Trans Lifeline Library:


Safer Sex, Testing


Safer Sex, Testing

Safer Sex As A Trans Person


If you’re sexually active, it’s essential that you regularly get tested for HIV and STIs–including Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HPV, Herpes, Trichomoniasis, and Hepatitis B. Some of these may not show up until months or even years after exposure–for this reason, getting tested every 3-6 months is recommended.

STIs can be transmitted in several ways, not just through traditional PIV sex–you can contract STIs from oral and anal sex as well. Being a “bottom”, or receptive partner may put you at a higher risk of contracting an STI as the partner that may experience more irritation/microtears, but “tops”, or penetrating partners should take responsibility for their sexual health too–no one is fully immune to the risks inherent to sexual activity.

Knowing your status and honestly disclosing a diagnosis to your prospective sexual partner is an act of respect–if they can’t give you the same respect, don’t proceed (or proceed with caution). Concealing certain statuses from sexual partners, like knowingly lying about or hiding an HIV positive diagnosis may have legal consequences.
An HIV-positive diagnosis is not a death sentence, and it does not mean that someone is “dirty” or “untouchable” in any way. In fact, if someone is compliant with their medication plan and has an undetectable viral load, they can’t pass the virus on to others. Even if someone has a detectable viral load, it may be possible to drastically reduce the risk of passing it on by using condoms and encouraging HIV-negative partners to take PrEP.

Talk to your doctor about taking PrEP to protect against HIV if you’re sexually active, or thinking of becoming sexually active. PrEP is not just for people who identify as gay–anyone of any gender identity or sexual orientation can take PrEP, provided they are currently HIV negative and have a desire to protect themselves. This medication is typically free or covered by insurance. PrEP is available as a daily pill (Truvada or Discovy) and as a bi-monthly shot (Apretude).

Your body is your own, and no one should force or pressure you into using it in a way that does not make you feel affirmed, comfortable or safe. For example, if a certain type of sex causes dysphoria, you can/should draw and enforce a boundary with your partner about that. You don’t owe anyone, especially chasers (people who only seek out trans people as a fetish), sexual acts that make you uncomfortable.

Communication is key! Don’t be afraid to talk to your partner about what words you prefer to use to describe certain parts of your body, or your comfort using certain parts of your body during sexual activities. This also gives the other person a great chance to share their own preferences, regardless of their gender identity.



HRC–Safer Sex for Trans Bodies (English) (Spanish)

CDC–Ready, Set, PrEP (Assistance w/ Free PrEP)

Planned Parenthood–What Do I Need To Know About Sexual Health as a Trans or Nonbinary Person?

Genderqueer–Patients & Providers: 15 Tips for Talking About Sexuality with Transgender and Nonbinary Teens

Callen Lorde–PUMP: Sexual Pleasure and Health Resource Guide for Transmen who have Sex with Men


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