“I can’t believe he lied to me!”
Recently, even in the PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) Facts Forum, a participant remarked
that one of his tricks lied to him about being on PrEP. “How can this happen?”, he pondered — it does all the time.
Two years ago on the online site Manhunt, I was contacted by an HIV- guy even though my profile said “HIV+ only”. Dialogue ensued that he was really HIV+, and he explained why he lied: “You know how cruel people can be” .
David Fawcett reports from a recent conference that: “Of all the many obstacles to prevention and treatment worldwide, stigma remains the most challenging.”
Read More ....
This blog posted is identical to that published as a blog on the HuffingtonPost (9-01-15) with the following modifications:
Thirty-five states have HIV disclosure laws, in 29 it's a felony to expose someone to the virus.
In 2008, Nick Rhodes was sentenced to 25 years in prison for not disclosing his HIV statusbefore having sex. Even though he and his partner engaged in protected sex and the 'negative' partner remained 'negative', the partner sued. The result: 25 years in jail. On October 22, 2013, Lambda Legal filed an appeal.
Amazing people keep coming into my life as a result of my disclosure of my HIV status: a graduate school friend who lost a brother to AIDS; Wendell Potter, a nationally known health care advocate who was instrumental in connecting me with The Huffington Post; my public relations friend in D.C. who continues to donate all this time as he lost a brother to AIDS; Mark King, who provided me with the opportunity to publicly disclose my status; my web consultant; my graphic designer. These are key people, but there are many more. Believe me: This crusade to educate and change attitudes and behaviors can be very lonely. One needs support. Unlike feeling like you are alone when you come out, you can really be alone when you come out as HIV-positive, because so few people openly discuss being HIV-positive.
Read me .....
Close to 2 million individuals in the U.S. are living with HIV, out of a population of 310 million! Our segment continues to grow at 50,000 a year, minus the 18,000 who still succumb to the ravages of AIDS. We come from all walks of life: rich and poor, white and black and Hispanic, gym rats and drug users, young and old. Despite the ubiquitous nature of HIV, the epidemic remains largely invisible. For that reason, many of us feel alone.
For those of us who are gay, we remember the time when we came out. For many, this was an incredibly empowering, cathartic experience. I call disclosure of my HIV status "coming out with none of the benefits." However, I found that putting HIV in its proper place in my life enabled me to move forward and was incredibly empowering. But I am not saying it was, or is, easy.
In this era of increasing LGBT rights, it is remarkable how little has been done to dispel myths about HIV-positive men, women, and children and eliminate the stigma that separates us from society.
This has mushroomed into fear, which manifests itself in unwillingness to get tested and a fear of dating, much less having sex with, an HIV-positive individual, all this often from individuals who remain uniformed about HIV and remain HIV-negative either through safe sex or pure dumb luck.
Read more ....
Let's shift the responsibility for safe sex back to the individual. The present expectation that condoms and lube will be provided can give gay men an excuse not to practice safe sex. People can't count on those condoms being there or knowing where they are at the moment of need. This is from an article stating why condom distribution is important, but condoms and lube are not in all venues, and the value of distribution to bars diminished when Internet websites became an option to connect for sex.
Read more ...
I never expected to be writing blog posts on The Huffington Post. For that matter, 20 years ago I couldn't envision living openly as a gay man.
I feel that it is important to clarify what I am not! No federal agency, private health care group, or any gay organization provides support to me at any level. I do own stock in Gilead, the manufacturer of Truvada, Atripla, and a few other products; this I did for two reasons: (1) to make some cash (the stock is up over 80-percent in six months), and (2) so that next year I can go to the stock holders' meeting and ask pointed questions.
Read more ....
It was the 1960s. Both straight and gay people embraced the sexual revolution. The result? An explosion of STDs, and then, 30 years after it began, over 500,000 were dead. The HIV virus had appeared on the scene.
In this era of confusion and horror, gay men embraced whatever solutions were available, including experimental drugs to stop the deaths from AIDS, and for the first time, condom use became a part of gay life.
Read more ....
Can we talk about HIV when health educators are out of touch with reality? Two recent articles graphically illustrated this, one in the Advocate and the other by a health educator.
The two articles present divergent views: One discusses the importance of openly discussing HIV status and med compliance, while the second regurgitates the politically correct message of "safe sex only." Unfortunately, the second message resonates from gay health centers and has been woefully ineffective in reducing HIV infections for over 12 years. It is as if they thought gay men actively engage in behaviors because we want to become HIV-positive. Basically, nothing could be further from the truth. What is generally called "reckless behavior" is hormone-driven sex.
Read more ....
Articles that have appeared in the Huffington Post