Bareback culture: a risky sexual behavior

  • April 24, 2015
  • News

condonesBareback is a sexual practice among men who deliberately don’t use condoms. This also represents a dilemma for science and health, since it increases the risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The availability of medicines, the need of transgression or the primary pursuit of pleasure are factors that have fueled this practice around the world.

Having sex at risk of acquiring HIV, leads to raise a host of questions about such conduct.

Ford Hickson, researcher at the London School of Hygiene, said that “the causes for which a person decides to have risky sexual behaviors are many”. The author describes some of the reasons that encourage such behavior, which include the power of sexual pleasure, the rapid expansion of the gay scene, continuous denigration of homosexuality in society and the emotional isolation that entails, individualistic cultural norms that reject notions of responsibility and optimistic bias of assuming that risks are lower than they really are.

Mr. Hickson also believes that factors such as “fatigue of prevention”, the decrease of the perception of dangerousness, susceptibility to HIV infection, and the knowledge of the existence of more efficient anti-retroviral drugs has caused that some people do not consider HIV as a chronic health situation.

The scientific proposal to prevent new infections in this sector of the population lies in Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which is the taking of anti-retroviral drugs before a risky sexual encounter in order to avoid HIV infection.

Two studies, one in France and one in England, in homosexual men who took PrEP, showed a reduction of new infections of 86 % over similar groups of people who did not take PrEP.

In this HIV era, unprotected sex is often seen as a privilege of faithful partners, since the right to bareback seems only accompanied by monogamy.

In short, the causes and consequences of the bareback are varied and widely known by those who practice it. However, in the area of HIV prevention is still a problem to decrease the rate of HIV infection. There’s still much work to be done.

Source: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2015/04/09/ls-central.html