There’s an idea that condoms and other barriers aren’t as important for queer people as they are for straight people- this is a myth!
No matter who your partner is, it’s important to practice safer sex methods. Even in queer relationships, there is still a risk for STIs or pregnancy that is important to recognize and protect against.
As of 2017, research from the CDC states that teen and young adult men who identify as gay or bisexual make up the majority of new HIV and syphilis infections.
Additionally, teen and young adult women who identify as lesbian or bisexual are more likely to become pregnant than straight teen and young adult women.
Having sex without a barrier can be risky, especially if you do not know the STI status of your partner.
Engaging in vaginal or anal sex without a barrier puts you at risk for sharing chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, herpes, HPV and genital warts, hepatitis B, pubic lice, scabies, and trichomoniasis.
Engaging in oral sex without a barrier puts you at risk for sharing herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, HPV, and hepatitis B.
Also, it’s important to know that engaging in anal sex without a barrier is especially risking for sharing STIs, and anal sex is the highest-risk sex activity for transmitting HIV.
Condoms and other barriers are just as important for queer people as anyone else.
Try to always use condoms, internal condoms, dental dams, or other appropriate barriers to reduce the risk of STIs and pregnancy, and practice safer sex by getting STI tested along with your partner.