From one of my favourite blogs – ON THE AGENDA
There are HIV-negative gay men in this world who would knowingly have sex (and perform risky sexual acts) with someone who has no clue what his status is or never gets tested than an HIV-positive undetectable gay man, who adheres to his antiretroviral therapy and is healthy.
The reason that makes little to no sense is because it has now been indefinitely confirmed that HIV-positive undetectable individuals cannot transmit the virus to their partners, no matter what the sexual act is.
“I don’t want to have sex with someone with HIV! You can’t make me! That doesn’t mean I hate them!”
Those statements would, for some, come after reading the intro to this piece. It’s not about telling you that you lack moral fiber. It’s about an inherent stigma and prejudice you have toward people who have a chronic condition you could easily be infected with, too.
For those who share this toxic line of thinking, remember that you are contributing to the stigma. You are further compartmentalizing our community by denying love and sex to people because of their HIV-positive status. If HIV were cancer or diabetes, and not associated with poor sexual practices, there would be no stigma.
I’ve read comments on gay blog, forums, comment sections on social media apps where gays desecrate those living with the virus, “out” them, or assume they went around on a barebacking spree to become infected. It takes one time – one. There are people born with HIV, people who were sexually assaulted and acquired the disease, people who were on the receptive end of sex when the condom broke… don’t assume HIV is linked to someone’s risky, impulsive sexcapades.
Gay men have sex a lot. I have yet to meet one gay man who isn’t constantly divulging about his sexual experiences or one who hasn’t went on a constant fucking-spree. It’s just who we are. Unfortunately, there is an STD looming amongst us, and it can creep up on any of us at any time. As someone who’s lost a close male relative to AIDS and has HIV-positive friends, I don’t condone blatant ignorance and mistreatment of anyone, including those within my community – the LGBTQIA community. Be mindful of the respect you demand from those on the outside but fail to give others in your corner.
Gay men have and will continue to be one another’s worst enemy. Even after Pulse, even after Stonewall, even after AIDS in the 80s… we continue to bash, humiliate, and hurt one another with our actions and words. It’s time to drop the victim role. It’s no longer about ‘them versus us.’ It’s now about ‘us versus us.’ We can be the generation to end HIV/AIDS. Through education, preventative measures, and safe sex, we can eradicate the virus and the stigma.
There will always be people living with HIV/AIDS. Don’t ignore their stories. Don’t diminish their experiences. Don’t invalidate their existences out of fear. Talk about HIV. Get tested. Know your facts. It’s a virus contained within a person. It’s not the person.
GMFA, a gay men’s health charity, found that 39 percent of British men who responded said that all or nearly of their sex in the last year was unprotected. That’s more than those who said they had unprotected sex some of the time (25 percent) and those who did not have unprotected sex at all (36 percent).