Hi   My Boyfriend has discovered through messages on my Facebook that I have been having regular anal sex with approximately 15 men. Four are married. He is not very happy and says I will be HIV positive, Is this true? I still love my boyfriend.


Anal sex in and of itself does not give a person HIV. However, if you have been having unprotected anal sex (meaning not using a condom) and you don’t know whether any of these sexual partners has HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STI) then there is certainly a risk of HIV and other STIs and I highly recommend you get HIV and STI testing.


HIV testing can be conducted via a blood test or a small oral (mouth) swab by a trained healthcare provider or health counselor at a health center, health department, or HIV testing clinic. STI testing can be done at a clinic and you will want to tell your healthcare provider that you have engaged in receptive anal sex so that they know to test your anus and rectum for STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. It's important to tell them that you've had anal sex since otherwise they might just perform a urine test or a swab inside your vagina, which would not tell them anything about whether you have a rectal STI from having had anal intercourse.


In the future, if you continue to have anal sex (or vaginal sex) with people, I recommend that you get tested for HIV and other STIs with those partners. I’d also like to suggest that you try to be honest with future partners about your sexual behaviors - like whether you have other sexual partners or not - so that your future partners can make informed decisions about their own lives.


Your boyfriend, for example, might value monogamy and might not want to be in a romantic/sexual relationship with someone who has sex with other people. Then again, he might be fine with you having sex with other people but he might ask you to use condoms with other partners or to get tested regularly. Just like monogamous couples, people who choose to be in open relationships get a chance to create “rules” and boundaries that work for them and it’s important that both people are respectful of whatever rules they agree to.


Debby Herbenick, PhD is an Associate Professor at Indiana University’s School of Public Health and a Research Fellow and sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute. She’s the author of six books about sex; her newest is The Coregasm Workout. Follow Kinsey Confidential on Twitter @KinseyCon & visit us online at www.KinseyConfidential.org

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