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Comment: The inequality we aren’t so keen to talk about

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  1. These issues are being studied in a gay mens stigma survey @ Men2Men Collective

    1. Peter S. (formerly 'FengLong') 1 Dec 2011, 1:58pm

      That was interesting, I filled that in. Thanks for the link.

      Judging by my honest answers, I must have made the state of HIV stigma look terrible :P

      Oh well~

      1. Staircase2 1 Dec 2011, 6:06pm

        Its your POSTS here which make HIV stigma look terrible – honest or not the point is that misinformation masquerading as moral fact is a hindrance to eradicating HIV not a help…

        1. Peter S. (formerly 'FengLong') 1 Dec 2011, 9:57pm

          I never passed any moral judgements.

          Quote, or it didn’t happen~

          1. Staircase2 2 Dec 2011, 5:14pm

            Your posts are FULL of moral judgement – just because you can’t tell when you’re doing it doesn’t mean its not happening! (If anything it underlines the fact that you are…)

          2. Peter S. (formerly 'FengLong') 2 Dec 2011, 5:39pm

            Mate, one single quote.. Or it didn’t happen.

          3. @ Peter you are just full of crap mate and are a paranoid fool!

  2. @Will,

    The % population number may be higher tha you suggest, London has an estimated population of 7.5 million of which 5% (400,000) LGBT living in London. refer . If we take that 50% live with HIV in London equates to 46,000 equates 11.5%. This Would equate to 1:8.5 people.
    Scotland has a similiar figure of 5%.

    The Equility Act and Roadmap are HM Government initiatives and law and hope through the Localism Act that more attention will be address.

    1. In response to the negative -5, I should state this is a first for me, as this option doesn’t allow for people to disclose their reasoning, the information is for information purposes, it does suggest a higher number of people in the orginal piece. This comes about because of my research, involvement in different ways which looks at disbilities/lgbt issues.

      The title “The inequality we aren’t so keen to talk about” is from my perspective different, I do talk, research and submit evidence and differ to say we talk about and address these issues.

      If it is an offence to widen the issues to cover and look at what HM Government, ODI and other instutions and organisation, it was the intention to present items of new and actions that may not be known to the author and the reader.

  3. TheBrutalKremlin 1 Dec 2011, 1:24pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. The PC patrol skewed this into one big, misunderstandable mess.

    Not only does there need to be more truth, there needs to me action against the porn companies, online sites and party promoters who push ‘barebacking’ onto everyone, and profit on people’s demise.

    Silence (still) = Death.

    1. Not with early diagnosis and closely monitored treatment it doesn’t.

      It is no longer 1990.

    2. “The PC patrol”???? What the f*** is that supposed to be?

      Fail. Now you’re entire comment just sounds stupid.

      1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:22am

        Have to say I agree!!

    3. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:21am

      Erm isn’t the problem people’s own choices? Blame all else if you want but the blame is down to the individual, in most cases.

  4. Nutjobsareeverywhere 1 Dec 2011, 1:47pm

    Goverment approved? What planet are you living on!!

    1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:22am

      Erm, what?

  5. 2 champers sips to being a diva 1 Dec 2011, 3:07pm

    “It is often said that the first step towards any recovery is admitting a problem exists. This is just as true for the HIV epidemic.”

    I have taken this quote from this very good article. But I would like to challenge the HIV charities who have cornered the market for HIV services over the years. Their failure and that of the last government to overtly campaign publicly about HIV is also part of the denial that gay and health compromised public are accused of here. The day that HIV charities put themselves on the line and publicly and honestly ‘out’ their raison d’être, not fearing a ‘right wing’ middle England, is the day that truth can enter to break all the denial.

  6. The most effective campaigns were the fear based campaigns – the tomb and iceberg campaigns,

    The trouble is that HIV is no longer a killer – it is a chronic condition that with proper treatment need have no dramatic impact on someone’s lifespan.

    It’s a no win situation,. Use a fear based campaign and you simply further stigmatise positive people, and drive at risk people away from testing.

    Tell the truth ie that treatment and control of HIV is easier than treatment and control of diabetes (stigma aside), and people won’t take HIV seriously.

    I think the best start would be for the HIV charities (including THT) to decide whether they are charities dedicated to prevention of infection; or whether they are charities dedicated to the care and rights of positive people.

    At the current time when the charities are doing both tasks they are trying to do everything; and as a result are fudging the issues badly.

    1. The message that charities like THT send out at the moment is something like ‘You really don’t want to get HIV because if you do then you will need to endure treatment for the rest of your life any may experience discrimination and stigma. But on the other hand if you are positiver then with treatment you can live a long life and do everything you were able to do when you were negative’.

      That’s not a convincing message.

      They need to pick a side and focus on it.

      1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:34am

        And maybe it’s not just that easy dAVID.

    2. Staircase2 1 Dec 2011, 6:15pm

      This is simply not true – all they did was create a climate of blind fear (which arguably has fuelled the fetishistic appeal of ‘bareback’ in the first place)

      Your posting has the whiff of morality sewn into it.

      If we really want to figure out how to eradicate HIV infection then we need to start from a basic scientific standpoint, unfettered by moral stigma – which is the essence of the very article this thread is actually about….(did you actually read it?)

      There is no difference or conflict between campaigning on behalf of HIV positive people and also promoting education to eliminate HIV infection. They are two sides of the same coin

      1. There is a whif of morality about my comments.

        WHY is THT still charged with HIV prevention when last year there were 6600 new infections.

        Valid question

        1. What we do not know is what the level of new infections would be without the likes of THT, GMFA……….we will never know. I am not really bothered who does prevention work as long as the campaigns are truthful, based on facts that pertain to the UK and are balanced & reflect current thinking and the reality that HIV is a manageable chronic disease, where outcomes for those infected are constantly improving.

          That is a tall order for any organisation to be able to create a variety of targeted approaches that will engage all gay men and get them to consistently use a condom.

          Let us not forget that in the past 10 years there has been an explosion in Internet dating sites, mostly resulting in casual hook ups with complete strangers with very little time for small talk, let alone a discussion about sexual health.

          1. A new effective organisation would require a team of experts coming together to solve this problem which cannot be done on the cheap, more money needs to be provided for HIV prevention, given the current climate is that going to happen.

            I am very interested in prevention and would gladly give my time free to a credible organisation, but as I am HIV positive to seems my input would be unwelcome, judging by some of the comments I read on here. Yet +ve gay guys are the experts when it comes to HIV risk and transmission, this seems to be ignored and undervalued in my opinion.

        2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:39am

          hang on if they give the information out, all relevent in several ways what more can they do? They can’t stand over people making sure they put a condom on. Think man, stop blaming the wrong people.

      2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:36am

        If they were serious about dealing with HIV then they’d stop pinpointing and blaming and treat all as a potential sufferer. Until then the problem is divided into the they get it and we don’t.


    3. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:24am

      You make it sounds like HIV is easy… let me tell you it isn’t!! The treatments might help the lifespan but most do have mild to horrific side effects and most have to deal with it.

      1. Try telling all that to your mate W6, Jock! He seems to think the total opposite and uses that as an excuse NOT to use harder-hitting methods to prevent young gay men succumbing to the virus…

        1. Samuel I have qualified the effect of meds many times, the meds prescribed today are generally very tolerable to the majority of people taking them. Individuals on meds are closely monitored, and there are sufficient alternatives available to mitigate against most problems that may arise.

          I have access to the opinions of several hundred +ve people most of who are on meds, & apart from initial short term side effects which resolve, they do not find that their quality of life is greatly impaired. To clarify modern meds include boosted 2nd generation protease inhibitors, 2nd gen NNTRI’s, Integrase and cell entry inhibitors.

          I and other treatment advocates agree that +ve people should be encouraged not put up with side effects where there are no resistance & underlying other health conditions / poly- pharmacy. Treatment has improved and is no longer the way you perceive it Samuel. Sadly there are a small % of people who suffer with side effects that don’t resolve.

          1. I will ask you again Samuel what does “harder hitting” methods mean to you? What is the message you want to promote? Let’s tell it as it is, I have no problem with that. Using sound bites and selected quotes from various sources that do not reflect the full picture is just plain wrong, why can you not see this?

  7. Mr. Will Harris is talking sense. And we need people like him to go even further and put the brakes on the sex-industry juggernaut that coaxes gay men into thinking and wanting sex, sex, sex, and more sex so that they become addicted to it and seek it out constantly in risky situations.

    If some people demand clubs where they can engage in intimate risky activities with several dozen people in an evening, then they have that right. The trouble though is that all of these places are promoted in the gay media as cool.

    1. Samuel B. 1 Dec 2011, 5:29pm

      Chas, how can we take THT seriously when they have supported sex clubs where condom use is shunned; when they refuse to speak out about the sale of bareback porn; when they constantly put the rights of HIV infected men beforethe rights of negative men to remain negative; when they fail to attend a open forums to discuss these very issues; etc. etc…?

      As dAVID points out, THT’s message is muddled and its agenda distorted as it has set itself up as the dominant provider of HIV services in the UK while also hogging the lion’s share of the HIV prevention budget. How can THT expect to be taken seriously in its feeble, almost non-existent efforts in tackling HIV rates when its core income is dependent on rates rising, not falling?!!!

      THT was recently rebuked in the House of Lords for evaluating its own campaigns and skewing the findings of its sexy surveys with its CHAPS partner Sigma to present it in a good light, so a bit rich of Mr Harris to be lecturing us on morals and scruples.

      1. Yes, THT is guilty of trying to appease all parties: the government, the various health authorities, the users of the sex industries, and the sex industries themselves.

        THT has failed to say “What’s the problem here? What’s the real solution? Right, that’s what we go for!”

        Instead, it’s pals with all sides. It has taken the easy path and ensures its continuity. Personally, I think it’s nothing more than a gravy train, giving some people good salaries for issuing nothing more than concerned platitudes about HIV and AIDS.

        1. Which is why the THT needs to choose a side.

          If it is a charity to support and fight for the rights of the positive , then good for them. They should be funded for that.

          If it wants to be involved in HIV prevention then it’s clear that because of the rocketing infection rates that it has failed dramatically in this field to date. And that if a group is dedicated to HIV prevention then it needs to achieve tangible results in this field.

          I want a different charity focussed SOLELY on HIV prevention to receive the funding that THT currently receives for these efforts, to see if they can be more successful than the THT.

          1. Check out I would be interested to see if this would be an organisation you would support, I am genuinely interested and welcome your comments.

      2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:42am

        Again your blaming the wrong people. All those are personal choice, get the fact right and the cause. You clearly are part of the problem.

  8. “At Terrence Higgins Trust, we’ve been working to reduce the spread of HIV for thirty years, and we couldn’t have come as far as we have without the support of the gay community.”


    Does this mean that THT is working on behalf of the HIV- population; as I am always confused about who they are meant to represent?

    Which charity works on behalf of the rights and wellbeing of positive people?

    1 charity cannot perform both functions successfuily and I’m glad to see that THT has accepted this reality.

    If theTHT has declared itself a prevention charity then I want to know what targets it is setting itself in terms of reductions in HIV diagnoses over the next 5 years.

    1. 2 champers sips to being a diva 1 Dec 2011, 4:21pm


    2. HIV organisations have always promoted the use of condoms to all whether hiv + or hiv -. I don’t see why they have to pick sides. the scare tactics in the 80’s ice bergs etc doesn’t work with young people who feel invincible. just look at level of binge drinking and smoking amongst teenagers. they are a very hard to reach group. I was myself when i was that age. you don’t think of the consequences.

    3. One look at THT’s year end accounts for 2011, which is up on the front page of the THT web site for all to see, gives a clear indication of whose interests the “charity” serves first and foremost:

      When most of its £20m-plus income is lavished on staff salaries (£12m), fund-raising (£2m), gold-plated pensions (£0.5m) and high-end offices in central London – including a £2.15m loan to “purchase” and refurbish a new property in Larcom Street to add to THT’s portfolio of prime multimillion pound premises – and a few thousand pounds are attributed to so-called HIV prevention intiiatives, I think it is clear what side their bread is buttered and why this sprawling edifice has nurtured a jobs for life mentality among certain staff.

      For heaven’s sake, THT recorded a “GROSS PROFIT” of £250,000 in its 2010/11 accounts. Charities are not supposed to be in the business of making a profit. Why is that money not being apportioned to higher profile HIV campaigns and education/awareness programmes?

      1. Samuel B. carried on his one man attack on the THT (what a surprise), while he cures HIV by ranting about them on gay site at every HIV story. Well, I’m sold!!!!

        1. Agreed Rob this guy hijacks most debates with an open attack on all HIV charities, why doesn’t he get off his arse and do something to change things – too much like hard work, and it requires a basic understanding of the subject matter and an ability to take a variety of information and form an educated opinion.

          1. Samuel B. 3 Dec 2011, 8:37pm

            Why don’t I get off my arse rto change things? Ok, give me millions in funding and I will be happy to oblige. The tax payer funds outfits like the Terrence Higgins Trust on trust that it will prevent the onward spread of HIV and pathogens through effective education, awareness and outreach programmes.

            The effectiveness of its work can be measured by the annuals HIV and STI stats. They have been able to get away with this for so long because they have evaluated their own work and skewed and manipulated survey stats to give the impression that their work is succeeding.

            Now they have been outed and their work condemned in the House of Lords, THT has been forced to resurrect the condom message, but it is all too little too late. People have had enough of being hoodwinked and real change is around the corner, whether THT’s PC displiples spouting their insane rhetoric and gibberish like it or not…

          2. Samuel
            You don’t need millions of pounds to make a difference to HIV awareness, many of us try to improve understanding every day. The amount of money given by the tax payer to HIV prevention is not even a rounding error in tax receipts… it not obvious you are totally out of step with the opinion of any commentators on PN?

            Your knowledge of HIV is rudimentary at best, and you have no idea about epidemiology and the complexities that need to be considered in effective prevention campaigns. I suggest you become a spokesman for Status they need someone like you as you fit perfectly with their ideology.

            That should keep you busy cos they need all the help they can get

          3. “spouting their insane rhetoric and gibberish like it or not…”

            Are you talking about yourself here?

          4. As is well known, W6, most gay men DO want a return to harder-hitting campaigns. There was a survey on this very site a few years ago that revealed over 90 per cent wanted such campaigns, and a survey at Soho Pride found only 4 per cent want HIV campaigns to carry on as they are, the rest wanting more graphic campaigns.

            The reason I sometimes appear to be in the minority is that HIV PC Philistines like you lurk on these boards to attack anyone who dare to put the populist (ie non PC) view across in a vain effort to make it appear to be the less-favoured one. And in this thread there are others saying the same thing as me.

            Whether you are an HIV sector drone or not, it is well known that they have disinformation shills regularly trolling discussion boards to put the boot in. When THT can manipulate and distort its own survey findings to continue business as ususal – that is, ensuring a constant supply of seroconverts for its lucrative services – then it is capable of anything.

          5. Total paranoia Samuel – I knew that you could not agree to disagree, you were caught out by me with your incorrect information weren’t you. The survery you refer to was commissioned by Gary Leigh and many of the questions were leading questions, and the sample was hardly representative of the gay community. The survey cannot be cited as unquestionable evidense that harder hitting campaigns work. The gay men questioned may feel “harder hitting” messages are required, this does not suggest that they will work for everyone. You always revert to type when you have no answers, deflection & personal attack. I ask again what will harder hitting look like as the health implications have largely been taken out of the equation. In my view it is proper balanced education that is required & getting gay men who are sexually active to test reguarly & consistently use condoms. It seems to me that the only tool you are prepared to use is stigma, marginalisation and the use of untrue health fears!

          6. Samuel B. 5 Dec 2011, 7:40pm

            Yes, the same Gary Leigh you accused me of being along with a host of others, simply because we all hold the same common sense views, and you call me paranoid?

            It is a known fact that most gay men think HIV prevention campaigning long ago lost direction and are near totally ineffective. It is only PC HIV sector stooges that disagree because you are workign to your own agenda.

            Listen, when a survey on this very site asks a straightforward question – “Would you like to see the return of hard hitting HIv campaigns” – and over 90 per cent say yes, you cannot argue with the truth, W6.

            Oops, sorry, in your insane, delusional PC world you of course wouldn’t know what the truth was if it jumped up and bit you on the bum.

          7. Samuel will you p,ease start arguing the point rather than the person – why is all your vitriol directed at me constantly, it’s tiresome and also smacks of discrimination because you know I am HIV positive.

            I may have a mental health problem but I am neither insane or dillusional and I know the truth when I see it – so again more stigma from you now about mental health, you really have no shame do you!

          8. The famous use of words “it is well known…” How are these things you talk about “well known” when there is no conclusive evidence that gay men want a return to “harder hitting campaigns”. What does “harder hitting”! look like, what does it mean? You have failed to answer this point many times Samuel, so I am only presume that either you don’t know or you are not prepared to explain for fear that you will show your true colours with regard to HIV & people living with HIV. It is no good just asking the simple question, the methodology needs to be scientific and survey participants need to be shown a variety of either images or slogans and give an indication of which they prefer and which gets the intended message across. These methods have not been used in the surveys you mention, so unless you speak for “most gay men” and lets hope you don’t there is no factual evidence to support your claim on “harder hitting campaigns”.

          9. Even if “most gay men” want harder hitting campaigns where is the evidence to suggest that this approach will work, particularly in the age of there being no significant health problems associated with being HIV +ve and on successful treatment. There are many other chronic conditions that are much more difficult to manage, and restrict the lives of individuals they effect. Mental health, diabetes, cardiovascular disease are all examples, so why is HIV perceived as being medically worst to live with than any of these conditions? Diabetes is much more likely to restrict someone than HIV ever will with the risk of renal failure, amputation, loss of eyesight, diabetic neuropathy, infection at injection points – the list goes on & on.

          10. Now lets deal with the medication facts – not out of date perceptions. Medication works, it is tolerable, the side effects both short term & long term have dramatically improved in the last 10 years. Clinicians, HIV health experts all over the world now advocate earlier treatment, because the benefits outwiegh the possible problems the medications may cause. I chat to many many newly diagnosed and those new to treatment, & one of thier biggest fears is the side effects. Those that have recently started meds have in the main wondered what all the worry was about, some have had short term difficulties, but in the majority of cases these resolve. In the forum I use which is a UK based I chat to people who have lived with HIV for 25 years + and taken all the early toxic meds. It simply is not true that HIV medications have worst side effects than any other drug that has to be taken on a long term basis.

          11. What I also know is that all newly diagnosed people are very grateful that things have improved over the past 30 years and they are releived to discover that there is actually a life after an HIV diagnosis. Some people deal with this in a matter of weeks others like myself it can take a longer time – but in the main we just get on with life as do many other people who suffer with a chronic long term condition. For those who are now going to say “the pharma companies / HIV charities are in each others pockets” – does that also mean that all the clinicians up and down the country who prescribe the meds are also in the pocket of the pharma compaines and there is no interest actually treating people so they can live to thier full potential – it simply is not true.

          12. So what is left to use in “harder hitting campaigns” not much apart from continuing to stigmatise the condition and perpetuate fear about HIV. No one I have ever met wants to have a long term condition & have to take life long medications. I certainly would prefer not to be HIV +ve but there are worst medical conditions I could have. The biggest impact that HIV has on most people is the social consequences – again I know people who have never told anyone other than thier partners that they are +ve – these people feel isolated, ashamed, and frankly trapped because HIV is so highly stigmatised. Stigma needs to be banished and your often quoted HoL report highlights that continuing stigma is a barrier to reducing HIV infection rates. If we are going to be up fromt about HIV then lets tell the whole story not just the sound bites that somehow make those with irrational fears about HIV feel better about themselves. These are my veiws and they are based in reality not outdated perceptions.

          13. Samuel I have taken time, more time than I should ave to provide a coherent argument to balance your perceptions about HIV and it’s treatment. I have provided a clear outline of what I believe is required. I have asked you any direct questions that you never acknowledge or attempt to answer, all you want to do is discredit my argument and revert back to type with your obsession with THT et al.

            You are in no position to be taken seriously as you to not have a serious coherent argument to present. You take phrases that suit your outdated perceptions and headline them as fact and like a good tabloid then sensationalise & distort the facts. Your aim is just to perpetuate fear and stigma, how can that be beneficial?

      2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:44am

        THT do increditable work and without them we would be in a much worse situation.

        This attack is unworthy.

    4. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:41am

      THT are an excellent organisation that not only provide information but help in many other way esp to people like myself who can’t easily get help else where.

    5. Well given just £2.9m was spent on HIV prevention in the UK, refer

      THT accounts shows something different for a charity mean also to be a provider on prevention, refer

  9. Samuel B. 1 Dec 2011, 5:29pm

    Chas, how can we take THT seriously when they have supported sex clubs where condom use is shunned; when they refuse to speak out about the sale of bareback porn; when they constantly put the rights of HIV infected men beforethe rights of negative men to remain negative; when they fail to attend a open forums to discuss these very issues; etc. etc…?

    As dAVID points out, THT’s message is muddled and its agenda distorted as it has set itself up as the dominant provider of HIV services in the UK while also hogging the lion’s share of the HIV prevention budget. How can THT expect to be taken seriously in its feeble, almost non-existent efforts in tackling HIV rates when its core income is dependent on rates rising, not falling?!!!

    THT was recently rebuked in the House of Lords for evaluating its own campaigns and skewing the findings of its sexy surveys with its CHAPS partner Sigma to present it in a good light, so a bit rich of Mr Harris to be lecturing us on morals and scruples.

    1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:45am

      THT do just provide information they also provide valnable help for those who suffer with HIV.

  10. “The fact is, for every ten people who acquired HIV through sex in 2010, seven of those people were gay or bisexual men.”

    Not true. New diagnoses in 2010 were 6,658, of 3000 men who have sex with men.

    The figure mentioned in a previous article of 1/20 gay men with HIV cited in a previous article is also at best misleading. There are 40 000 people living with HIV who acquired their infection through gay sex. This indicates a total of 800 000 gay men, however most estimates place the figure at more like double that number.

    I’m not trying to play down the problem one bit but I don’t believe lies and misusing information.

    1. that should say ‘…of whom 3000 were men who have sez with men.’

    2. that should say ‘…of whom 3000 were men who have sez with men.’

  11. Staircase2 1 Dec 2011, 6:05pm

    Great article, Will – thanks

    One thing I take exception to though is the concept that “Gay men are good at spotting inequality”.

    Unfortunately, while most oppressed groups should understand MORE about oppression and its effects than people who havent experienced/endured it, ironically they often demonstrate less compassion towards those other marginalised groups than we would expect.

    Gay men are no exception in this. There is often less sensitivity towards inequality rather than more.

    You only have to read some of the woefully misinformed bigotry which strides across Pink News’ comment pages to know this isnt the case.

    Oppression has a tendency to lock people inside a prison of their own subjective experience rather than liberating them (as it should) to stand up to the oppression that others also endure.

    1. Rashid Karapiet 2 Dec 2011, 12:27pm

      Simple fact: homosexual men and women have all the predilections and prejudices of their class; in addition there is the desire to be more sexy by embracing attitudes, e.g. racist, which fit those of the group aspired to. ‘Keep the wogs and nig-nogs out’ used to be heard in gay venues as much as in the larger society. Being homosexual has very little effect on personality: our social attitudes are influenced by exactly the same considerations as the rest of society.

      1. Staircase2 2 Dec 2011, 5:17pm

        While you’re agreeing with me, I think you’re missing my point…
        Which is that people who are oppressed SHOULD be more aware of the oppression of others but usually aren’t (being, as they are, locked into the highly subjective experience of their own suffering)

  12. With all the improvements in treatment & life expectancy in the last 10 years I wonder what these so called “harder hitting” prevention campaigns are going to look like? If we are going to base Uk prevention campaigns on UK health outcomes for +ve people then there really is no deterrent in terms of th virus itself, is has been proven to be a survivable,manageable long term condition.

    The social effects of living with HIV have in my view gone backwards with a great deal of marginalization and stigma still being attached to being +ve. So I guess we have to look forward to campaigns that rely on stigma & marginalization, to deter gay men from engaging in risky sexual behaviour – an interesting concept, but one I believe will not provide the the right message, which in my opinion is about self respect and respecting each other!
    Clear education starting in schools is a priority through to continuing education rather than sound bites that just create divisions and mistrust.

    1. Some commentators suggest that the stigma and social isolation attached to HIV is a price worth paying – which seems to suggest to me HIV positive people deserve all they get and must endure further marginalisation to ensure that negative individuals have a valid reason to stay negative. Sacrifice the few for the good of the many sort of approach.

      I beleive any campaign based on this concept will in the long run reduce testing rates, which will reduce the newly diagnosed figures temporarily, this just hides the problem and just fuels the population HIV viral load within the gay community. Higher VL = more infections, a cyclical effect which will see an increase in cases of AIDS and HIV related deaths – sounds like a great plan, NOT!!!!!

      We need to work together on this problem rather than be protectionist about HIV status.

      1. W6, with all due respect, you come across as having immense compassion for pos people yet to hell with the fact that inadequate HIV prevention initiatives are contributing to thousands of gay men needlessly being infected each year.

        Take ownership of your virus and stop playing the victim card for pos people, W6, and accept the fact that in order to reverse sky high conversion rates it is necessary to turn up the HIV prevention message a few octaves, even if that means risking offending you and – as you constant claim yet provide no actual proof that it will – increase stigma.

        Yes, if push came to shove then I do think stigma is a price worth paying if we are to safeguard the health of the next generation of gay men and prevent them being chained to a life of medications and the multitude of complications that may arise, and I think any reasonably sane person who does not play the PC victim card would agree,

        To coin the term so favoured by PC evangelists, DEAL WITH IT!

        1. So what will your prevention messages look like? How do you intend to deter gay men from engaging in unsafe sexual practises, this is your moment Samuel, what do you want to see?

          Part of the problem is in your comment – the words “HIV prevention messages”. Using a condom is a prevention message and it is in fact the best prevention message. But messages are not enough, we need proper education around sexual health not just HIV. Other STI’s help fuel HIV infections so we need to educate on both, and properly educate in a balanced and truthful way.
          With regard to stigma, you obviously have never had to deal with this concept so I cannot expect you to understand; health professionals and experts are very aware that stigma is still a problem and must be reduced if infection rates are to also be reduced.

          1. Your comment about “take ownership for your virus” speaks volumes about your ideology to create divisions and pit sero discordant gay men against each other. As I have previously noted, you are projecting your personal fear of HIV as a credible deterrent to be used in sexual health campaigns in the future. I am of the opinion that your perception of HIV and its treatment in the UK is out of date and not relevant in 2011. There is no point quoting US studies as their health care system is very different &many sadly do not get the modern drugs they need.

          2. That is why outcomes in the US are not so favourable to those in the UK. +ve people in the UK are very well monitored, this is not the case in the US as every blood test will have a price tag associated with it. Tests that are routine in the UK would run up extra charges in the US so much of the information that comes out of the US does not necessarily reflect outcomes in the UK.

            There is no real strong deterant in terms of poor health outcomes for HIV infected people, apart from those who are diagnosed late, again this is noted by many experts in HIV medicine, testing early provides much better outcomes. This is why testing is so important, yet 25% of people having a sexual health screen refuse an HIV test, why in earth is this, given testing is so easy and rapid these days!

            If anyone can explain why these 25% prefer not to have an HIV test then I am genuinely interested to know. I have my views on this but let’s hear from others on this.

          3. A good start would be to establish a new HIV prevention charity.

            The THT is the leading charity in this field but their priority has ALWAYS been for the + people and not the – people.

            A charity whose sole function is HIV prevention will be able to avoid this conflict.

            Sadly it may mean that THT loses funding. But I am sure that even the THT realises that they are no longer suitable to be running prevention campaigns thanks to the skyrocketing infection rates.

          4. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:49am

            Excellent comments W6_bloke!!

          5. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:50am

            Thats fine dAVID but THT also provide help for people with HIV that isn’t easy to come by because of stigma. THT isn’t just about prevention.

        2. “increase stigma.”

          Ah, here we go again! Another “intelligent” stigma argument by stupid SamB.

          Sure, why not brand the HIV sufferers with hot irons, they deserve it, yeah?

          Thank god you have zero influence over anything of consequence other than to rant histrionically about punishment for evil HIV+ people.

          You are a moron.

          1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:51am

            Indeed Rob, agreed. Having been given via rape what I need is… more stigma, cheers SamuelB.

          2. Oh, so you would prefer being spared a bit of stigma to preventing a young gay man seroconverting through lack of forceful and direct HIV messages would you, Jock? Stigma has been used as a stick for years to smash any argument in favour of harder hitting HIV campaigns, and a fair number of positive diagnoses can be laid squarely at its feet.

            The truth is that the stigma associated with HIV in infection of old – and I am talking the 1980s here – no longer exists, though it suits the PC disciples who run the HIV sector today. They want us to regard positive people as victims as opposed to people who, by and large, DO take responsibility for their status, DON’T want to be regarded as “pity me” victims, and DON’T want to be used as convenient scapegoats for not running harder-hitting HIV campaigns.

            Why do PC zealots still cling to the stigma myth when it is directly correlated to higher HIV infection rates? Are they determined to see the entire gay community infected, period?

          3. It seems that Samuel is unable to ake up his mind and is very confused in his argument, perhaps he will recognise this quote that he posted earlier in this thread:

            “Then there’s the social exclusion/isolation that can arise from HIV stigma, financial hardship, discrimination, etc. etc.” perhaps he didnt mean to include the word stigma or simply forgot to remove it from another “sound bite” that he has copied and pasted!

            So which is it Samuel stigma or no stigma??? Consistency and accuracy are important if you want to put forward a credible argument, it is clear here that you are confused and don’t really understand the debate!

          4. This is what the HoL say about stigma:

            103.  Stigma and lack of understanding can undermine HIV prevention efforts. Misinformation circulated about HIV, suggesting that it is a ‘judgment’ or that it can be cured through non-medical methods, poses a threat to public health messaging. This is especially the case when such statements are made in faith-based settings, given the significant influence of faith leaders in some communities.

            104.  The potential negative effects of a positive diagnosis (as outlined in para 98) can also have an impact upon prevention. Those at risk from HIV may be deterred from testing and, as a consequence, remain infectious and go on to infect other partners. Difficulties around disclosure of a HIV-positive status can also impact upon adherence to treatment, with negative impacts for the individual and a heightened risk of onward transmission through increased viral load. Stigma, therefore, impacts upon the prevention

          5. Just so we have the full picture:
            WHAT IS STIGMA?

            98. During the course of our work, we have heard numerous examples of stigma and discrimination. These include:

            People not wishing to share cups or cutlery with people living with HIV[179];
            People living with HIV finding themselves homeless and ostracised by their communities[180];
            Graffiti being sprayed on the homes of people living with HIV[181];
            Bullying of the children of people living with HIV[182];
            People losing their jobs following disclosure of their HIV status[183]; and
            Most worryingly, we have heard evidence of stigma being encountered from healthcare professionals, including patients being refused treatment by doctors and dentists.[184]

            99. HIV stigma is complex, and can take many forms. People living with HIV may experience discrimination, prejudice and stigma from others; they may also begin to internalise these messages and stigmatise themselves. Persistent stigma has effects upon both people

        3. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:48am

          HIV prevention is perfectly adequate, rthe problem is coming from people, you included.

        4. I have not contrived this evidence – it comes from the full HoL report which you often quote Samuel. If you think “a bit of stigma ” that can lead to bullying of a child, homelessness, or loss of a job then you have no compassion at all for others. Remember a virus itself cannot cause the problems highlighted, it is the reactions of others towards people with the virus that result in bullying, homelessness etc, etc – in your approach of “harder hitting” campaigns (which we still have no idea about because you never profer any detail on) are you really saying that “a bit of stigma” is somehow helpful to improve the understanding of HIV infection.

          Please reflect on what you are saying here, because at the moment you are making yourself look very foolish and uncaring – this is why I take such issue with you Samuel, you just do not think things through, but act like a good tabloid editor – splash the headline, sensationalise and perpetuate fear & stigma – shame on you!

    2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:47am

      Indeed there needs to be a variety of different campaign to target different people.

  13. radical53 2 Dec 2011, 3:51am

    Gay rights has a lot to answer for and so does decriminalisation.

    It has given the gay community to do and be whatever they want. That is to be more promiscuous and liberated than at any time since before Stonewall.

    We all are paying the price for this freedom.

    1. “We all are paying the price for this freedom.”

      Oh, yes, you’re quite right. Lets go back to the camps and the pink triangles, at least then we knew who we were and our place!

      Any other stupid remarks you’d like to say, hmmm?

      I disrepair at some of the comments here.

      1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:54am

        Yep, dispair is exactly what I’m feeling. Why can’t some people just get one with life without judging?

    2. Staircase2 2 Dec 2011, 5:23pm

      @radical53 (‘radical’ my arse!)
      what a crock of sh!t!

      You wouldn’t know ‘liberated’ if it came up and hit you over the head with an umbrella which, when unfurled, had the words “I’m Liberated!” written in large 2 foot high letters all around the perimeter…!!

      What we all ‘pay the price for’ is having bigoted idiots both inside & outside of our community spewing forth such bilious great poo in the direction of healthy & sound debate…

    3. Actually, HIV infection rates are much higher in countries where homosexuality is a taboo, because giving advice on contraception and safe gay sex is seen as ‘promoting homosexual activity’. Also, homosexuality doesn’t give people AIDS- risky sexual behaviour does, and people can have same-sex sexual relationships without engaging in high-risk activity.

      And you’re very naive if you think that before it was decriminalised, homosexuals never had sex.

    4. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:53am

      You mean just like everyone else. I note you don’t comment on the equality of promiscuous from our straight counterparts…

  14. I don’t remember if I saw those adverts on TV as a kid, but I do remember being terrified of AIDS. I grew up like that, and I still am. As far as I’m concerned, the terror-tactic adverts really do work; at least on the young and impressionable. I suppose it took another ten years for it to be relevant to me, but I was certainly obsessive about condoms when the time came! Run the ads again now and maybe in ten years time the infection rate will drop significantly.

    1. The problem that you do not really acknowledge Sven is that HIV knowledge, treatment and care has greatly moved on, and as I have previously noted in terms of danger to health the “terror tactic” really is not valid anymore and many gay men are aware that HIV is not a death sentence.
      What we have to identify is how do we effectively engage with gay men in the UK and say that it is much better to stay HIV negative in an era where HIV is manageable and life goes on. This is a big challenge and I note that there ave been no responses to my question with regard to what harder hitting campaigns will look like, if we are going to be open, honest and truthful about HIV in 2011 and beyond.
      If the only way is to demonise HIV I do not see that being a good way of dealing with the problem, the biggest deterant (death) has been removed from the equation in the UK and other advanced economies. Any suggestions?

      1. Samuel B. 2 Dec 2011, 1:01pm

        “If the only way is to demonise HIV I do not see that being a good way of dealing with the problem…”

        So the answer is to ignore HIV or let it be seen as normal or even desirable? Death isn’t the only deterrent even if several hundred people still died of HIV in the UK last year – and no, they were not the several hundred whose diagnosis was discovered too late.

        How many more times do you need to be reminded that the long-term consequences of comsuming a daily regimen of toxic drugs cumulatively wreaks hell on the body aging it way beyond its years? Recent stats show that a pos person will have a shortened lifespan averaging 15 years notwithstanding that different drugs work on different people in different ways. While you may be rssponding well, W6, others are developing cancers, dementia, heart disease…in their 30s and 40s!!!

        Then there’s the social exclusion/isolation that can arise from HIV stigma, financial hardship, discrimination, etc. etc.

        HIV – IS IT WORTH IT?

        1. Where have I ever advocated that new HIV infections should be ignored Samuel, there are many many posts where I have been banging on about full and balanced proper education campaigns that reflect an honest reality about HIV and it’s treatment.

          Health professionals and clinicians up and down the country agree that HIV is a treatable condition. This is not the myth you would like it to be.
          Your knowledge of meds Samuel is very limited and you buy into any sound bite that feeds your personal irrational fears. Education about any subject is a great thing and will dispel unfounded fears, why not give it a go

        2. “HIV – IS IT WORTH IT?”

          Oh, there it is, the histrionics. Lets forget about heart disease, stokes, and cancer, the real killers and panic about HIV. After all, its out to get us.

          Intelligence, and information, are proven to work best. Not stupidity Samuel.

        3. Many people take drugs every day of their lives to manage chronic conditions. All prescription drugs have potential toxic effects on the body, so your argument should also be applied to individuals who take antidepressants, insulin, pain relief drugs etc.

          Name me an HIV drug that is used today in the UK that as been proven to cause heart disease, dementia or cancer. If you don’t know off hand do some research. Please do not quote me sound bites from the US as we need to compare like with like. What you fail to understand Samuel is that meds are not dished out with no follow up. Any problems can be early identified and successfully dealt with. This is the reality of HIV care in the majority of clinics, blood tests to monitor liver, kidney, bone, blood lipids, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc etc. do you know what is happening with your liver and kidney function? I do, as do all people receiving treatment if they ask for the information. Where next in your war of words? Surprise me!

        4. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:56am

          SamuelB – I take it this is your assumptions, you don’t actually have HIV?

      2. W6, please stop peddling the lie that hiv is not a death sentence. 700 gay men a year still die of hiv, some because they tested too late or not at all, and others through drug failure or long-term complications. For all the hysteria imploring gay men to get tested, the fact is that most gay men do not want to get tested, and those with hiv stand a very good chance of developing hiv and dying. So ads should still be conveying death as a possible outcome of unsafe sex because for hundreds of men each year that is the reality, like it or not.

        1. OMG not another Samuel clone. I should admit that HIV has robbed me of my life it really has…………I’m shackled to my Pc (sorry my meds bottle) trying to educate, I mean brainwash some guy with all my thought up ideas which have been the result of my Atripla vivid dreams. Guess I’ve been busted lol

          1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:59am

            Indeed, it seems the real problem here is not so much HIV but ignorance and misinformation from people who clearly know nothing.

            Hi… I live it!

        2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 9:57am

          Rob – you dangerous fool. HIV is no longer a death sentence. It can be managed, not always in a pleasant way but most people will live life to the full.

    2. Staircase2 2 Dec 2011, 5:27pm

      Unfortunately those kind of bigoted hell-and-damnation style ads did nothing but scare the living daylights out of everyone who watched them (which was the aim versus any kind of education on the subject…)

      In many ways, it could be argued that it was those very same ads which have now fetishised barebacking to the extent we now see.

      Fear is never a good tool in education – you only have to look at the way that drug use spirals out of control in the face of fear-mongering as opposed to the more socially controlled use in societies which have proper and honest scientifically based education policies…

  15. Samuel b you are a bigot. How dare you try and stigmatise me as a positive gay man. We’re you around in the 80s when people lived in fear of guys like you? Just bog off back to the rock you crawled out of under and leave those be who are actually trying to do something positive.

    1. Ignore him, there’s something seriously wrong with him. Mentally damaged freak that he is,

    2. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 10:00am

      Indeed, sadly we’ll get the ignorance from this people. Problem is they show they know nothing.

  16. I note that there are not many ideas coming forward about he to solve the problem, apart from to relieve THT of ts prevention duties.

    Whilst this on the surface may seem a sensible approach and I am open to such suggestions, where is the expertise going to come from to develop the variety of approaches that will be required to reduce new infection rates?

    From an epidemiology point of view HIV viral load is highest within the gay community, something that many do not appreciate, that is why gay men are more likely to becne infected The more virus in a particular group of people the greater the risk of forward transmission, so unless every gay man is prepared to use barrier protection for anal and oral sex, new infections will continue.

    HIV cannot be easily eradicated as every last bit of viral DNA has to be removed from affected groups. With infected CD4 cells resting in the body for upto 70 years meds are the only way to keep the virus under control…….

    1. ….so the best way we can manage HIV at the moment is to use condons consistently and make sure that everyone who has HIV is taking medication. This ultimately requires us to tackle the 25% of undiagnosed infections which means much higher and conisitent testing.

      Gay men need to understand that HIV is a difficult virus to manage, and as a group of people they are at high risk of infection because the pool of virus dormant and active virus is very high within the gay community, condom use and treatment are the only tools we have to manage HIV itself.

      We need a campaign to get gay men talking about HIV in an open and honest way, take away the fear and stigma and have a proper conversation about how as a community we can try and reduce infection rates, which ultimately relies on respect for oneself and respect for others, not an easy task for anyone me thinks. It needs consistency and proper engagement with young gay men, it could take years rather than months I beleive

      1. When I say HIV is a difficult virus to manage I do not mean on a personal level, I mean on a population level – those who focus on a very narrow view and want to stigmatise HIV are missing the point big time, we have to look at the bigger picture which is how do we minimise the amount of virus within the gay community in a practical, feasible way! Taking a paternalistic approach does not work as we must all be allowed to make personal choices in life and should not be judged on our personal decision making.

        If more people knew the basics about HIV as a virus rather a condition we may, just may make progress in those high infection rates – we need to turn prevention on its head, don’t give HIV the chance to grow in our community.

        1. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 10:00am

          Excellent comments again W6_bloke!!

  17. Suddenly Last Bummer 4 Dec 2011, 12:38pm

    Perhaps what we’re not keen to mention as a group and its something I’ve heard straight youths say over and over again is that wearing a condom doesn’t make sex as ‘pleasurable’. I’ve heard the saying ”you don’t eat a sweet with the wrapper still on it” countless times and read it countless times online- from both gay and straight sources. In terms of bareback pornography I would argue that this has been in existence far longer than safe sex porn which really only came into existence probably in the very late 80s or during the 90s. I’m sure there are people who watch bareback pornography but who have safe sex themselves.

    1. I think you make a very valid point about condom use – the old saying “actions speak louder than words” springs to mind, and I am sure as hell no be would be honest and say they prefer sex without condoms on a forum like this as they would be crucified for being irresponsible and reckless…….. How do we get an honest debate that acknowledges that condom use will never be universal regardless of risk, and how do we overcome this in a practical way?

  18. Delirious? Tick
    Ranting? Tick
    Disingenuous? Tick
    Irrational? Tick
    Deluded? Tick
    Paranoid? Tick?
    Etc. Etc.

    “W6_bloke”, you will of course understand that the fact you are on this forum morning, noon and night does indeed make you sound like a shill or disinformation agent for the HIV sector, the functioning of which you seem to know an awful lot about. Clearly you are carrying out a task you have been set by who knows who, but its ultimate aim is for selfish interests and not to the greater good of the health and well being of gay men.

    Since you go to such lengths to insist you’re not a disinfo shill, the only other possibility is that you’re desperate to a very unhealthy degree to make your points. Of course, you are absolutely entitled to your opinion, but everyone knows it by now, and your constant presence here makes you sound dangerously obsessive. Seriously – you really do need to chill out and take a step back now, or perhaps cut back on the meds…

    1. I will do what I like with my time and I put it to very good use every day helping other people…….which I enjoy doing and get great satisfaction from. When have you ever been charitable in your life Samuel – never is the answer I beleive is true!

      At least my opinion is evidence based, and yes I do know alot about HIV, people living with HIV, the charities that support and I have a very keen interest in effective HIV prevention and to see stigma reduced to zero. You really cannot understand how one person can be so passionate about these things can you Samuel, so you have to resort to school playground tactics – name calling You engage in a subject you clearly know nothing about and as a result you are unable or unwilling to answer direct questions, because you just do not have credible answers. You are just all words and no action.

    2. Which meds do you want me to cut back on – my ARV’s so I will become unwell, but thats ok as being +ve you have no compassion for the likes of me. Shall I stop taking my anti depressants that manage to just about keep me on an even keel and be able to function on a day to day basis? You know nothing about me other than what you have chosen to make up in your head. As long as you continue to peddle the crap that you do on this site I will be on your tail, because the one thing I cannot stand is people who lie and play politics with others less fortunate than them. Your aim Samuel is to discredit HIV charities, discredit advances in HIV care & treatment, and ultimatley to create divisions between gay men – all to satisfy your irrational fear of HIV.

      I loathe ignorant people like you & as long as you continue your obsession with hijacking every HIV related story I will be there with a credible counter argument & continue to question you. I will expose you for what you are Samuel!

      1. Oh stop playing the whinging victim W6 and get real. You don’t need to be an intellectual to debate properly, but if you can’t even debate without endless reams of gibberish and utter waffle instead of coherence, conciseness and a degree of humility then do yourself a favour and stop embarrassing yourself even further.

        1. You mention the word humility do you even know what that means Samuel. Gibberish is a word you use frequently but you fail to realise this describes your rants perfectly. Personal attack is your default position, no substance just unfounded personal attacks. I note that you often fail to respond to other commentators who openly criticsise you, but you have consistently attacked me. You are discriminatory and a bigot as others have said. I suggest you get real and argue the point not the with the person.

        2. I certainly am no victim, you said cut back on the meds so which ones are you meaning I wonder? Again no direct answer from you just avoidance and deflection. If your argument had any basis in fact then I would engage with you in a reasonable manner – but as you find medical and scientific facts and terms to be gibberish then it is very difficult to properly engage with a poorly educated individual like yourself Samuel.

          Respect is earned and unless you produce some degree of credible argument you will never earn my respect, and that of other commentators who have referred to you as “the village idiot”. You need to take notice of others not just my comments Samuel. Now don’t waste anymore of my time with your personal attacks, as there is no question you are now clearly making personal offensive attacks on me because I dare to question your motives, agenda and innaccurate analysis and information.

    3. Get a grip you paranoid twat… Why would anyone want to work as a shill as you put it for the HIV sector? It’s information that w6 is giving out. It conspiracy theories

      1. I am of course referring to you Samuel b . Btw are you HIV + or neg
        I presume negative from your comments

        1. Not the chappie from Status 7 Dec 2011, 6:21pm

          Yawn, how many more pseudonyms can one person come up with? Give the rant a rest, W6. Most people migrated on from this thread eons ago. Yawn…

          1. I think you will find that I am not danlad72. Wouldn’t you respond to unfounded claims about yourself ? If you are not interested in this thread why read it I have to ask? As you say if you find the subject matter not to your taste then just migrate on to another thread. I am certainly not going to be intimated by the likes of SamuelB, and more importantly I will not let him get away with his tabloid style commentary on this site.

    4. Jock S. Trap 16 Dec 2011, 10:02am

      not very mature SamuelB. Denial is much more dangerous, beware you seem to have that somewhat fatal disease.

  19. How very, very true. It should just be common sense to keep health concerns in the forefront when the risk of infection is so disproportionately high.

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