Steve joins with Tim and Jeff to discuss more about HIV positive people and relationships, Gay men are thinner to straights, Jeff’s mind is blown 3 times and Soccer.
I wanted to commend you for tackling the subject of HIV on your episode (COL15). I think you handled a difficult subject with great honesty and sincerity.
A few years ago, I was in a situation where I had no choice but to reveal someone status to another person who I hardly knew. “Bob” came up from the States with a few mutual friends I knew for fun. He ran into , and started making out with “Fred.” (not their real names) . Now Fred had a nasty habit of not revealing his status. I knew this because he was with my friend “Barney,” who he never told until 6 months into the relationship. They both barebacked and unfortunately Barney ended up being POZ. In fact, I watched Fred be pretty irresponsible. He slept with several people without telling them his status. All of them presumed he was “healthy” ( one guy told me he presumed because he was a bear and in medical field he was considered safe -(go figure)).
When I saw Fred head off with Bob to the backroom, alarm bells went off in my head. I didn’t know Bob that well. I felt in one way it’s his business. At the same time, I felt I had a responsibility to tell him. So I called Bob the next day, and told him. He freaked, confronted Fred right away, who then told him his status. Bob got tested right away. After 3 test (and after being on a few HIV preventive pills for 30 days which he told me left him nauseous, and tired) Bob remained negative. He’s been grateful that I told him. We became good friends every since. As for Fred he stopped talking to me after he found out that I revealed his staus and has since left town. He was basically shunned by many other people who also found out about him, after he had sex with their friends. Unforuantely Barney never pressed charges nor reported him to Toronto Public Health out fo fear of his own sexual history being revealed.
When it comes down to revealing someone status, it’s tough cause you have to weigh one’s right to privacy. IMHO, anyone who is sexually active today, should be aware of the risks including HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases (or infections) out there. It’s up to all of us to be responsible for our own sexual behavior. In some cases you could be breaking the law. In Canada, you could be charged with manslaughter or even first degree murder if you don’t disclose your HIV status to potential sexual partners.
Some HIV activists argue that such laws are discriminatory because they punish POZ people unfairly without examining both people behavior in the first place.
I can see where they are coming from. I spoke to a few POZ people who are hurt by being rejected. They feel that they are treated as the new untouchables. I know for myself I wouldn’t be comfortable being with a POZ person. When someone tells me that they are POZ, I been honest with them and let them down slowly without insulting them or treating them like an untouchable.
It doesn’t help that there so many mixed messages out there today especially on people profiles. It doesn’t help when some of profiles out there state that they are “clean,” (does that mean untouch-if you sleep with soneone than you are sleeping with them and their past partners so no one pure) or people who are looking to get “the gift.” –looking to become POZ. (Eventhough their are pills to make life living with HIV much more confortable there still very emotially and physically draining )
I sometimes I wonder have we forgetten that this is an awful disease that destroys so many lives? When did we end up treating this like a joke? or is some of us so shallow that we end up treating each other badly by being irresponsible?!!?
We all have to remember that if we are sexually active today then we know the risks, and should act accordingly. Use your head, have safer sex, and get tested. It’s the only way that this disease will be eradicated until they find a cure. After all something so wonderful, and fun like sex should not be something that you should have regretes afterwords.