To douche or not to douche?

So I’m sure that anal douching is not a topic that we frequently discuss over dinner or coffee.  However, as some MSM know, anal douching is a part of some MSM’s sexual rituals.  For those that don’t know, anal douching involves cleansing the bowels usually with a stream of water introduced through a hose of some nature or a pump type device put up the anus as pictured to the left.  Many receptive partners douche in an attempt to become clean for their partner, however some also douche simply in order to cleanse their bowels.

So how does this relate to HIV?  There is currently no robust body of quantitative body of  research focused on HIV and anal douching.   Some have said that frequent repeated douching is a “risky behavior” and  may increase anal tears among MSM, thus contributing to increase spread of HIV (However, whether douche or no douche, of course, I would recommend to use condoms, which minimize this risk from douching).   A new qualitative study (the full text is not available without a fee)  shows that attitudes toward anal douching differ among HIV positive and negative individuals,  but does not discuss anal douching’s potential role in HIV transmission.  It does state that HIV positive men report douching more frequently than those who are HIV negative: In the sample 91% (10/12) of the HIV positive men douched and 50% (6/12) HIV- men douched. Obviously this sample is too small to draw any conclusions from.

For a humorous take on anal douching watch Hedda Lettuce’s Clip below.  Although there is no reference to HIV transmission and prevention it is funny nonetheless (or perhaps slightly offensive but I think funny).

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