Test & Flex Your Knowledge About HIV Before You Netflix & Chill

April 30, 2024

Hookups Can Cause These 3 Letters

Today’s society has become more open and accepting of different forms of relationships and sexualities. People are more exploratory and experimental with sexual encounters, leading to a rise in hookup culture. These casual encounters may be liberating and empowering, but this trend also raises concerns about sexual health. The risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is possible in the age of hookups and bae. As such, individuals engaging or planning to engage in casual sex should also learn about protection from potential risks. Here are some ways to ensure a safe, healthy, and HIV-free sexual experience in the age of hookups.

Educate yourself

Taking the time to learn about the risks involved in sexual activity and how to stay safe can be difficult in a world with reduced attention spans. However, any sexually active individual should take the time to learn about STIs, including HIV. Learn about the transmission methods and prevention strategies, as well as the risks associated with different sexual activities. This will help individuals make informed decisions and take necessary precautions against transmission. Education should start from a young age, as hookup culture is especially high among teens and young adults.

Practice safe sex

Casual sex may often be spontaneous and unplanned. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse for practicing safe sex. Using protection, such as condoms or dental dams, can significantly reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Individuals should also communicate clearly and openly about boundaries and expectations before engaging in any sexual activity. When possible, consider abstaining if there is no access to adequate protection.

Get tested regularly

Aside from using protection, prioritize regular testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. HIV testing at least once a year is recommended for sexually active individuals. Those with multiple partners or people who engage in high-risk behaviors should consider more frequent testing. HIV tests are now more accessible and convenient than ever before. Individuals can get tested at clinics and health centers or order kits online for in-home testing.

PrEP for sex

Another layer of protection for sexually active individuals is the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an innovative drug. PrEP is a daily medication for people at high risk for HIV infection. This drug contains a combination of antiretroviral drugs that can significantly reduce or even prevent the risk of HIV transmission. However, PrEP can only be accessed with a prescription from a healthcare provider. Consult with a doctor to determine if this medication is suitable. Using PrEP effectively can offer an additional layer of protection from acquiring HIV during casual sexual encounters, but should not be an excuse for risky behaviors.

Stay committed to health

A person engaging in casual sex may tend to overlook the overall health risks. After all, the focus is often on immediate pleasure or satisfaction. However, such lifestyle choices can take a toll on physical and mental well-being. Taking the steps mentioned above, education, testing, and considering PrEP are all recommended actions to maintain optimal health. Investing in protective measures can help avoid unnecessary health risks and ensure a safer and healthier sexual experience.


“Since becoming a patient with HSNT, I feel seen, cared for, and more informed than I’ve ever been.”  –  Jordan Grahmann

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