AIDS: Why Are We Still Even Talking About It?

Here I go again, sermonizing about arguably the most controversial subject facing us as gay men, and I already predict this blog will generate a lot of “how can you be so heartless, you son of a bitch” responses. But ask me if I give a fuck, go ahead and ask me.

My sudden compulsion to write this was driven by two events coming up: the AIDS Walk being held this weekend in South Florida where I live and which has the highest HIV infection rate in the country; and a new Logo documentary scheduled for tomorrow, May 19,  called “Positive Youth” which looks at the world of young people with HIV/AIDS.

Listen, I came from the generation AIDS almost decimated in genocide proportions, but while we, the children of the Gay Liberation Movement, may have lived decadently and on the edge, no one then could foresee what was around the corner. I knew lot of buddies, handsome men with everything to live for, who are now six feet under because of it. But what, please, I ask you, what is a 38 year old or 23 year old or 18 year old gay man doing being positive?

Huh?

By 1985, we all knew you didn’t catch it from a toilet seat or a bad bottle of poppers.  Like polio, AIDS, at least here in the U.S., should have relegated to a footnote in some dusty medical history book, not a lingering menace brought on by nothing less than personal  irresponsibility. I’m tired of guys with AIDS, who got it because they freely practiced unsafe sex,  describing themselves as victims – they’ re victims self-inflicted – and the pharm industry  for running those upbeat ads featuring young, handsome, seemingly healthy guys taking their latest magic potion, ads usually followed by four pages of disclaimers and contra-indications in six point type.

I know a number of guys here in Fort Lauderdale,  guys in their 40’s and 50’s, on the cocktail, with early onset dementia, blown out joints, haggard faces that need fillers to look pretty, even cirrhosis of the liver , due to the drugs not four-for-one drink specials, and ineligible for a liver transplant because of their status. The young among us who view AIDS as an old faggots disease think the pharms will save them, so what’s all the fuss about? But these pills are not an answer, only a postponement.

The producer of the doc, “Positive Youth,” said he made the film “to shed light on the rise of HIV infection among today’s youth and give hope to people living with HIV and let them know that they are not alone.” Peachy keen, but what the fuck are they doing being infected to begin with?

Unless you got a tainted organ or blood transfusion – very rare today – or got gang raped against your will, who’s fault is it except your own? And when are we as a community going to stop with the bullshit, tell the health departments with all their doublespeak to shove it, and get serious in cracking down on the rise of unsafe sex among us? Check out your local bath house or sex club or the BB web profiles and hook-up sites if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Remember, too, it’s your tax dollars that ultimately are spent on Medicaid, Ryan White, SS disability, food stamps, subsidized rent, and pharms, caring for guys who didn’t give a shit. And at least part of your contributions to AIDS causes that only help to continue to enable the wrong behavior.

Otherwise, as one poz buddy I know put it, “there are only two kinds of gay men – those who already have AIDS, and those who are waiting.”

9 thoughts on “AIDS: Why Are We Still Even Talking About It?

  1. I can definitely say I agree with all the points you made in this post. There is little to no excuse to get AIDS today.

  2. One mistake made in the past should not equal a death sentence nor should it garnish such obvious scorn from an negative asshole like yourself. I didn’t go around barebacking left and right; I trusted someone who told me they were negative and we’d been dating and he ultimately lied. You tell often in your sexcapades that you bareback top ALL the time, so tell me, who’s part of their own problem?

    You’re the most hypocritical asshole I’ve ever seen. On posts like these you chastise everyone for unsafe sex and barebacking when it’s well known you bareback top. You can’t have it both ways! I for one am a VERY healthy poz man, very fit and very athletic and I don’t get testosterone supplements to get there. I don’t ask for pity, but I refuse to be scorned and treated like a fucking pariah. Fuck your stupid negative attitude.

    Our tax dollars should be pushing for a cure, an ACTUAL cure to kill the virus, not a permanent cocktail that will ultimately demolish what remains of our healthy bodies. Pharmaceutical companies are no longer interested in curing anything; they’re only interested in prolonging drug money. Get off your fucking negative poz bashing soapbox and redirect that wasted energy towards pushing for money and research and public attention towards abolishing this fucking disease.

    • I’m sorry you got burnt. But you can call me what you like, I’m not talking about the guys who made an occasional unfortunate decision in the heat of passion or we’re lied to and paid the consequences, I’m referring to the career barebackers who were in diapers when AIDS hit the deck, who then suck the system dry – I know because my buddies and I have conversations with them. Hell, we were just talking today about a 42 year old guy we know who got his business set up with gov assistance BECAUSE of his HIV status. Huh??? If someone bb’s today, they should take responsibility for their actions, period. They shouldn’t cry “poor me” if they get infected and look for a hand-out. Another politically correct gay rag down here in Ft. Lauderdale had an article about educating gay youth about AIDS; is the younger generation THAT stupid?? Or has the gay community failed just like the feds with smoking and obesity?

      • You seem to have missed the major point in my rant back at you. You can’t flame folks for barebacking when you do it yourself, regardless if you are a top or not. It’s hypocritical.

        I admit you may be in a microcosm of the worst offenders of the ‘career barebackers’ down in Ft Lauderdale, but the overall education level and publicity on the HIV/AIDS crisis has fallen very seriously to the wayside in favor of the ‘cocktail’. The new ‘hiv vaccine’ is just one of the cocktail drugs (Truvada) that they actually expect us to take every single day of our lives to prevent hiv infection.

        There’s a serious issue overall with the current media representation of hiv infection and of hiv ‘cures’. Yes, there’s a cocktail, but it will ultimately demolish our bodies. Insulin is at least an actual hormone in the body, so diabetics aren’t demolishing their bodies with their regular injections. The current ‘happy go lucky’ advertising doesn’t demonstrate how dangerous it is to continue barebacking, especially folks are hiv positive and may only have been on one drug cocktail. If they hook up with your career barebackers, there’s more chance of a super infection.

        The barebacking has to stop; that’s the primary issue. The crystal meth usage has to stop. Focus on the source of the problem rather than burning everyone who may have had to get government assistance because in this economy folks who had ‘careers’ are laid off everyday. Until you’ve hit rock bottom, don’t preach and chastise those who may be in a situation they couldn’t control.

        And get me the name of that government group who helped your 42 year old acquaintance get a business started because of his hiv status, because I’d love to hear about it.

      • And yes, the gay community has failed. I feel in many ways, we don’t want a bad light put on us, so we hide our rampant sexuality, our drug use and our irresponsible behaviors.

        And much worse, we cast ALL Poz guys as disease carrying lepers. I see everyday, ‘DDF – Drug Disease Free’ and ‘Clean’. I am clean, I’m healthy, I take care of myself and I am responsible with my body. I’m also poz. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

  3. Some people just don’t get the meaning of ‘ if it doesn’t apply to you, I wasn’t talking to you. ‘ This is my first time reading this blog, so I don’t know if he BB on a regular basis, only with people he knows to be negative, or whenever the fancy strikes him. TO ME, he is clearly speaking about those that act irresponsibly then contract HIV and act like they don’t understand or that it shouldn’t have to them, yet they were at he bathhouse face down every weekend taking loads until there was a puddle under the bed leading from their well used hole. You trusted the wrong person and got infected, two totally different things, you made what would turn out to be an unfortunate decision, but the people he is referring to are knowingly taking the risk, then act like someone pointed a gun to their heads and said take it raw and now except sympathy and to be taken care of by the system because they can’t get jobs or keep the one they had because the insurance company won’t cover them now. This was no fault of mine, his [RP], the company or the insurer but theirs and they should be held responsible for making their lives more difficult

    You also said something about career bare backers…and that the focus needs to be on stopping this and crystal meth usage. Fine we are all standing by waiting for your solution to this, because I don’t know of a way to make an irresponsible person magically responsible…that usually only happens after its too late. So if you have a way to put an end to this, I am sure the gay community is all ears. I do however agree with your statement about people treating positive people as lepers, its not right, but they should also not expect special treatment when it was their irresponsibility that got them there in the first place. We don’t treat people that contract herpes that way, and yes before you get started I know HIV is the more serious disease,but both people are infected with something they will have for the rest of their life.

    To the blogger, sorry to comment on something a little old but that irks me when someone takes offense to something that wasn’t really about them AND defends the people in question. I do agree with you, how are you infected at 18? If you are going to have that it can’t happen to me attitude when there are glaring examples to the opposite being thrown in your face at every turn, don’t expect me to feel sorry for you. I have BB a few times in my life, but I am well aware of the risks involved and take full responsibility for anything that happens because of it. Hell I got chlamydia once, but I knew that was a risk going in.

    He seems to me like one of those people that because something happen to them it should never have some negative light shined on it, even if the situation being discussed is totally different from theirs and they in no way shape or form fit the issue at hand. I want to ask him something, but I’m sure it will offend him, and your blog is not a sounding board, so I’ll refrain out of respect to you.

    Keep up the good work, and ‘ Jim ‘ the old adage about the remote and the channel applies here, change it and make us all happy. Thank you and God Bless.

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