HIV Rate Down For Everybody – Except Us
According to the latest from the Centers for Disease Control, the HIV rate in the U.S. fell by one third each year in the past ten. Experts hypothesize that maybe the disease has essentially burned itself out much. That’s what happened with the Plague of the Middle Ages after it wiped out a sizable portion of Europe’s population, or the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed more people than those who died in all of World War I.
Rate drops were seen in almost every demographic group – men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, heterosexuals, even injection drug users.
Every group except for gay and bisexual men where it remains on the increase.
So what gives? After all the propaganda fostered in the gay community about safe sex for decades, what is it?
Are we stupid?
Or just hopelessly horny?
To begin with, as I‘ve said before, the pharms should be running ads not of happy twentysomethings on the pill, but of decaying fiftysomethings who’ve been on the meds since they hit the deck in the mid-late nineties, but who can’t escape the almost inevitable effects of the disease – haggard looks, early dementia, loss of muscle tone unless they OD on steroids and Human Growth Hormone, deteriorating joints, shot livers, etc., etc., etc.
But we know that won’t happen. The gay media which benefits from all the pharm advertising does a lot a pontificating but won’t dare kill the golden goose by demanding more relevant ads.
The state health departments aren’t much better, pushing testing and condoms when they should be policing the bath houses and sex clubs for unsafe sex, or as San Francisco did at the height of the AIDS epidemic, just close them down. Ditto with bareback sites and any mention of BB’ing in hook-up profiles. (You can’t say “shit” in your profile but “BB only” is just fine.)
No, we can’t rely on outside forces. This change has to start with each and every one of us and with it, a sense of personal responsibility.
But after over thirty years since we knew a bad bottle of poppers wasn’t the culprit, will that ever happen?