Why is anal sex high-risk?

Dear FO,

Why is anal sex so bad? I've heard that it's the easiest way to get a STD. Is that true? If anal sex is so dangerous why do people keep doing it? How can I make anal sex safe?

Thanks,
Eddie

Dear Eddie,

You've heard right. When practiced unsafely, anal sex is probably the highest-risk of all sexual activities you can engage in. Unprotected anal sex is probably the #2 method by which the HIV virus is spread (the first is intravenous drug use and needle sharing). Anal sex got a bad rap in the 1980s when HIV and AIDS were just coming into public awareness. Gay men who had unprotected anal sex with multiple partners were at extremely high risk of contracting HIV.

Anal sex is more high-risk because of the anatomy of the anus and rectum. They're intended to push waste products out of the body. Anal sex is using these parts in a way they're not intended. For instance, the lining of the rectum easily develops microscopic tears that allow viruses and bacteria to enter the body, exposing the person to diseases and infections.

Why do people keep having anal sex? Because they enjoy it. It's as simple as that.

You can do lots of things to make anal sex safer. First, always use condoms (without nonoxynol-9). The anus is frequently much tighter than the vagina so there's a risk of losing your condom, so make sure to use lots of anal lube. And have a monogamous relationship with a partner you trust, whose sexual history you know.