Sex while you are on holiday

Some countries are gay-friendly holiday destinations. But there are also countries where homosexuality is illegal. And people with HIV are not allowed to enter some countries.

Find out in advance what is allowed and what is not. And bring plenty of condoms and lube with you. It is also a good idea to get the free vaccination against Hepatitis B before your trip. That way you can keep your holiday sex both fun and safe.

Enjoying sex while you are on holiday

For many men, sex is an important part of any holiday trip. Sex can also strongly enhance your holiday fun. So the last thing you want is to get an STI, of course. It goes without saying that HIV and other STIs are also present abroad, and especially in popular gay destinations. Which STIs are most prevalent and how many men have HIV differs per country and per destination.
At your holiday destination, you run a greater risk of getting STIs and HIV, because:

  • you are likely to have a greater appetite for sex 
  • you are likely to be less worried about things like HIV and other STIs
  • you are more likely to drink more alcohol than normal or to experiment with drugs
  • you may meet multiple sex partners in a short period.

Tips for sex while you are on holiday

If you are well prepared, you can enjoy sex as much as possible during your trip without running any extra risks.

  • It is best to bring along plenty of lube and good condoms from home. Never keep condoms in the burning sun.
  • Get the free vaccination against Hepatitis B. That virus is common in subtropical and tropical countries.

Sex and homosexuality in other countries

You can find information about attitudes towards homosexuality in other countries in various different gay travel guides, both in print and online. Such guides contain information about the country, about hotels and B&Bs and about places where gay men can meet each other, including cruising areas. You can find a lot of information about the possibilities in each destination on the Internet.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed a website and a smartphone application (app) with travel advice regarding specific destinations. For some countries it also offers specific information about homosexuality in public .
Different countries have different attitudes towards homosexuality:

  • In some countries, such as Egypt, Morocco, Iran and Zimbabwe, homosexuality is illegal.
  • In many other countries, homosexuality may not be illegal, but it is still not accepted. You can't kiss your boyfriend on the street, or you and your partner will not get a double bed at a hotel.

Travelling with HIV

If you are HIV positive, keep the following in mind when you travel:

  • Ask your doctor or HIV nurse for a medical statement or customs declaration. That document will state that you need to take medications for a chronic condition. That way you can avoid potential problems when you go through Customs.
  • Get a medical passport from your pharmacy / chemist. That is a list of all the medications that you take. This is especially handy if you will be gone for a long time and will need to buy new medications while you are away.
  • If you fly, carry your medications in your hand luggage or carry-on bag. That way, even if your suitcase gets lost, you will still always have the most important medications at hand.
  • If you need vaccination shots or pills against malaria or yellow fever, ask your doctor how those medications might interact with your HIV medications.
  • Find out to what extent the climate and the food in your holiday country could affect your medications. Some medications will not last as long in high temperatures, for example. With other medications, it will be important to drink extra fluids.
  • As a result of diarrhea, your body will absorb medication such as HIV inhibitors less effectively. If you have diarrhea, got to a pharmacy for advice.
  • Before you go on holiday, look up what the rules and regulations are with regard to HIV and people with HIV in your holiday country. People with HIV will officially be denied entry to some countries, while in other countries they will face restrictions with regard to working and how long they can stay.

Besides the tips mentioned here, see also the useful information about travelling abroad that the Hiv Vereniging has put together.



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