Communicate about HIV status and testing

Always ask about your sexual partner’s HIV status, and be open about your HIV status and when you were last tested for HIV and other STIs. Do not presume anything!

If someone has HIV, ask about their viral load. If it is not measurable, HIV cannot be transmitted. If the viral load is detectable, it is even more important to protect yourself (PrEP/condom).

Communication is easier at smaller sex parties (with acquaintances) than at larger, more anonymous parties, where new sexual partners join in regularly. As such, it is best only to use chems with sexual partners you know and with whom you also have a good rapport without chems.

 If someone says they do not have HIV, be aware that they may still have recently contracted HIV. A standard HIV test usually cannot detect infections from less than three weeks ago. Most HIV infections are transmitted by people who were recently infected. They often do not even know they have HIV.

Be sure to protect yourself if someone says they think they are HIV-negative. 

If someone says they get tested every three months, they are often more serious about rapid STI detection. Asking your sexual partner about their testing behaviour gives you a better idea of who you are dealing with. If your sexual partner does not warn you about an STI, they do not take their health seriously.

Make things as easy for yourself as possible. Mention your HIV status and how often you test for STIs in profile texts on dating apps, or discuss it while chatting.