First, let’s get somethings straight. Having sex, including anal sex, does not cause cancer. Having sex puts you at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which can turn into cancer.
STIs include chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis, intestinal parasites, syphilis, HPV, and HIV. This is why so many people preach using condoms ?☔ ?. Condoms are great at protecting people from most of these STIs. But (I said butt? -heehee), the HPV (Human papillomavirus) is a little sneaky and can infect areas the condom does not cover.
Great! Now what?!
Use the condoms ?☔ ?anyway! By using condoms every time you have sex, you lower your chances of getting HPV – and cancer.
Here are some other ideas for preventing STIs, HPV and HIV:
- Choose less risky sex activities
- Reduce the number of people with whom you have sex
- Limit or eliminate drug and alcohol use before and during sex
- Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider and ask whether you should be tested for STDs and HIV
So how does anal sex cause cancer?
Long story short, anal sex can lead to getting HPV that can turn into cancer. And HPV causes around 90 percent of all anal cancer cases.
It takes HPV 20-30 years to cause anal cancer. You might not even know it’s happening, until it’s too late. This is one reason that anal cancer is found in older adults, it takes a while to show up.
So why are we talking about STI’s, HPV, and anal cancer when we’re all about PrEP here?
If you are at risk to get an STI, you are more at risk to get HIV. Having a sore or break in the skin from an STI also allows HIV to enter your body more easily. But if you are on PrEP, you lower your HIV risk along with taking back control of your body. When you take it as prescribed, it reduces your chances of catching HIV by 99%.
There is another plus for being on PrEP. You get to meet with our super cool PrEP Navigators–Akeem and Fiona, who help you get into PrEP care. They get you access to medical and pharmacy teams and help find you financial assistance so you can get PrEP for Free (or for really cheap.)
And then when you are in care, you can get screened for all STIs and ask about the HPV vaccine, too.
Ask your doctor about getting the HPV vaccine.
The HPV vaccine works best when given to kids, but adults can get them too. If you’re between 27 and 45 years old, you can talk with doctor to decide if getting the vaccine is a good option for you. The vaccine is not approved for anyone over age 45.
There are also vaccines for Hepatitis A and B. Also, ask about the meningitis vaccine, since there have been some outbreaks in the last few years. Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is a thing too.
We want what’s best for you and your booty, too.
Look, if anal sex rocks your world, we’re not throwing any sexual shade. We just know that STIs, HIV, and anal cancer can really spoil the party. We just want to make sure you can shake that booty for a long time to come.
Call Akeem and Fiona today and ask about PrEP Care – and FREE condoms ?☔ ?!
If you’ve got more questions about PrEP, it’s easy to get answers. Just text or call the Cleveland PrEP Navigators:
AKeem Rollins, MetroHealth
Call or Text 216.714.2223
Fiona Allan, University Hospitals