The answer to that question, depending on whether you were poz or neg, careful or piggy, used to be simple.
Thirty years after the Gay Genocide hit us like a tsunami and less than twenty years since meds came out to treat it, the threat of AIDS remains very real among gay men.
Or is it?
Well, here are some enlightening facts just released that shoot holes in that assumption faster than construction crews punching out glory holes at a new sex club.
First, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control, more than half of gay men do not use condoms or use them consistently, a statistic which has stayed relatively unchanged for the last three decades condom use among gay men has been monitored, including at the height of the AIDS crisis of the 80’s. What isn’t clear is whether most men engage in back door sex, or in oral sex where the risk drops or jo-ing where the risk is virtually nil. The kind of sex would certainly have a big impact on the significance of this fact.
Second, according to the results of a two year research study of over 30,000 sex acts between men not using condoms, not a single HIV transmission occurred from a poz guy with an undetectable viral load. And the negative partner was not on one of those new AIDS prevention pills.
Third, the new preventive meds are changing the rules of the game. Those that use the med correctly (like taking a vitamin in the morning) have their risk reduced by 90 percent; in some studies, the risk is reduced to 99%. (Remember, it’s probably riskier to drive your car to Walmart.) Even if the guy misses a dose, the med stays in his bloodstream up to 72 hours. And Obamacare is making sure all insurance companies including Medicaid cover it, though the cost still may be a factor. But how many guys are actually taking it?
So playing around raw with a poz guy whose viral load is “undetectable” is as safe as playing with a neg guy?
Or popping a preventa-pill keeps the Big Bad Boogie Man away, no condom required?
Are you as confused and bewildered as I am?
I guess why I say that is because the AIDS rate and the rate of STDS like syphilis continue to rise in gay vacation meccas like Fort Lauderdale which, bear in mind, are like incubators where a guy from Chicago may have bad cock while on a sun and fun getaway, then goes back home and spreads the wealth. In another city known for its visitors and tourists, New York, the rate has stayed steady or declined slightly.
But if all what I just said was working, shouldn’t new cases of HIV start becoming as scarce as landline phones?