When it comes to sex and relationships there is no such thing as a stupid question. Here are our answers to some of the things you asked us via the GMFA website. 


QUICK LINK: Get to know: HEP B


BLEEDING LOVE

I’ve met a guy who I want to have anal sex with (having not had it for four years). I don’t sleep around and it’s kind of a big thing for me. I thought I could try to finger myself using water-based lube to see how tight I am but I encountered some bleeding. It’s not painful but I am now too worried to try again. Should I go to the doctor or wait for it to heal again? 

The bleeding, if not too severe will heal shortly, but if it does persist, you should visit your GP. If you are going to get fucked and you are worried that it will hurt or your anus will bleed again, it is important to use enough water-based or silicone-based lube. You should also relax and make sure you communicate with your partner about him going easy on you. Ask him to open you up by rimming your arse or playing with it gently using his fingers. Make sure he doesn’t have long, sharp nails so that he doesn’t hurt you. You can also try out different positions that are more likely to make your arse relaxed so that you can take your partner’s cock.


HIV FROM DEEP THROATING? 

Is deep throat oral sex a high risk for HIV? I just had a long oral sex session (receiving) and I want to know if this would be a possible source of HIV infection.

Getting a blowjob (getting sucked off) has no likely risk of HIV transmission. There is a small risk of getting HIV from sucking someone off. The risk is greater if he cums in your mouth. It’s possible that it is also a bit greater if the throat is in any way damaged, as a result of a sore throat or possibly from a very intense, deep oral session. There is only a risk of HIV transmission if your partner has HIV. If he has HIV and is being treated (is on HIV medication) then the risk is much lower.


WORRIED I HAVE HIV 

Recently I had a sexual experience with a man. He was giving me a hand job and then put my cock in his arse. I took my cock away as I did not want this. I’m now majorly concerned I may have caught HIV. This week I have had a cold and a sore arm. Am I worrying about nothing?

There is a risk of transmission of HIV from fucking someone but it is much lower than the risk from getting fucked. From what you describe, if your penis was only in his bum for a very short time it is very unlikely that HIV could be transmitted. We do recommend though that all sexually active gay men get a full sexual health check up, including testing for HIV, at least once a year. 


Please note, the advice GMFA provides is intended to support not replace the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. GMFA recommends you visit your GP or GUM clinic if you have a sexual health need. To find your nearest GUM clinic, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/clinics.   For sex and sexual health advice, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/sex.


GET TO KNOW: HEP B

The hepatitis B virus is in blood, cum, piss, spit and shit, as well as other body fluids of a person who’s infected. The virus can be spread by sharing needles, sharing snorting straws, unprotected sex, or by getting blood or other infected body fluids in the mouth, eyes, or on to broken skin. It is much more infectious than hepatitis A, hepatitis C or HIV.

How do you know you’ve got it?

If you catch hep B, you may not show any symptoms, but if you do they can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain in the liver area, dark urine or light coloured shit, and fever. Many adults develop jaundice, which turns their skin and the whites of their eyes a yellowish colour.

While most people get over hepatitis B and cease to be infectious, about 10% remain long-term carriers who are able to pass on the infection for many years. Hepatitis B has a long incubation period of one to six months. During this time, a person is infectious although this may not be obvious or easily detectable. When symptoms do appear, they can include headache, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, comiting and muscle pains. Sometimes, however, the symptoms may be mistaken for flu. Some people who have hepatitis B can remain ill for one to two months, normally without needing hospitalisation. Over years chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.

A sexual health clinic can test you for hepatitis B. They will usually ask questions about the sex you’ve had to see if this test is necessary. It is tested for by taking a blood sample at a clinic or at your GP.

Hep B is a common infection in gay men with some long term health effects. It is easily preventable with a course of vaccinations.

How do you prevent it? 

Using condoms can help prevent many cases of hepatitis B but the best way to prevent infection is by getting vaccinated. The vaccine is available from GUM clinics. The vaccine is a short course of injections taken at set intervals (usually weeks to months between injections depending on what clinic you attend or what is convenient for you). The number of injections you need will depend on your response to the vaccine but expect about three. This is to ensure the vaccine, has worked and that you remain immune to hepatitis B. This vaccine is not effective for everybody and some people will not be able to acquire full immunity to the virus.


To get more information on STIs, visit www.gmfa.org.uk/stis.


This article is from FS magazine #150


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