strategy.
“First we need to define what is risky sex in this day and age.”
“Safer sex in 2017 is more complicated that it was twenty years ago when your only options were condoms or abstinence as a way to protect yourself from HIV and STIs.
“The advancement of treatment, the fact that gay men who are on HIV treatment and have an undetectable viral load so can’t pass on HIV, added to the increased number of gay men who are taking PrEP, means that gone are the days when sexual health education was just about telling people to use condoms.
“We now must do more to increase gay men’s knowledge about all the options open to them.”
“Of course condoms still play an important role in preventing other STIs and should still be a major part of a safer sex strategy, however, it’s not a one size fits all approach any more.
“We need to meet gay men where they are in their lives.
“We need to keep on pushing the message that there is more than one safer sex strategy.
“We need to increase people’s knowledge about PEP, PrEP and what HIV-undetectable actually means in the real world.”