Playing safe is all about managing personal health risks — it’s that simple. How “risky” a gay man wants to be is his own personal decision, but it is important to know that some behaviors are riskier than others. It’s also important to know that there are services in Rhode Island to help men reduce risky health behaviors — whether it is access to rapid HIV testing, Alcohol Anonymous groups for gay men, or getting free condoms, to name a few.
In many ways the “cards are stacked” against men who have sex with men when it comes to good health. As a group, many of us gay men have grown up somewhat isolated (at least privately), social activities often revolve around alcohol and the bar scene, and HIV and STDs are prevalent making a full sex life challenging to manage at times.
The goal of the “Play Safe” section is to help men make informed decisions about their behaviors, as well as learn ways to adopt habits that will help them lead healthy lives. This can apply to how often to get an HIV test, what gay safe sex involves, talking to partners about HIV status, and gaining an understanding of how drugs/alcohol can impact our bodies and decision-making.