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Canada: HIV-AIDS workers warn that rates of unprotected sex are rising among gay men

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  1. Yes bareback porn makes no difference to behaviour! The older generation should be ashamed but I guess this is the result of right wing Everyman for themselves new gay people setting the agenda.

  2. This makes no mention that there are increasing numbers of ‘bug chasers’ who are out to contract ‘the Gift’ and who won’t have sex with people who do not have HIV.

    I don’t think the culprit is bareback porn…that has always been made. But the focus on Public Education to a ‘carrier must be responsible’ position rather than an ‘assume everyone has it’ position in relation to safe sex promotion HAS had quite an effect, throughout the Western world.

    1. You Cnut. In the 1990’s every porn film had condoms. When I first heard about bareback porn I was horrified I knew this would happen but hey who cares. Porn producer are getting rich and you can blame but chasers. As seen on daytime tv you uneducated wretch

  3. As in the UK, so in all other developed countries where HIV “preventionists” kneel at the altar of political correctness and refuse to speak the truth about the potentially disastrous consequences of HIV infection nor to adhere to the one abiding principle that a life without HIV is a life better lived.

    1. Completely right. There afraid to let HIV be discussed as a disease which disproportionately affects the gay community for fear of stigmatization. It’s disgusting.

      1. I do hope you are not a medical Dr!

    2. Yes, but then the pharmaceutical industry will gain less money

  4. Scary ! I admit I’ve had unprotected sex a couple of times, was too weak to overcome “the urge”, but no more! From now on it’s condom or go ‘ome

    1. Well done for having the balls to say that you have had the odd slip up, after all we are all human & those who believe that unprotected sex must never be discussed will no doubt be clutching their pearls in horror!

      This is part of the problem, there are those who want to stigmatise unprotected sex which only serves to hide the problem, which leads to more new infections. Condoms are very effective for the majority of people, but they are not the only gig in town – regular testing for both HIV & other STI’s, taking HIV treatment as directed if required & very importantly getting advice on drugs, alcohol & sex where this may be leading to risk taking are all part of prevention initiatives.

      We can eradicate HIV but everyone needs to take responsibility for their sexual health regardless of HIV status. We must look to ourselves to reduce HIV infections as a population group, I do not buy into some of the arguments often mentioned in relation to an increase in risk taking.

      1. Gary Powell 22 Sep 2013, 3:25pm

        It doesn’t seem to me as though adopting a neutral attitude to people having unprotected sex is a reasonable thing to expect.

        I lost several friends to AIDS in the 80s because people had no idea how prevalent the virus was, or how to protect themselves.

        We have the infection information now, and we should count ourselves lucky. Despite the enormous improvements in medical care for people with HIV, there can still be serious psychological, interpersonal and physical health consequences from contracting it.

        Just because something happens in some quarters on the gay scene doesn’t mean it must be beyond criticism. There should be zero tolerance for unprotected sex: both on screen, and in the bedroom.

      2. Thanks, I would like to add that the only times when I did have unprotected sex was when I was with people my age (22 and younger) who I thought were much less risky because of their age and their experience like myself. I would always ask if I could trust them, and they said yes, but of course I was a fool for thinking their word would be sufficient when it comes to STD’s and done it anyway

        I never once felt good about it though and always got tested; couldn’t stand the worry afterwards ! Now I use condoms if just to save myself the paranoia the following week.

      3. Colin (London) 23 Sep 2013, 10:33am

        Loving the discussion here and not judging anyone. Life is life.

        I was a late developer admitting my gayness at 29. In some ways lucky as I missed the early Aids days. Further I had a brother in Law who was a HIV consultant.

        I have there fore had a good education on HIV and risks. I had a 10 year relationship with a lovely guy and we NEVER had unprotected sex. It was condom or no sex and be assured we were tempted after a great night out and getting amorous in bed having drunk and laughed the night away.

        One of the reasons was that a friend was also in a relationship and they agreed to be monogamous. This resulted in his partner getting HIV and going home to tell my friend to get tested. He packed his bags and left. My friend has HIV. Initially he was devastated. It affected his self worth for years.

        We have the knowledge today. It costs £6000 a year for the drugs. If you get it at 25 and live to 75 thats 50 years is £300k per person over one life. Who should pay for this?

        1. Gary Powell 23 Sep 2013, 5:23pm

          Yours is a really important post, Colin.

          I know I tend to be an ultra-cautious kind of person, but I also think that even couples that have made a commitment to monogamy and got themselves tested for HIV beforehand should consider continuing to use protection for intercourse: for the very reason you mention. We hear time and time again of partners being unfaithful. Misplaced trust and denial can have a lot to answer for.

          And as you say, contracting HIV can have significant consequences; not least psychological ones.

          I was wondering how much HIV medication costs, and you have provided a figure. In so many respects, avoiding infection is so very important. Unsafe sex is not something that should be regarded neutrally. It has both personal and wider social consequences.

          1. One has to admire the worried well – usually characterised by being extremely risk adverse, being ever so confident that they have only engaged in safer sex, often slapping down any discussion about those people who do not consistently use condoms.

            BUT it is often these individuals that never take an HIV test, they never have sex with people living with HIV & they never believe HIV could happen to them…………………………. I have news for the worried well, condoms are not 100% safe, that is why the term “safer sex” is used – when was the last time you used a condom for oral sex, when was the last time you got an STI check, when was the last time you noticed that a condom had split?

            HIV does not discriminate unlike many of the PN readers!

          2. D_J, aka W6_Bloke posting under yet another of his various aliases to give him the numbers he needs for his HIV sector shilling to be heard seeing as how he has so thoroughly alienated himself from 99% of the PN brethren.

            And there was he accusing ME on another thread of being a 1 per center!

            You couldn’t make it up, I mean, really you couldn’t!!

          3. Gary Powell 24 Sep 2013, 7:45pm

            D_J

            Your post was under my one, so I assume (rightly?) that it was a reply to me.

            If so, I’m pretty surprised at the number of assumptions you make about me, or about a class of people you imagine I belong to.

            Please stick to replying about what is written. Is there anything specific you want to contest in what I’ve written? If so, can you explain exactly why?

            Indeed, condoms are not 100% safe, and they can split. HIV can also be transferred via oral sex. That is not news. But none of that is an argument for being complacent or neutral about deliberately engaging in the very high risk activity of unprotected intercourse.

          4. Seems like I hit a raw nerve here……………………..perhaps you have always been able to negotiate safer sex, perhaps you have never suffered any form of mental illness, perhaps you don’t have an addiction problem, perhaps you have a very stable & loving relationship – these are all assumptions, & reading your own posting I also believe you have made assumptions based on your experience & dare I say it moral compass.

            The problem is we don’t all share your experience, things are not black or white – you try telling someone who is hooked on crystal that they MUST use condoms consistently & see how far you get! Condoms have saved lives, but they do not work for everyone, which is the point you (and others) have missed!

          5. What is this fool Samuel going on about?

          6. Gary Powell 24 Sep 2013, 10:10pm

            D_J

            The only raw nerve you have hit is the one that gets activated when people make false assumptions about me and when people write irrationally and vaguely about an important topic.

            People are moral agents with free will. The message where safer sex is concerned is that people should use a condom to avoid infection as best they can, or else avoid intercourse (the only very high risk mainstream sexual activity) altogether.

            Everyone makes mistakes of various kinds in life, and all of us hope to be forgiven for doing so. But compromising on the message about safer sex to make those who do not have it feel they are not being judged for their decision, is not something most people will buy into.

            It is disturbing to see how blasé some sections of the gay community have become towards HIV infection through unsafe sex. That just makes it harder for less confident, younger gay men to negotiate the safe sex they want in the emotional complexities of sexual encounters.

          7. Hear hear Gary.

            Well said, and another one in the eye for W6 Blokey hiding under another of his many and varied aliases, and an HIV sector that has done more to molly-coddle victimise HIV infected people than it has done to assert the right of negative men to remain negative.

          8. “There should be zero tolerance for unprotected sex: both on screen, and in the bedroom”
            “people should use a condom to avoid infection as best they can, or else avoid intercourse (the only very high risk mainstream sexual activity) altogether.”

            These statements were relevant in the late 80 / early 90’s but less so today – the rise of injecting drug use amongst MSM is becoming mainstream in some localities, the use of dating apps, the fact that HIV is no longer terminal for the majority provides a different backdrop. I note you mention little about testing & treatment in your postings, bio-medical interventions are much more relevant today. Your comments are at best naive in my view.

          9. Gary Powell 25 Sep 2013, 8:03pm

            There is a strong argument against putting the emphasis on regular testing instead of on condoms as a means of avoiding HIV infection.

            People who have got caught up in the misery of drug injection need to know they should not share needles. People who have intercourse need to know they should wear extra-strength condoms. If their condom slips off or breaks, they need to know where they can get PEP and that they should seek it as soon as possible.

            Although it is possible to contract HIV from unprotected oral sex, the likelihood of doing so is far lower than contracting it from unprotected intercourse.

            Putting the emphasis on regular testing rather than on the need to wear condoms sends the message that testing is more important than condoms. This is an absurd message. If people wear condoms for sex, the chance they will become infected with HIV is vastly reduced. However trendy your approach may be, it treats gay men as lacking the capacity for responsible, mature behaviour.

          10. With regard to your view on testing, perhaps you can explain why 30% of MSM are still diagnosed late with the average cost of late presentation being £250k in the first year of care to the NHS in stabilising that patient & nursing them back to good health? This putsd in perspective the lifetime cost of treratment at around £300k (this figure is reduced by 20% for those of us who get our meds via home delivery).

            I am not taking a “trendy view” as you so put it, more a science based, epidemiological approach to HIV prevention. The current campaign being run by HIV Prevention England has 3 basic principles, test regularly, use condoms & where required take HIV treatment as prescribed – that is not trendy it is evidence based thinking with clear outcomes that can be measured.

            Condom technology has also improved there is no need to use “extra thick” condoms, this is 2013 not 1983! I guess you would suggest that the nurse taking my bloods “double glove” just in case??

          11. Gary Powell 25 Sep 2013, 11:10pm

            D_J

            The fact that you feel the need to distort my position beyond recognition and create a straw man you can more readily attack, just proves how fragile your position is.

            I objected to prioritising regular testing over condom use as a means of preventing HIV infection. Nowhere did I say that someone who has put himself at risk should not get tested for HIV. You can attack that latter opinion as much as you like, but it is not one that I hold or have advocated. On the contrary, anyone who has put himself at risk should get tested so that treatment can start as soon as is appropriate.

            Quote accurately, please. I advocated “extra-strength” condoms, not “extra thick” ones. If standard condom technology has improved so much, there wouldn’t be unwanted pregnancies and HIV infections as a result of them tearing. If people want to be safer, they should use “extra-strength” condoms. You yourself said above, “when was the last time you noticed that a condom had split?”

          12. I do not consider that my position is fragile, quite the opposite given that I have considered the scientific & epidemiological argument for regular testing of MSM, particularly in HIV high prevalence areas. You are entirely missing the point in relation to risk – it is both a subjective assessment & very also individual. I speak to many individuals who have received an HIV diagnosis that was not expected, they considered that they took all necessary steps to prevent HIV infection. You have not addressed the late diagnosis question at all.

            Most condom failures are a result of them not being worn correctly & not enough care being taken when removing them from the packaging, not because they are not strong enough. Using the correct condom is essential, but your comment that extra strong condoms is rather old fashioned & harks back to an age when double gloving was the norm when dealing with the blood of an individual with HIV. Times have changed & prevention must reflect this!

          13. Gary Powell 28 Sep 2013, 5:41pm

            D_J

            We will have to agree to differ.

            I would though like to respond to your point about people who have unexpected HIV diagnoses after claiming to have taken all necessary steps to avoid infection.

            If this is happening, then it needs to be very widely publicised and investigated. I would imagine that the most likely explanation is that either oral sex is causing the transmission, or else that it is caused by infected ejaculate coming into contact with the rim of the anus, the glans, or the inside of the foreskin.

            I have long suspected that HIV is more easily transmitted than is commonly believed, and your account accords with my suspicion.

            Even if this is the case, it is still clear that unprotected intercourse remains a very high-risk activity for HIV transmission.

      4. What utter ballferdash!!

        Of course random unsafe sex encounters should be stigmatised.

        It is only the hand wringing, heart bleeding, so called “progressive” neo liberals who have hogged the debate and who have manoeuvred into key positions with the HIV sector who decree otherwise.

        Look around you folks:- 20 years of their insane doctrines have got us into the mess we face today

        At least we can rejoice in their funding being slashed or withdrawn altogether.

  5. The rise in Statistics for Gay Men regarding HIV transmission and BB sex – is because more and more surveys are being done – targeting Gay Men – but lets not forget that more than 38 million people globally live with HIV and only a very small percentage are GAY –

    The ignorant WW are constantly being told in so many words that HIV is still a gay virus –

    Unlike the peoples of the world HIV does NOT Discriminate

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 22 Sep 2013, 4:04pm

      You are absolutely right. The World Health Organisation clearly states that more heterosexuals than gays are succombing to the disease, especially in emerging nations. It’s no different than cancer which does not discriminate. Just because more heterosexuals per capita have it doesn’t make it a hetero disease either.

    2. Wow… How blindly stupid of you. This is an article about the rise in HIV infections in MSM in Canada… Your comments are completely irresponsible. Gay men, outside of monogamy, must use condoms when having sex with strangers or risk becoming infected with a stigmatizing, deadly virus. It is a gay virus because many of us choose the latter. Get over yourself and see the truth for what it is.

      1. This lot are conservative. They are also straight v gay. Man v woman. They are a bunch of quite nasty people. In fact this whole site is a negative hate filled place

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Sep 2013, 6:02pm

          Yet you Choose to come here, so it can’t be that bad… but hey just because not all agree with you and you’re brand of childish name-calling we much all be nasty right?

          Seriously… what are you 12?

          I’ll take that back my son when he was 12 had more sense and reasoning.

        2. Actually James you may be surprised to learn this is quite a moderate, tempered HIV-related debate compared to normal, but seems a certain Hammersmth and Fulham-based resident who usually lurks around these parts to shill for the HIV sector and pharma drugs – and who even attempts to get those with alternative viewpoints banned from posting in these threads – is otherwise occupied down at the local town hall trying to get his amended benefits claim rushed through the system.

          And to think I was once threatened with legal action on this here forum for even daring to allude to this statement of fact!!

          The day that truth itself is censored on PN will be a very sad day indeed for this essential site, and it should be lauded for upholding the principles of fair and open comment.

      2. Jock S. Trap 22 Sep 2013, 5:59pm

        ” It is a gay virus”

        Wow… could your ignorance and stupidity be any louder?

        1. David Shepherd 23 Sep 2013, 5:05pm

          One of the best statistical modelling studies of heterosexual vs. MSM (men-who-have-sex-with-men) STI epidemiology was commissioned by the US National Institute of Health in 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm…

          The results were:
          1. Unlike vaginal intercourse, where one partner in insertive (a lower HIV risk) both gay partners can be receptive, for which it has been shown that receptive role-versatility increases HIV transmission.
          2. Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI)has a higher HIV transmission rate than unprotected vaginal intercourse (UVI).
          3. The spread of infection among heterosexuals is increased considerably by the bridging role of closeted bisexuals who conceal their homosexual liaisons from an unwitting straight partner.

          Differences in promiscuity for orientations are secondary. Due to the HIV-risk of dual receptive anal sex, the report claims that heterosexual individuals would have to have approximately 2.8 as many partners as MSM do to generate any epidemic at all.

      3. I believe Mr Sean is a troll. Please ignore him if possible. If you can’t overcome the urge to put him in his place (which he so richly deserves), please bear in mind that his personality profile (suggested by his argumentative stance as well as language chosen) indicates an individual that thrives on conflict, no matter how self-destructive it may be in the medium to long term. In short, he gets off on you allowing yourself to get angry.

    3. Jock S. Trap 22 Sep 2013, 6:02pm

      Exactly JD and Robert… well said!!

  6. Health is a provincial responsibility with ZERO national strategy. From August 2013:

    “B.C. [British Columbia] leads the country in tackling HIV, but experts worry the lack of a nationwide strategy puts all Canadians at a higher risk of contracting the infection.”

    “Formerly an epicentre of the infection, B.C. has seen a huge drop in new HIV infections per year, to 238 in 2012 from 900 in the mid-1990s.”

    “Experts credit that success to the province’s efforts to make early diagnosis and treatment a key part of its strategy to decrease transmission, illness and death. As part of that plan, B.C. was the first jurisdiction to offer without charge anti-retroviral drug treatment to all medically eligible residents infected with HIV, said Montaner, who helped develop the treatment.” http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/hiv-aids-series-b-c-a-leader-in-offering-free-tests-treatment-to-reduce-hiv-cases-1.572640

  7. No surprises in this story!

  8. David Shepherd 23 Sep 2013, 5:02pm

    One of the best statistical modelling studies of heterosexual vs. MSM (men-who-have-sex-with-men) STI epidemiology was commissioned by the US National Institute of Health in 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm

    The results were:
    1. Unlike vaginal intercourse, where one partner in insertive (a lower HIV risk) both gay partners can be receptive, for which it has been shown that receptive role-versatility increases HIV transmission.
    2. Unprotected anal intercourse (UAI)has a higher HIV transmission rate than unprotected vaginal intercourse (UVI).
    3. The spread of infection among heterosexuals is increased considerably by the bridging role of closeted bisexuals who conceal their homosexual liaisons from an unwitting straight partner.

    Differences in promiscuity for orientations are secondary. Due to the HIV-risk of dual receptive anal sex, the report claims that heterosexual individuals would have to have approximately 2.8 as many partners as MSM do to generate any epidemic at all.

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