We don’t shy away from the hard questions. Here you’ll find answers to questions that go way beyond the basics. Put yourself first by reading this information and contact us if you have any questions that are not listed here.
Stealthing is when a man secretly removes his condom during sex without the consent of the partner he is having sex with. It goes without saying that, ‘stealthing’ is bad for many reasons. First off, it can lead to the contraction of HIV and STIs, and it can cause both emotional and harm to the same degree as sexual assault, such as rape. After all, taking your condom off during sex without asking the person you’re sleeping with is a violation of that person’s trust and of their body.
‘Gay for pay, is the equivalent to a ‘rent boy’ or a male escort. ‘Gay for pay’ is a term used for men who do not necessarily identify as gay but hook up with men for certain favors (usually in the form of material items or money).
A ‘blesser’ is a wealthy man who offers financial or material support to a younger companion in exchange for sex, friendship, etc. In some cases, a blesser could have multiple ‘blessees’ who all receive the benefits of his financial ‘kindness’. Problems can arise in a blesser / blessee relationship because of the imbalance of power. The blesser is usually older and financially better off while blessees are often younger, inexperienced and not very well off financially. There is potential for the blesser to impose things on the blessee, like refusing to use a condom. Blessees put themselves at risk for contracting HIV and STIs because they are afraid of losing the money that comes with this relationship. To learn about this, read this Mamba Online article or contact us to be put in touch with a counsellor if you feel that you are being taken advantage of.
Using lube will greatly enhance the experience for both of you, will help prevent the condom from breaking and will also prevent anal tears. Make sure that you only use proper water based lubricants with all condoms. Other lubricants,- (i.e. oil-based), weaken condoms, causing them to break – as will other substances such as oils and lotions. Using oils and lotions can also irritate the anal area making sex uncomfortable instead of pleasurable, in addition to the fact that these substances should never land up inside the body.
The way that you store or keep your condoms can affect their effectiveness. This is why you must make sure that you store condoms properly. Do not place condoms in your wallet. If it’s in your wallet all day, every day, it’s exposed to your body heat constantly. Condoms are made of latex that cannot get too warm because the latex will degrade. Do not store your condoms in direct sunlight either, such as on top of your dresser right under your window. The safest place to keep your condom is in a cool, dry spot such as a dresser drawer. Keeping your condom in your wallet or pocket just for a few hours on a night out is fine too, just make sure you put it back in a drawer when you get home.
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV- negative people from getting HIV. HIV-negative people who take their PrEP every day can lower their risk of acquiring HIV infection by more than 90%. The treatment needs to be taken daily to significantly reduce the chances of being infected with HIV. PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV if it is used as prescribed but it is much less effective when it is not taken consistently and exactly as prescribed. Always remember that that PrEP is an EXTRA precaution and you should still practice safe sex by using condoms.
PrEP is recommended for anyone who is sexually active with multiple partners, anyone with a partner who has tested positive or anyone who is having anal and/or vaginal intercourse without the protection of a condom. Daily PrEP has been shown to lower a person’s risk of sexually contracting HIV by more than 90%. Several studies have also shown that the side effects are rare.
PrEP needs to be prescribed by a health care provider, so talk to a doctor to find out if PrEP is the right HIV prevention strategy for you. PrEP takes 7 days to fully protect you and you must take it daily for it to work. You will also need to take an HIV test before beginning PrEP to be sure you don’t already have HIV and every 3 months while you’re taking it, so you’ll have to visit your healthcare provider for regular follow-ups. It is available at selected public health facilities. Contact us to find out where it is currently available.
PrEP has been shown to be very safe. It can cause mild side effects like nausea in some people, but these generally subside over time. No serious side effects have been observed, and these side effects aren’t life threatening. PrEP is also safe to take with alcohol, drugs and other medicine. If you are taking PrEP, tell your health care provider about any side effects that are severe or do not go away.
PEP (Post-exposure Prophylaxis) means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. If you could have been recently exposed to HIV during sex or through sharing needles, or if you’ve been sexually assaulted, talk to your health care provider or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away.
If you’re HIV-negative or don’t know your HIV status, and in the last 72 hours you think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex (for example, if the condom broke), were sexually assaulted or shared needles, talk to your health care provider or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away. PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV. It is not a substitute for regular use of other proven HIV prevention methods,-(such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or using condoms, and using only your own new, sterile needles). PEP is effective, but not 100%, so you should continue to use condoms with sex partners and safe injection practices while taking PEP. These strategies can protect you from being exposed to HIV again and reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to others if you do become infected while you’re on PEP.