Dr. David: My doctor doesn’t know that I’m gay. Does it really matter that he knows? I’m a doctor.
Dr. Demetre: I’m Doctor Demetre.
Dr. David: And I’m Dr. David.
Dr. Demetre: We’re HIV doctors.
Dr. David: And we’re here to answer your questions on HIV and sexual health. Your provider does need to know that you may have sex with other men. And the most important part about that is that there is certain diseases and conditions, sexually transmitted infections, as well as general health care maintenance that important for you to get as a man who has sex with other men. Like I’ll have other patients that’ll come in and see me and say, “Well, hey, I may do fisting, or I may do watersports, or I may do something else like that or I may use toys.” And so it’s important to let your doctor know exactly what you’re doing and if you do have questions about it like, “Is this behavior actually risky for me or am I ok doing this?” You should let them know. But at a very baseline minimum what I would say is to make sure you tell them whether you’re having oral sex or anal sex and what position. Are you the giver, are you the receiver, or are you both. Those are kind of the most important things. Don’t be embarrassed about it.
Wondering how much your doctor really needs to know? Dr. David dishes about why it can be helpful for your doctor to know that you’re gay.
A key part of taking care of yourself means finding a healthcare provider that you feel comfortable with and be open and honest with. The more you tell your provider about what’s really going on with you, the better they can help you.
#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
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