Some HIV-positive guys may decide to only have sex with other guys who know they are HIV-positive. There are a few things to keep in mind about sero-sorting for poz guys.
For poz guys, only sleeping with other poz guys can be a relief, since it’s less likely you’ll have to deal with misunderstanding and stigma, or the worry about the transmission of HIV to an HIV-negative guy. Some poz guys are willing to take the health risks of getting other STIs if they can have sex without condoms.
Two guys who know they have HIV choosing to have sex with each other is a reliable form of “sero-sorting” because HIV status is known to be the same.
Still, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re an HIV-positive guy who is sero-sorting:
- Getting tested and treated for STIs regularly can help to reduce rates of STIs in gay men’s sexual networks.
- STIs are worth avoiding, which you can do by using condoms. The rates of STIs like syphilis are a big problem right now for gay men. They are particularly high among HIV-positive guys. Some STIs can be hard to manage, especially if left untreated.
- Talk to your partners — it’s possible that one of you is getting treated for an STI or that something about their approach to sexual health has changed.
- Although it is extremely rare, there is such a thing as a “superinfection.” This is when an HIV-positive guy gets infected with another, additional strain of HIV, possibly one that doesn’t respond to the medications they are on. Using condoms prevents this kind of transmission. However, it is not a widespread problem.
- Even if you’ve hooked up with a guy without using condoms before, you may feel differently later on. You can let him know that you’d be more into it using a condom this time.