Queer & Strong: Navigating HIV Prevention & PrEP As A LGBTQ+ Youth

March 21, 2024

HIV In The LGBTQ+ Community

Many people are aware that the LGBTQ+ community has been disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since the beginning of the epidemic. Most new HIV infections occur among gay and bisexual men. Such an alarming trend is due to various factors surrounding LGBTQ+ individuals, such as risky sexual behaviors, stigma, and discrimination. Limited access to healthcare services and lack of comprehensive sex education specifically tailored to LGBTQ+ youth also impact these numbers. However, these shouldn’t be viewed as barriers but rather opportunities for people to come together, offer support, and develop strategies for HIV prevention that are inclusive and effective, especially for young people.

You are at risk

In preventing the spread of HIV among LGBTQ+ youth, the first step is to acknowledge that no gender identity or sexuality is immune to HIV. Regardless of a person’s preferred sexual partner, every individual in the LGBTQ+ community who is sexually active is at risk of contracting HIV. By recognizing this fact, all men and women can better understand the importance of practicing safe sex and being proactive in accessing HIV prevention tools and resources. HIV prevention starts with understanding the risks and taking precautions before and during any relationship.

Protect yourself and others

Every individual in the community is responsible for HIV prevention. To do this, education about HIV transmission, risk factors, and prevention methods is crucial. Youth should have access to information and resources in schools, homes, and other safe spaces. The LGBTQ+ youth, like heterosexuals, will engage in sexual relationships. Practicing safe sex with the use of condoms or dental dams is a common but effective way to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Having open and honest communication with sexual partners may also help in determining HIV status and mutually agreeing on the use of preventive measures.

Use PrEP for added protection

Typically, health professionals recommend pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to individuals who are at high risk of contracting HIV. When used correctly, PrEP is a medicine that blocks the ability of HIV to replicate and spread in the body. The drug can reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% and from injection drug use by 74% or more. PrEP is especially crucial for LGBTQ+ youth who have multiple sexual partners or engage in risky sexual behaviors. PrEP is a prescribed medication that should be taken daily for maximum effectiveness.

Education is essential

While stigma and various myths surround HIV, with self-education, people can learn the facts and realities of the disease. LGBTQ+ youth should actively seek accurate and reliable information about HIV to dispel misconceptions and raise awareness within the community. Moreover, advocating for comprehensive and inclusive sex education that specifically addresses the needs of LGBTQ+ youth can help the community better understand sexual health risks and how to take control.

Other strategies for LGBTQ+ youth

Having an open dialogue with sexual partners, practicing safe sex, and taking PrEP are all valuable and effective strategies to reduce the risk of HIV transmission among LGBTQ+ youth. Education about HIV can also go a long way in empowering and protecting the community. In addition to these strategies, regular HIV testing is still needed to detect any infection early and receive treatment if necessary. With a multipronged approach, LGBTQ+ youth can take control of sexual health and significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission within the community.


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

What is your part?

Get in touch with us today and let’s end the HIV epidemic in North Texas together!

Ending the HIV Epidemic in North Texas - The Time is Now!

Have You Seen Our Outreach Efforts?

You may have seen our table ads in the community.  You can download them here:

Go to Top