HIV-positive guy gets blocked on Grindr by man on PrEP – and the internet has a lot of thoughts
A guy living with HIV was blocked by a Grindr user on PrEP and Twitter had a lot of thoughts on the subject.
David, based in Orlando, Florida, was diagnosed with HIV in 2018.
The 26-year-old went public about his undetectable status in a heart-warming tweet to let his friends and followers know the news.
Although, David mentioned in the tweet that he has already encountered stigma from other members of the LGBT+ community about what living with HIV means.
And exactly one month on from opening up, David tweeted that a user on a dating app blocked him after he told the user he was HIV-positive and undetectable.
Well I was excited to hook up with someone then when I told them I was undetectable they blocked me 🙃 the kicker is they’re on prep!!! I’m tired.
— david (@homesweethomo) September 17, 2019
He tweeted: “Well I was excited to hook up with someone then when I told them I was undetectable they blocked me.
“The kicker is they’re on prep!!! I’m tired.”
“This is nothing new for me,” says guy blocked for living with HIV.
It took just 10 seconds after David opened up about his status for the guy to block him on Grindr, he told PinkNews.
“I felt mildly frustrated for a few minutes,” he said, “but as this is nothing new to me, was able to calm down a few minutes later.”
Even among friends, David said that a lack of understating about HIV is a “common thing”.
He explained: “I’ve spent some conversations educating my friends because I want them to take sexual health as seriously as I do now. I want them to avoid having to deal with this daily.”
Looking back, if David had the chance to meet the Grindr guy face-to-face, he would ask him why he was on PrEP in the first place.
“I would say, ‘How dare you not respond like an adult and say, “I’m sorry we’re not a match”‘, as opposed to just blocking me.
“I’d ask them why they are on PrEP as the whole purpose of PrEP is to prevent HIV, and that being undetectable means there is no way for me to transmit the virus. U=U [Undetectable = Untransmittable].”
“What rock does he live under?” LGBT+ Twitter has David’s back.
David’s debacle got Twitter talking. The bulk of his followers were supportive of him, denouncing the blocker for his lack of acceptance.
I’m sorry, people are the worst. I’ve had way too many guys (on and off PrEP) block me or freak out. Just before I left NYC a guy who was on PrEP and knew I was undetectable freaked out after via text and asked if he should go get PEP too just in case.
— Colin 🏳️🌈 (@AnthGeek) September 18, 2019
WTF?!? Sorry that happened to ya. His loss, even if it was just a hook up. Sometimes i just don’t understand people. What rock does he live under. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 pic.twitter.com/R0hEVQOFKJ
— gabriel. (@onemoregabriel) September 18, 2019
That happens an awful lot matey. Declaring you are undetectable, and therefore considerably safer than someone who hasn’t been tested, seems to be a deal breaker – nowt so queer as folk!
— Chafford BB xxx (@doug_xxx) September 18, 2019
A lot of other users banded together with David. Sharing similar stories of coming up against ignorant individuals on Grindr and beyond:
I’ve had that happen. I was told he took prep to “prevent accidental contamination from like you, not so I can willingly have sex with people like you.” You don’t need that negativity, hookup or not.
— Justin Lavalle (@_JustinLavalle) September 18, 2019
That is tiring, sorry that you had to go through that. I'd like to say it gets easier but it sucks every time.
— Mark McCrispo (@MarkMinME) September 17, 2019
So sorry. I've been on prep for about 8 years now and can say that I've seen a huge shift in awareness and perception here in SF during this time. As a negative man, I feel it's my duty to educate and help get rid of the stigma.
— Lee Decker (@leedecks) September 17, 2019
One Twitter user suggested that David not bring up his status to potential partners:
To be fair I don’t know why you need to tell people you’re undetectable. It’s up to the individual to make sure they’re taking the correct precautions before sex with another person. I’m sure he didn’t think twice when fucking in the darkroom last weekend with an anonymous guy
— dLdaddyXXX (@d_ldaddy) September 18, 2019
“It’s technically illegal in the state of Florida to lie about your status,” David replied. A vast majority of US states have introduced laws against failing to disclose one’s status if asked.
However, as the number of likes and retweets continue to soar, David said he was surprised considering that what he experienced is such a “common thing in our community”.
“Not just for HIV+ individuals, but for trans men/women, for POC, and it’s time that we stopped treating each other like that on the apps and instead had the decency to say something instead of blocking someone.”
What does it mean to be undetectable?
When he first shared the news to his Twitter, David was quick to flag that he is more than his status. Nevertheless, he’s found that people continue to show a lack of understanding.
When someone is HIV-positive, on medication and consistently undetectable, this means there’s zero risk of them passing on the virus during sex, with or without protection.
Although the science on the subject is anything but new, the message that undetectable means untrabnsmittable is novel to some.
Many HIV advocates and healthcare providers have been involved in the ‘Undetectable = Untransmittable’ campaign in an effort to curb the stigma that those living with HIV experience.
The slogan dates back to 2016 when it was first launched by the Prevention Access Campaign.
Medical science has backed the campaign, such as National Institute for Health Research in the UK and the Center of Disease Control (CDC) in the US, which support the evidence that HIV is un-transmittable if the viral load is undetectable.