[updated January 2020]
When BananaGuide went live in 2000, condoms were the only way to prevent HIV. Contracting HIV led to AIDS, which could eventually mean a series of illnesses followed by premature death. Back then almost all gay porn used condoms in fuck scenes.
Things have changed a lot. With the introduction of much improved testing and pre- and post- exposure prevention and treatment, particularly with PreP (Truvada or Descovy), bareback sex does not necessarily lead to HIV and AIDS.
Why does BananaGuide care?
HIV is now manageable with drug treatments, but many people do not know they have HIV and do not seek treatment until long after they've been infected. Condoms should still be an option in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Do bareback producers take precautions to make sure models have the same HIV status?
There is no consistent policy among gay porn producers for pairing models. Some try to pair only models with the same HIV status. Some test their models with the most advanced tests available; others just ask models what their HIV status is. While some studios may state that they have a screening or testing policy, there is no way to verify this. With all of these "ifs" it's simply impossible to gage the true risk level when we see condomless fucking onscreen.
The most common form of HIV testing detects antibodies that the immune system has created to combat the virus. But during the earliest phase of HIV infection the body's immune system has not kicked in sufficiently to produce antibodies at a detectable level. Therefore someone who is recently infected can test negative yet still pass the virus to his partner. Most people develop detectable antibodies approximately 30 days after infection, though it can take up to 90 days.
There are more sensitive (and expensive) tests that look for the genetic material of HIV itself (rather than antibodies.) These are known as PCR tests and they will produce a positive test result within 15 to 30 days of infection.
The long and the short of it is that -- even with the best tests available -- just because someone tests negative doesn't mean he is negative.
Undetectable Viral Loads
Another factor to consider is that many men have the HIV virus but, due to succesful antiretroviral treatment, have an undetectable (less than 200 copies per millilter) viral load. These men won't transmit the virus to a sex partner. (See the US Dept. of Health and Human Services Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents.)
Why does BananaGuide have bareback galleries?
In March, 2012 we started to publish bareback gallery; as the years have passed, we have published more and more. The first reason is that now the vast majority of porn scenes being produced are bareback. We have to reflect this reality. The second reason is that with improved prevention and post- exposure treatments, the possible consequences of having raw sex are much less dire than they once were.
HIV Prevention and Sexual Health in 2020
If you have condomless anal sex outside of a monogamous relationship, it would be wise to be on PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) with Truvada or Descovy. You should also be tested regularly for other STDs.