Men's Sexual Health (Guys into guys)

Are you a guy into guys?  Looking to learn more so you can feel confident in your choices around sex? You've come to the right place. We've got you covered ... and we're talking about a whole lot more than just condoms. 

Condoms, PrEP and Barebacking

Condoms can help prevent the spread of HIV and Sexually Transmitted and Blood Borne Infections (STBBI). In Ottawa, you can order FREE condoms right to your door through the Sex It Smart program.

PrEP, you may have heard of it. PrEP (or Pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a pill that is taken daily to help prevent contracting HIV.  Although PrEP is pretty good at preventing HIV, it doesn't prevent other STBBIs like chlamydia or gonorrhea. It is recommended to use a condom even when you are on PrEP. Learn more about where to get PREP.

Some people will choose to have condomless sex (sometimes called "barebacking"). Not wearing a condom during anal or vaginal sex is a high-risk factor for STBBIs like HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. If you choose to have sex without a condom, and do not take PrEP, it is very important to get tested regularly, know your status, and know your partner(s)'s status(es). 

Video credit: The Sex You Want

Getting Tested

Whether you want to top, bottom, or have other forms of sex... whether your partner is poz or neg... knowing your HIV status or whether you have an STBBI will help you make informed decisions about your sexual health. Know your status- Find out where to get tested in Ottawa

Gay ZONE provides a wide range of programs and services for gay, bi, transmen and other men who have sex with men in the Ottawa area, including:

  • Screening and treatments for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's)
  • HIV testing--rapid and/or anonymous
  • Hepatitis A & B vaccination
  • Gardasil vaccine (for those who qualify)
  • A group for queer youth
  • A variety of health promotion programming

Location: 420 Cooper St, Ottawa

Hours: Thursday: 5 to 8 pm

Check out other sexual health services from Ottawa Public Health

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a virus that affects your immune system. It is possible to get HIV from anal, vaginal, or oral sex, or through sharing sex toys. HIV can lead to serious health consequences when left untreated, including the development of AIDS. People living with HIV can live long and healthy lives with proper treatment. Wearing a condom and knowing your status can help prevent the spread of HIV. In Ottawa, you can order FREE condoms right to your door, through the Sex It Smart program.  Find out where to get tested in Ottawa

The term "undetectable" means that someone is living with HIV, but has a viral load that is so small that it can't be detected through testing.  The consistent and correct use of antiretroviral treatment (ART) by people living with HIV to maintain an undetectable viral load is a highly effective strategy to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. When this strategy is used consistently and correctly the risk for HIV transmission is negligible (so small or unimportant as to be not worth considering; insignificant).

ChemSex and Party'n'play

"Chemsex" and "Party'n'play" or "PnP" refer to taking drugs while having sex. People may have chem sex for a variety of reasons, including to feel more sexually free, to overcome rejection, to cope with problems or stigma, to feel affirmed, or to respond to peer pressure. Regardless of the reason, it's important to know more about ChemSex so you can make an informed decision about your health.

Some of the risks of Chemsex or PnP include:

  • Overdosing on drugs or a combination of drugs or alcohol
  • Becoming unconscious or disoriented, which can lead to sexual assault
  • Having a drug interaction with other prescription medication
  • Increased risk of HIV, Hepatitis, or other STBBIs when using injection drugs, or through barebacking with partners of unknown HIV status
  • Addictions issues, which might lead to loss of friends, family, partner(s), employment, housing [1]
  • Severe mental health issues including depression, anxiety, weight loss, paranoia, and psychosis

To help reduce your risk of an overdose:

  • Make sure you never take drugs alone
  • Know the signs and symptoms of an overdose
  • Go Slow. There isn't a good way to test out your batch at home. Anything can be cut with fentanyl, so use a small dose at a time and pace yourself.
  • Don't mix drugs- including alcohol.
  • Have a Naloxone kit available - Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose
  • Don't be afraid to call 9-1-1, an overdose is a medical emergency
  • Party with consent- know you can refuse drugs or sex if you want to.

If you are struggling with your mental health or an addiction problem, there are services available to help. Find Mental Health and Addictions services in Ottawa.

Mental Health, Stigma and Social Connectedness

Being your authentic self might be hard for a variety of reasons. We all have a role to play in reducing stigma, building community, and helpings others to get help when they need it.

If you are struggling with your mental health or an addiction problem, there are services available to help. Find Mental Health and Addictions services in Ottawa.

Learn more about talking about your own mental health:

Learn more about stigma and what you can do:

Learn more about building social connections:

Learn more about building resilience:

Great Resources

Learn more about having The Sex You Want.

Find out about how to connect and support guys into guys in your community.

Check out the free sexual health services offered by Gay Zone.

 

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