Can I trust my partner? Can he trust me?

Yes. And yes. If you have a clear explicit agreement you will be more likely to keep to it than if you don’t have an agreement at all.

Trusting your partner and keeping to your agreement actually go hand in hand. Men who keep to their sexual agreements are more likely to trust their partner. If you agree to be honest with each other about your needs, feelings, and expectations, then you are less likely to break your agreement or to feel your trust has been betrayed.

At some time in the future one of you may have to disclose to the other something that’s embarrassing, or difficult, or potentially even hurtful. So, you need to talk now about how you will prepare for that possibility. This will make it easier to be able to admit mistakes.

What if we are both HIV-negative and we have a ‘slip-up’?

If one of you has a ‘slip up’ (if you have unsafe sex—or a condom breaks or slips off—with another guy) there is a treatment that may prevent HIV infection. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP for short. For more information go to www.getpep.info

If you’re not using condoms with each other, you need to discuss the slip-up straight away. You should discuss how you will do this and how you want to handle it when you make your agreement. This should include using condoms and getting HIV tests again.

The first year of relationships is when most HIV infections occur.