Think you might be gay? Find out what being gay, or same-sex attracted, means. Learn more about why some people are gay.
Table of contents
- HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men | Understanding HIV/AIDS | AIDSinfo
- What if I'm gay, lesbian or bisexual?
- HIV and Specific Populations
HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men | Understanding HIV/AIDS | AIDSinfo
PrEP can be combined with other prevention methods, such as condoms, to reduce the risk of HIV even further. Consider post-exposure prophylaxis PEP.
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PEP is intended only for emergency situations. It is not meant for regular use by people who may be exposed to HIV frequently. Get tested for HIV. CDC recommends that all sexually active gay and bisexual men get tested for HIV at least once a year. Start Talking. Stop HIV. Take HIV medicines every day.
An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. Other steps you can take include using condoms during sex and talking to your partner about using PrEP. Yes, absolutely. Lots of people identify themselves as same-sex attracted — in fact, about one in ten. Some even remember having crushes on friends of their own sex when they were little.
Often it takes a while to begin thinking of yourself as gay, lesbian or bisexual, or another sexual identity.
Your closest relationship might be your best friend. Some people prefer not to label themselves, and for many people their sexual preference and identification changes over time.
What if I'm gay, lesbian or bisexual?
Watch this video made by QLife Australia and hear other people talk about their experiences of being attracted to the same sex and of coming out. Some gay teens say they had same-sex crushes in childhood, just as their heterosexual peers had opposite-sex crushes. By middle school, as they enter adolescence, many gay teens already recognize their sexual orientation, whether or not they have revealed it to anyone else.
Those who didn't realize they were gay at first often say that they always felt different from their peers, but didn't exactly know why. Becoming aware of — and coming to terms with — one's sexual orientation can take some time.
Thinking sexually about both the same sex and the opposite sex is quite common as teens sort through their emerging sexual feelings. Some teens may experiment with sexual experiences, including those with members of the same sex, as they explore their own sexuality. But these experiences, by themselves, do not necessarily mean that a teen is gay or straight. For many teens, these experiences are simply part of the process of sorting through their emerging sexuality.
And despite gender stereotypes, masculine and feminine traits do not necessarily predict whether someone is straight or gay. Once aware, some gay teens may be quite comfortable and accept their sexuality, while others might find it confusing or difficult to accept.
Like their straight peers, gay teens may stress about school, grades, college, sports, activities, friends, and fitting in. But in addition, gay and lesbian teens often deal with an extra layer of stress — like whether they have to hide who they are, whether they will be harassed about being gay, or whether they will face stereotypes or judgments if they are honest about who they are. They often feel different from their friends when the heterosexual people around them start talking about romantic feelings, dating, and sex.
For them, it can feel like everyone is expected to be straight. They may feel like they have to pretend to feel things that they don't in order to fit in. They might feel they need to deny who they are or hide an important part of themselves. Many gay teens worry about whether they will be accepted or rejected by their loved ones, or whether people will feel upset, angry, or disappointed in them. These fears of prejudice, discrimination, rejection, or violence, can lead some teens who aren't straight to keep their sexual orientation secret, even from friends and family who might be supportive.
HIV and Specific Populations
It can take time for gay teens to process how they feel and to accept this aspect of their own identity before they reveal their sexual orientation to others. Many decide to tell a few accepting, supportive friends and family members about their sexual orientation. This is called coming out.