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HIV rates in gay men still at high levels

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  1. Gay men do need to stop f—–g everything that moves…. It’s 2009 the information is there, grow up. It’s really horrible to see fellow gay people still thinking it’s cool to have sex without protection. We’ll never really have total respect until we start respecting ourselves.

  2. David hoult 27 Mar 2009, 12:07pm

    Just a thought but maybe the numbres are up since 1997 becuase of greater acceptance more people are coming out of the closet and having gay sex…

  3. It’s time for more national advertising. As a child of the 80’s it was drummed into us via tv, many young gay people now will not remember it or have even been born so time to scare the s**t out of people again!

  4. 30 years ago, if you caught HIV, you would probably be dead in less than a year. I lost many friends around that time, and most people back then didn’t even know what it was. Nowadays, everyone knows about HIV and AIDS, how you catch it, and how to prevent it. The media, health services and the gay scene and publications are awash with literature and adverts.

    Frankly, if you catch it nowadays through sex, it’s your own stupid fault, and I for one have zero sympathy.

    Maybe it’s a shame we have the drugs nowadays. If you knew you could be dead in six months, you might be a little more careful.

  5. Simon Murphy 27 Mar 2009, 1:21pm

    People should have safe sex for sure as HIV is a nasty thing to catchgoing to insult diabetics by regarding HIV as a worse chronic illness as that makes it sound like diabetes is an easy illness to live with – which it is not. Diabetes is almost guaranteed to kill you prematurely even if you control it strictly).

    That’s the harsh reality. People know that it won’t kill them and they disregard the fact that they will be on meds forever.

  6. Brian Burton 27 Mar 2009, 2:02pm

    HIV/Aids was called the ‘Gay Desease’ by a few igrorant Hets. in the 1980s. This Plague is world wide and one day will burn itself out naturally. But It will take many more victims before it dose.

  7. I think the Government needs to grow some balls on this issue and to start targeting groups of people who have a high chance of contracting HIV… i.e. black men, gay men etc. If they were to do this, maybe people would think twice? We should look towards more sexually liberated countries like Sweden, where national press is not afraid to use same-sex couples in AIDS advertising- they are being straight (no pun intended!) to the point and are effective, probably a lot more so than if they were to use a hetero couple.

  8. Sister Mary Clarence 27 Mar 2009, 5:52pm

    Sorry, who ‘knows’ HIV won’t kill them??

  9. Sister Mary Clarence: One factor is guaranteed: Even on the latest medication, contracting HIV will knock at least ten years off your life.

    Everyone dies. It’s just a matter of when.

  10. Interesting to note that 38% of new HIV cases were ‘probably acquired through sex with men’, while 57% of new HIV cases came from heterosexuals.

    So it would seem straight people are almost as bad as gay people when it comes to unprotected sex.

  11. Flicking through the gay rags, the reason for the abysmal infection rates of gay men is quite apparent. The only ads remotely resembling HIV prevention campaigns are for PEP (a toxic cocktail of AIDS drugs to be taken for 28 days AFTER exposure to HIV, with no guarantee that it will work), and an ad that implores all gay men to get tested in case they are unknowingly infected, presumably so that they can immediately be prescribed AIDS meds regardless of whether or not they are showing AIDS symptoms (healthy people who carry the virus should not be prescribed medications until absolutely necessary due to the damage these drugs inflict on the body, yet scandalously many gay men are). Don’t these ads tell us all we need to now about so-called HIV prevention in our community today? That the approach now is akin to an ambulance waiting at the bottom of a cliff top to deal with the casualties? These ads are placed by the Terence Higgins Trust, which has repeatedly stated that it won’t run hard-hitting HIV campaigns because it does not want to “demonise” or hurt the feelings of HIV “victims”, yet their lock-the-stable-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted approach is making HIV victims of an ever burgeoning number of gay men; victims in the sense that many gay men today, particularly youngsters emerging onto the scene, are unwittingly contracting HIV having never seen an impactful HIV/safe sex ad of the kind that once instilled in the minds of a generation the need to play safe at all costs. Doubtless there are many gay men today who made a calculated risk to abandon condoms and who only have themselves to blame for their positive status and so should take full responsibility for their actions, yet we are taught by the likes of THT that ALL who carry the virus are victims and that we must tip toe carefully around their feelings, and so mustn’t speak honestly and frankly about this horrible killer virus. They will argue that drugs today mean that those with the virus can live a normal life-span, but that is just not true: if you don’t eventually succumb to AIDS itself then the consequences of taking a toxic regimen of drugs day in and day out will eventually take their ghastly toll. If you have HIV, you certainly can;t expect to die of natural causes.

    The likes of the THT have systemically betrayed a generation of gay men who have unwittingly contracted the virus believing it to be no more serious that a dose of crabs, and now it is the only organisation funded to provide HIV campaigns to gay men in London, GMFA having lost the NHS Pan London contract a year or so ago. THT has concerned the market in all things HIV, yet how on earth can such a monolithic corporate structure whose lifeblood depends on the perpetuation of the virus seriously be expected to deliver a halfway decent HIV campaign? The answer is it can’t, and it won’t. Only the pharmaceuticals who manufacture PEP and other AIDS drugs – and who, incidentally, continue to contribute to THT’s coffers – are benefitting from THT’s insane approach. Indeed, several London hospitals have reported that many users of PEP are repeat users who are attempting to “manage” their HIV status. and that if this “morning-after” pill for gay men was only prescribed to those who genuinely slip up due to a condom breaking, then the uptake would only be a fraction of what it is today. How many more generations of gay men must we betray by continuing to support such self-serving, greedy organisations who purport to be serving our best interests, and who are rewarded for their failure time and again (only recently the Chief Executive of THT was made an MBE for “services to HIV”)? If we don’t wake up very soon, then we will have a situation in London similar to that of some US cities where having HIV is the norm and is even considered a badge of honour. Do we really want to end up as a disease-riddled community, or do we have the will to demand enough is enough? Shouldn’t the likes of Pink news be doing more to question the approach of THT instead of lazily and unquestioningly reprinting its press releases?

    The health and well-being of our community is at stake here, but is anyone listening?

  12. Sister Mary Clarence 28 Mar 2009, 3:05pm

    Hi RobN – yep that’s my point. A large number of people ‘know’ that HIV (or a related condition) with kill them, no doubt through failure to educate, some might not ‘know’ that it will kill them, however I can’t imagine that there is anyone who KNOWS that it won’t kill them.

    I agree with Rob’s comments about PEP is reenforces the idea that HIV is treatable rather than terminal, and therein lies many of the problems we are now facing.

  13. Stop demonizing all gay men. I know tons of gay men who are perfectly healthy and in stable, monogamous relationships. Their risk of catching HIV is zero. It is only promiscuous, sleazy men who are risk, not the healthy monogamous ones. The AIDS organizations need to stop demonizing all gay men as if HIV is somehow automatically associated with being gay. It isn’t.

  14. Yes, I also find it disturbing when the media reports nonsense like “gay men are at high risk of catching AIDS”. To me, this sounds as if AIDS is specifically targeting gay men, as if, somehow, this syndrome has the ability to choose the type of sexual orientation it prefers to attack. It’s a very homophobic way of reporting things.

    I would much rather something like “promiscous gay men are at higher risk of catching AIDS”. The “promiscuous” part is important. If you’re a healthy gay in a faithful relationship, your chance of catching AIDS is zero.

  15. Jason: You may know some gay men in stable relationships, but they are few and far between. It is common knowledge that gay men shag like rabbits, so stop trying to fool yourself. The average straight man has 15 sexual partners in a lifetime. I know gay men that have had that many in a week.

    Mike: Gay men *ARE* at a high risk of catching AIDS, above and beyond the average heterosexual, a) because they have more sexual partners b) they have anal sex.

    Unprotected anal sex is considerably more risky than vaginal sex, and it is generally considered the increase in HIV/AIDS in heterosexual men and women is due to the resultant of unprotected anal sex in straight relationships, often because of the worry of getting pregnant doing it the “conventional” way.

  16. It should also be noted Jason and Mike, that one trend becoming apparent in sexual health are cases of monogamous gay couples being diagnosed with HIV, as a result of slipping into a more lax attitude towards safer sex without being tested first. Practising monogamy will not stop you from catching STIs if your partner has a sexual history.

    Promiscuity does play a big role in HIV and STI transmission and I think that there does need to be a bigger emphasis placed on reducing the number of sexual partners people have – certainly with regards to high risk anal and vaginal intercourse anyway.

  17. Chris(tine) 29 Mar 2009, 9:01am

    Okay, I am not a gay man, only a gay boy’s mother, but I want to write about some more reasons that increase the HIV risk according to some new studies I read before. Sorry for my English.
    – Use of drugs (–> no clear mind)
    – Not asking your (new) sexual partner about his Sero status.
    – Not using condoms
    It seems that some or many HIV positive gay men do not tell their HIV status to potential partners. Perhaps they are not tested or they don’t know their newest results. And if they are doing so, some of them don’t use condoms to protect themselves and their partners. And many of these new sex partners falsely think their potential sex partners are seronegative, because they don’t use condoms. This seems to be a very important point. To be too shy to ask or to tell or not knowing the own HIV status.
    So: Always use condoms please, everybody!

  18. Chris(tine): Contrary to popular belief, I have heard it said that on occasion, men, (and even women), tell lies…

    It is not the other partner you should be worried about, not your freinds, not your doctor, not your parents and not even your religion. It’s YOU. You are totally and utterly responsible for your own health and welfare.

    If you work on the principle that each and every sexual partner you go with is HIV positive by default, and treat them accordingly, you can’t easily go wrong.

  19. Chris(tine) 29 Mar 2009, 5:35pm

    RobN: I totally agree with you: It‘s YOU.
    I only wrote my comment because I know how easy men AND women forget about their self responsibility and self protection. And as a public health system worker I can tell you that I always use gloves for protection at work and at home my partner, who is also a health worker, and I use condoms for safety, not to prevent babies.

  20. Sister Mary Clarence 29 Mar 2009, 9:30pm

    RobN, I think the notion that each individual is takes responsibility for their own health and the protection of it has got lost somewhere with the iceberg ad and the gravestone that I grew up with.

    I am firmly of the believe that the other person telling you they are or aren’t positive, truthfully or lying, should not factor into the equation because if you are negative you should be assuming that anyone you are entering into relations with is positive and should be protecting yourself accordingly.

    We have developed a culture in this country when no one is responsible for what happened to them. Yoof can rob or knock the sh*t out of you and its society’s fault, the Home Secretary can fiddle her expenses and sit down of an evening and enjoy a filthy film or two at the taxpayers expenses in any one of her extensive portfolio of tax-payer funded properties and its not here fault, the rules should be changed so she can’t milk the country dry.

    We must all as individuals take responsibility for protecting ourselves from HIV and that message must be sent clearly to everyone. Its all well and good arguing the toss and saying I didn’t know, or its not my fault after the event. That should be a core part of the safer sex message that seems to have been deleted in the name of political correctness.

  21. its down really to the fact no one is aware of AIDS/HIV as much as it used to be. i’m not surprised i’ve had ppl ask can we do it with out protection and i just slapped them and went home, but its up to all of us to promote the danger of hiv cancer is the cool drug atm not HIV…. =[ i no what’s easier to get without being aware

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