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Playing safe this summer

Fri 11 Dec 2015 In: Health and HIV View at Wayback View at NDHA

Summer is here and that means many of you will be taking off to other cities and other countries to make the most of some much-needed time off. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and healthy if you are planning are keen on a bit of action to spice your up those sunny days and long nights. Shaun Robinson of NZAF says: “It’s the holiday season and that means fun in the sun which often includes sex! I hope everyone has as much sex as they choose to have this summer, and, just like when being in the sun, I hope people take steps to keep themselves healthy.” “The easiest way to do that is to use condoms and lube; they keep you safe from HIV and the other STIs that are on the rise.” He says if you are hooking up with casual partners, condoms are the best way to have fun without unwanted health come-backs. Whether you’re holidaying around the country or taking off overseas, Robinson says if you have sex with a person with HIV who has an undetectable viral load then you are well protected against HIV, but only from HIV. You may meet someone that is using PrEP or who encourages you to use it. Robinson says: “PrEP does work if it is taken effectively but it is not a magic bullet. “It takes a while to reach protective levels and really needs to be taken with the support of a doctor. “Since PrEP is not yet available in New Zealand (we are working on that!) the best advice is to be pretty cautious about ditching the condoms. “When you are overseas, including Australia, the unfortunate fact is that there is a lot more HIV around than in New Zealand so have fun but do take care. If you do have anal sex without a condom then get an HIV test. People need to test in direct proportion to the amount of risk that they take. “Come back from your holidays with a suntan but no sunburn, and with grin from memories of great sex, but no STIs,” he says. NZAF will be closed from December 18 to January 5 and health services staff are open from January 11. - 11th December 2015    


First published: Friday, 11th December 2015 - 6:13pm

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