Playing safely technically means the use of a condom during all of that hot and kinky action that we get into; I acknowledge the fact that not everyone in our community likes them or even will use them. Honestly, I hate condoms and only use them because I have to. If given the choice,I will always choose to bareback. With that being said I also know that since I am on medications and I am virally suppressed, with an undetectable viral load, there is less than a 4% risk of infection. It is actually lower than that with one study showing that it is almost impossible to infect another if you are undetectable.
We have all heard the statistics that 1 in 5 people that are HIV positive are unaware of their status. If you do not know your status you need to get tested and if positive start treatment as soon as possible. To bareback or not will continue to be a debate within our community. I am a realist and I know that people are going to continue to bareback. I simply say to people lets engage in hard reduction that protects not only us but others. Have all the kinky fun that the leather and BDSM is known for however lets do it in a way that reduces the risk of exposure and transmission of HIV and other STD’s.
Aaron Laxton is an HIV activist and “Mama’s Kinky Educator.” Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlaxton. He serves on the Community Advisory Board for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group as well as the Community Scientific Sub-Committee. He lives in St. Louis and his column runs monthly.