The reaction to my post about outing HIV positive people has really saddened me. To “Fucking Crazy” you are right, condoms aren’t 100% guaranteed to be safe, but nothing in life is 100% guaranteed.
If anything the responses to the post have highlighted that there are two very opposing camps that are very vocal in their opinions when it comes to HIV and safe sex. There are people like those that have commented supporting outing HIV positive people and “warning” friends that see HIV as dangerous and undesirable and to that extent I’m in agreement. Why would you want a virus that can alter your life in many ways and even end it? By taking the stance that your friends need to be warned about someone who is HIV+ suggests that your friends can’t look after themselves and without being told might have engaged in unsafe sex which says more about them than the HIV+ person. To protect ourselves from infection the basic rule is to treat every sexual partner as if they are positive and take measures to keep yourself safe.
The other camp, which are the ones leading to an increase in infections are the ones that don’t see HIV as anything to worry about and engage in bareback sex with little regard to the financial, emotional and physiological side effects of HIV medication.
Can’t we find a happy medium where people treat those with HIV as equal citizens that are sexual people too instead of treating them like lepers of decades ago that were shipped off to an island? I’m all for looking after yourself but we can have safe sex with casual partners, negative or positive, and actively strive to reduce the stigma faced by those living with HIV.
To the person that criticised my comparison of sexuality outing versus HIV status outing, tell those in Russia and Africa and even right in developed places like NYC and Sydney that being outed as gay isn’t dangerous. It’s illegal and dangerous in MANY places in the world and NYC and many U.S. cities have had dozens gay hate crime attacks in the last 12 months alone. So pardon me but I’ll disagree.
Update: Dear “Fucking Crazy” until you leave a real email address to respond to, you will always sound like a fear monger and I will no longer respond. I do know about the risks and I am in no way advocating risk taking with sex. I’m merely advocating that discussions about sex and if it happens and why/why not it should be between the two parties involved. Suggesting I don’t know what I’m talking about is false. I have lots of HIV+ friends and I have friends that work in sexual health as doctors. Suggesting that condoms largely fail as a protection for HIV transmission is misleading and dangerous. Australia was one of the first countries to take a hunch that HIV was sexually transmitted and government health officials convinced gay men and sex workers to use condoms and as a result our infection rates in the initial epidemic were much lower than the U.S. So condoms, among other decisions and precautions taken by individuals are always a good option.