Stay Safe

Check out a range of information on how you can have all the fun you want while still protecting your health and that of the people you play with.

It doesn’t matter if you are a top, bottom or both. Staying safe by correctly using condoms and water-based lubricant remains the most effective way to protect yourself against HIV. Together, they’ll stop HIV-infected body fluids (cum or anal mucus of someone who may be HIV-positive) from coming into contact with the mucous membranes in the arse, foreskin, urethra and head of the penis of your partner(s).

Step 1: When your penis is hard, take the condom out of the wrapper carefully using your fingers (not your teeth). Squeeze the air out of the teat on the tip of the condom (if there’s one) and put it over the end of your penis. Don’t stretch it and then pull it over your penis as this’ll make it more likely to break.

Step 2: Roll it down the length of your penis – the further down it goes the less likely it’s to slip off. Put some water-based lubricant over your condom-covered penis. Put plenty of lube around his arse too. Don't put any lube on your penis before you put the condom on, as this can make it slip off.

Step 3: Check the condom occasionally while fucking to ensure it hasn't come off or split. If you fuck for a long time you’ll need to keep applying more lube. When you pull out, hold on to the condom and your penis at the base, so that you don’t leave it behind. Pull out before your dick goes soft.

Reasons why condoms may fail include:

  • Not knowing how to put on a condom
  • Unrolling the condom before putting it on your penis
  • Using oil-based lube including some creams, body lotions or shampoo
  • Using lube in the wrong places (i.e., on your penis before putting on the condom or not putting lube up and around his arse)
  • Having a long session using the same condom
  • Using an expired condom (always check the expiry date on the package)
  • Using the wrong size of condoms

Most testing clinics will provide condoms when you go for a HIV test. You can also purchase condoms at any supermarket (Big C or Tops), chemist or convenience store.

Below are some frequently asked questions about STIs. Click on each question to show the answer.

STIs are infections that can be passed on when you have condomless sex, or other close sexual contact with an infected person. Having STI significantly increases the risk of contracting HIV.

Many people with STIs don’t have symptoms, so it’s worth getting tested if you think you have put yourself at risk. For a guy, symptoms may include:

  1. discharge or pus from the tip of the penis or anus or mouth;
  2. pain or a burning feeling when peeing;
  3. itchiness, soreness or redness around the penis or under the foreskin;
  4. blisters, ulcers or warts around the genital area.
  5. cold sores or other mouth lesions

But remember, in most cases STIs have no symptoms, so it’s good to get tested regularly just to be on the safe side.

Yes, STIs are extremely common, particularly syphilis and gonorrhea.

A person with syphilis generally has sores at the original sites of infection, such as the anus, in the rectum, in or around the mouth or genital area. You can get infected by having a direct contact with a syphilis sore.

Gonorrhea infection occurs in genitals, rectum, and throat. You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea.

It’s important to get tested if you think you have put yourself at risk. Many people with STIs don’t have symptoms, so it’s worth getting tested even if you feel healthy. If you think you have an infection, you shouldn’t have sex until you’ve had a check-up. Additionally, if you have been treated for an STI, you should get tested for HIV. Click here for testing locations in Bangkok.

Most STIs are easy to treat. Treatment for each infection is different. It’s often as simple as taking tablets, applying lotions or perhaps a small injection. It’s important to complete the course of treatment. You should follow any advice given by the doctor about not having sex during treatment. This is to prevent re-infection of the same STI or passing it on to other people.

​There are lots of ways to reduce your risk of getting an STI. The most common way to protect yourself is by using condoms and water-based lubricant everytime you engage in oral and anal sex. Please remember that if you are on PrEP, the medication will not protect you from STI infection.

​Some STIs cause ulcers, or sores, to develop in the genital area or mouth. These sores create an opening in the skin, making it easier for HIV to enter the body, if exposed.

Secondly, when a person has an STI infection, his immune system sends out certain cells to help fight it. When their immune system is actively fighting off another infection, they may be more susceptible to the new incoming virus.

​​PrEP doesn’t protect against ​​STIs. Using condoms during oral and anal sex still remain your best ​strategy to avoid STI infection.​

By taking one PrEP pill a day, you're protected non-stop from HIV infection. Learn more about PrEP with the frequently asked questions below.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a powerful new HIV prevention strategy where an HIV-negative person can use anti-HIV medications to reduce their risk of becoming infected if they’re exposed to the virus. It’s an additional tool in the HIV prevention toolbox for people to consider.

Watch the video below to learn more about PrEP.

PrEP is not right fit for everyone but can be useful for many people who are at risk for HIV infection and comfortable with the idea of taking a daily pill to prevent HIV.

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, then PrEP may be one HIV prevention strategy to consider.

  • Do you use condoms sometimes or not at all?
  • Do you often get STIs?
  • Have you taken post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) more than once in the past year?
  • Are you in a serodiscordant relationship, where your sexual partner is HIV positive and you are HIV negative?
  • Are you in an open relationship or having sex with multiple partners?
  • Are you having sex with someone whose HIV status you don’t know?
  • Are you having sex with someone from a city or region where there are large numbers of people living with HIV?

We’re not here to be the condom police and dictate your sex life. Answering this question really depends on what you and perhaps your partners want or need that’ll help decide if you “have” to use condoms. Condoms have been and continue to be an effective strategy to reduce HIV risk, but we know that many people are already not using condoms every time they have sex. PrEP is an additional tool to consider for HIV prevention.

Note that PrEP doesn’t protect against STIs, like gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis. Condoms still remain the best strategy to protect people from HIV and STIs.

No. Many people go in and out of “seasons of risk,” where there are certain times it makes sense to take PrEP (like Songkran) and then other times where it doesn’t. For example, if you start taking PrEP because you’re sexually active with multiple partners who you’re unsure of their HIV status, and later you find yourself in a relationship where you and an HIV-negative partner are committed to having sex with only each other, then continuing to take PrEP might not be right for you.

It takes time for PrEP to build up levels in your body that are considered protective. The exact length of time is still being investigated. However, for gay men protective levels should be reached in your anal tissue after seven days of consistently taking your daily PrEP without missing any doses.

It’s challenging to remember to take medication every day, but once you get into a routine, it’s easier. If you happen to forget a dose, don’t freak out. You can take the missed dose when you remember it, as long as it’s the same day. If you routinely take PrEP at night and forget, you can take the pill next day morning with your breakfast. However, it’s important to stick with the same time try to do your best next time when you missed it. You can also talk to your prescriber / doctor or other PrEP users; they may have some helpful tips for you.

Depending on the time you take your dose, people suggest different ideas to help remember. For instance, if you decide to take your dose in the morning or evening perhaps leave your PrEP next to you toothbrush so you remember to take it at the same time as you brush your teeth. Another way people remember is to set a repeated alarm in their phone, reminding them it’s time to take their dose.

If you don’t take it, it won’t work so do whatever you think is best to help you remember It’ll get easier over time. If you’re struggling to regularly remember, talk to your prescriber / doctor or other PrEP users; they may have some helpful tips for you.

Before you start using PrEP, it’s essential to make sure you’re HIV negative; you run a risk of developing HIV drug resistance if you’re already infected with HIV when you start PrEP. HIV drug resistance means certain medications will no longer keep the virus in check if you’re HIV-positive. For this reason, it’s really important to confirm your HIV-negative status before you start using PrEP.

When you’re using PrEP, you should get tested for HIV every three months to make sure PrEP is the right prevention strategy for you.

For the first few weeks of starting the medication used for PrEP, some people complain about nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and dizziness, with these minor symptoms eventually resolving themselves over time. This is often referred to as ‘start-up syndrome”.

Some people in clinical trials had elevations in blood tests that looked at kidney function. With this particular side effect, there were no physical symptoms, so it’s important to remember that if you take PrEP, you need to get routinely checked by your doctor to make sure your kidneys are working properly.

Some people in studies had a decrease in bone mineral density within the first month. However, but these changes were small, didn’t progress over time, and didn’t increase risk for fracture. Once the medication was stopped, it’s likely the bone mineral density returned to normal.

The efficacy of PrEP used by people who occasionally use illicit drugs is similar to that seen in people who don't take illicit drugs. Nevertheless, disclosing the illicit drugs you use to your doctor before starting PrEP and when you refill your PrEP prescription is important to prevent any unwanted consequences.

Another thing you have to always remember is that PrEP can be less effective or not working at all if you don't adhere to its daily use. Many cases have shown that daily adherance to PrEP is often difficult to achieve by people who engage in a long high-fun session.

Local, foreigners and tourists can access PrEP at affordable prices in several gay-friendly clinics across Thailand. Whether you're in or outside of Bangkok, click here to find a nearby PrEP provider clinic location.

Both Thais and foreigners can access PrEP with affordable prices, starting from 900THB per monthly supply. An additional cost to cover HIV and STI tests, as well as kidney checkup, may arise along with the purchase of the medication.

Check out APCOM's PrEP MAP to find out if you can get PrEP online or abroad from the country you currently live in.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and for general information only, if you are considering taking PrEP you must consult a doctor or counsellor for more specific information.

If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, PEP may prevent you from getting infected – if you act quickly!

PEP stands for post-exposure prophylaxis. It means taking antiretroviral medicines (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected.

PEP must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV, but the sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts. If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once daily for 28 days. PEP is effective in preventing HIV when administered correctly, but not 100%.

PEP and PrEP is not the same. PEP is a HIV prevention method that’s designed to be taken within 72 hours after potential exposure to HIV. PEP has to be taken for 28 days.

PrEP, on the other hand, is a HIV prevention method in which HIV-negative people take an oral pill once a day before coming into contact with HIV to reduce their risk of HIV infection. PrEP must be taken for at least 7 days to reach optimal levels of protection against HIV.

If you’re HIV-negative or don’t know your HIV status, and in the last 72 hours you:

  1. think you may have been exposed to HIV during sex (for example, if you had an unprotected sex with someone who is HIV-positive or with a person whose HIV status is unknown to you, of if the condom broke), or
  2. shared needles to inject drugs, or
  3. were sexually assaulted,

talk to TestBKK’s clinic partners or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away.

PEP should be used only in emergency situations and must be started within 72 hours after a recent possible exposure to HIV.

PEP is not a substitute for regular use of other proven HIV prevention methods, such as:

  • pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which means taking HIV medicines daily to lower your chance of getting infected
  • using condoms correctly every time you have sex; and
  • using only your own new and sterile needles every time you inject drugs

PEP is effective, but not 100%, so you should continue to use condoms with sex partners and safe injection practices while taking PEP. These strategies can protect you from being exposed to HIV again and reduce the chances of transmitting HIV to others if you do become infected while you’re on PEP.

PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure. The sooner you start PEP, the better; every hour counts.

Starting PEP as soon as possible after a potential HIV exposure is important. Research has shown that PEP has little or no effect in preventing HIV infection if it is started later than 72 hours after HIV exposure.

If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it once daily for 28 days.

If you do miss a dose, it is often better to take the pills a bit late rather than not at all. Check with your doctor, but don’t double your next dose.

PEP is safe but may cause side effects like nausea in some people. These side effects can be treated and aren’t life-threatening.

The efficacy of PEP used by people who occasionally use illicit drugs is similar to that seen in people who don't take illicit drugs. Nevertheless, disclosing the illicit drugs you use to your doctor before starting PEP is important to prevent any unwanted consequences.

Another thing you have to always remember is that PEP can be less effective or not working at all if you don't adhere to its daily use. Many cases have shown that daily adherence to PEP is often difficult to achieve by people who engage in a long high session.

PEP should be used only in emergency situations.

PEP is not the right choice for people who may be exposed to HIV frequently—for example, if you don’t take PrEP and often have sex without a condom with a partner who is HIV-positive or with a person whose HIV status is unknown to you. If this example sounds like you, changing your habit to use condom consistently and/or take PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a better option for you.

PrEP is a daily anti-HIV medicine to lower the chances of getting HIV. Learn more about it, including where you can get it in Bangkok, on our PrEP section.

TestBKK’s clinic partners or an emergency room doctor can prescribe PEP. Talk to them right away if you think you’ve recently been exposed to HIV. The doctor will try to evaluate how likely it is you have actually been exposed to HIV before starting treatment. This means you have to be honest in telling your incident to your doctor. The doctor will not judge you. Instead, he/she will be very helpful and make you feel at ease.

The price of a course of PEP, which provides you at least 28 pills for daily intake, vary from 1,500 ฿ or more, depending on the place where you get it and the brand of the medicine. Thai national health care do not cover PEP, so you have to pay it from your own pocket.

There is no such thing as safe hi-fun session. Health and safety risks are difficult to avoid when you combine sexual activity with recreational drugs. If you are planning a hi-fun session or party with someone else, TestBKK have some guidance you should keep in mind to reduce the risks.

Having a friend whom you can trust in the session you’re hosting is a good idea, so that you and your friend can watch each other's back if something goes wrong.

Avoid inviting a complete stranger to your session. If you do invite a complete stranger, having a videocall beforehand or meeting him outside of your building, as opposed to letting him directly get into your door, is strongly suggested.

Understand the risk of having your valuables getting stolen. Ensure your valuables are safely hidden in a locked safe or room.

There is no such thing as a safe amount of drug use, and different people have a different tolerance level for different drugs. Always set a limit of the amount of drugs you take in a session.

If you take G

  1. It's easy to take too much of G. The difference between a dose that gives a pleasurable effect and one that lands you in a hospital is very very minimal. Dosage intervals and results vary from person to person. We suggest your dose to be 1ml and only re-dose within an hour interval. Use a syringe to track your dose. Go slow, build up or STOP if you are uncertain. To ensure that you're on track with a time interval, use the timer on your phone.
  2. As you are mixing your G with a drink, make sure that the bottle, the glass or the can you use is easily distinguishable from other bottles or can in the room. The last thing you want is gulping a bottle that contains G while you think it's just a regular soft drink.

If you take ICE:

The more you take ice the more you'd stay awake and be prone to paranoia and/or hallucination. And you certainly don't wanna keep awake at night before a working/studying day.

High doses and frequent heavy use of ice, which prevents you from getting enough sleep may cause psychosis. It’s not fun and it consists of things like paranoid delusions, hallucinations and potentially, aggressive behaviour. Symptoms will usually disappear a few days after use of the drug has ceased.

To avoid overdose and other serious health complication to your body, never ever mix your drug with alcohol, other kinds of recreational drugs and/or sex-enhancing drugs such as viagra.

Go to “Alcohol and Drugs” section to see the list of possible fatal chemical interaction from mixing various substances, including recreational drugs and HIV medication.

There is no such thing as safe duration in engaging in a hi-fun session. Set a limit of how long you will engage in a session. Try to keep it less than 8 hours. Set an alarm and/or ask your sober friend to call/come over to remind you to stop the session (if you’re hosting) or leave from a session (if you’re a guest) at the designated time.

Recreational drugs often delay exhaustion. Take regular breaks.

Long fuck sessions can cause condoms to break, and while being on drugs, it can really wreck your body and sometimes even push past your limits and boundaries.

Bareback fucking, fisting and sharing needles, snorting straws, dildos and douche kits can put you at high risk of getting HIV and STI, such as Hepatitis C, gonorrhea and syphilis.

During the session, you can reduce risk by:

  • Using condoms and water-based lubes for fucking or getting fucked
  • Wearing new condoms everytime you change fucking partner
  • Using sterile syringes and needles when slamming and not sharing it with other people
  • Wrapping dildos with a new condom every time they are used
  • Using your own straw when snorting drugs
  • Using clean gloves when fisting and getting fisted

If you’ve engaged in a hi-fun session more than once in the past month, we advise you to be on PrEP. However, note that PrEP still won’t protect you from STI transmission.

If you think you’re exposed to HIV during a hi-fun session, visit hospital's emergency unit or TestBKK’s clinic partners to talk about PEP, a medicine which can help prevent you from becoming infected if taken within three days of the possible exposure.

It’s always good to carry a pill or two with you when you’re planning a night out, whether or not you have a hi-fun plan.

If you happen to miss your daily dose and realize it on the same day, you can take your pill as soon as you remember it.

If you don't remember until the next day, there's no need to take two pills simultaneously or to change the timing of your next dose. Simply take your daily tablet as you would usually and make sure you don’t forget it again on the following day.

It’s always good to carry a pill or two with you when you’re planning a night out, whether or not you have a hi-fun plan.

If you do miss a dose, don’t panic! Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, take the medicine you missed as soon as you realize you skipped it. But if your next treatment is due within 2 hours or less, don’t take the missed dose and instead just continue on your regular medication schedule. Don’t take a double dose of a medicine to make up for a missed dose.

If someone gets unconscious, put them safely into a recovery position and call the ambulance at 1669.

Until help arrives, keep checking the person's breathing. If they stop breathing at any point, give them CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) - a combination of chest pressure and rescue breaths). Learn more on how to give CPR here.

Note that emergency ambulances do not usually bring police on call outs, unless the situation involves violence and risks to other people.

The comedown effect, such as feeling anxious, depressed and exhausted, will happen after you finish the session. These feelings will pass in time, especially if you have a recovery day or two to cope with the comedown. Spend it by taking rest, getting enough sleep, watching movies or listening to music, eating nutritious food and having a company of your good buddies.

If the gloomy feeling still lingers after your recovery day, doing exercise will help bringing back your good mood.

It’s common for people who use ice or other stimulants too have difficulties to sleep when they end the session. When you think you’re still wired, you should NOT force yourself to fall asleep by taking sedative medication such as benzodiazepines. Xanax and Valium are the brand examples of this medication.

The interaction between benzodiazepines and ice can be dangerous to your body. Additionally, people who often engage in chemsex session and regularly take benzodiazepines at the end of the session end up having a dependency on benzodiazepines as well.

Let your body fall asleep naturally. Freshen up. Take shower. Fill your tummy with food. Lie down on your bed with a dimmed light. Listen to a soothing music. If you want to be able to sleep in the evening, you must then stop your session in the afternoon before it.

Yes, you should. Some STIs have no symptoms at all. That’s why regular sexual health check-ups, including HIV testing, every 1 to 3 months - depending on how often you engage in a hi-fun session, is really important for you.

You can now book online the STI/HIV testing with testBKK’s clinic partners across Thailand by clicking here.

By booking your appointment in advance, you won’t have to queue anymore. The test will surely be quick, confidential and anonymous, and with an affordable price – if not free.

Disclaimer: The information given by testBKK on this page is not a medical advice and should not be relied upon in that way. Consult with your doctor to learn more.