A gay club has posted a public response to a bachelorette party who wanted to check the club was “safe” from HIV for their night out.
Nectar Nightclub in Manila, the Philippines, shared a message they received from a group of women looking to attend the club for a hen party.
The women had asked: “Is it safe here? My friend will celebrate her bachelorette party… [but] I’m worried about HIV infection.
“Because a lot of gay now a days are vulnerable to HIV. I’m just worried that a lot of gays coming have HIV.”
As HIV activists have been patiently explaining now for more than thirty years, HIV cannot be transmitted by dancing in a nightclub with someone, sharing a glass, holding hands or kissing.
The club owners were fresh out of patience, however.
In a response to the hen party they wrote: “We advise you to read a little more about HIV before you infect our club with your stupidity. That’s more contagious.
“Take your bachelorette party to a straight club. Your business is not welcome at Nectar.”
Explaining its message in a Facebook post, the club wrote: “As you can imagine, we were horrified that someone had the nerve to offend us while asking about a celebration with their ‘straight’ friends within our LGBTQ+ establishment.
“Their ignorance about HIV was appalling, and the audacious and casual tempo of their shrieking insult to celebrate a party of marriage in one of our clubs when we ourselves don’t have the right to marry the person we love here in the Philippines was downright straight-privilege nonsense.”
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Responding to the fears the club was ‘dangerous’, it added: “Nectar will be celebrating our two-year anniversary in November and in looking back on our history, we have only had one serious fight inside of the club… [when] A Nectar gogo boy was attacked by the boyfriend of a straight female bachelorette party attendee who was voluntarily getting a lap-dance.
“Our employee was punched in the head a total of fifteen times, rushed to the hospital and suffered a severe concussion.”
The club’s post attracted hundreds of responses. Some were disappointed that the club did not take the opportunity to explain to the women why their misconceptions about HIV were harmful.
In a follow-up statement it said: “In response to our ‘Dear Straight Bigots’ post, we have received a lot of comments, mostly those in support of our Facebook reply, and some have brought up that it was a ‘missed opportunity’ to educate someone who didn’t know about HIV.
“We stand firm in our response and we will continue to stand next to and in front of our community as protectors and trailblazers of our right to exist.
We will continue to create a safe and accepting party environment for everyone who walks through Nectar’s doors.
For those who seek additional information about HIV we pass you onto the experts, Love Yourself PH and The Red Whistle, both homegrown NGOs which are pillars in our community for HIV advocacy, education and overall wellness.