Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Healthy Gay Lifestyles1
What’s With All This HIV Among Us Gays!
by Daniel Bauer
Reality check boys! There is a lot of HIV among us and quite honestly I am trying to get a grasp on why that is. My name is Daniel and ten years ago I was diagnosed HIV positive. As a gay man, I did everything completely opposite of what one should do according to the handbook of HIV awareness and prevention. I got drunk with my lover, he whispered “I love you” in my ear, and as he was about to make love to me (this time without a condom) he assured me he was negative. I believed him. You get the rest.
I would be lying if I did not say that sex without a condom was ridiculously orgasmic! What wasn’t orgasmic was the fact that I was lied to by my now ex-partner; him suddenly leaving me and then finding out I had been left permanently scarred with the “H-I-V.” Stupid me for not waiting until we were both tested so that we would have known that sex without a condom would not be possible. See, it took me a long time to realize and accept that it didn’t matter that he lied to me (or that he may not have known he was HIV positive). What mattered is that I made the choice to “do-it” unprotected, ’cause I thought that is what love was supposed to be all about – no barriers whatsoever.
I have friends today who have lots of unprotected sex, even while knowing my story. What’s nuts is they gloat about. Why is that? There are those of us who just don’t care; those of us who do care; those of us who don’t know our status; those of us who do know and we don’t do anything to manage our HIV; and then there are those of us who live openly with HIV and come out publicly in hopes of turning the tides in our own community.
I am curious: When is the last time that you put yourself at risk, sexually? Was it a random hook up from Grindr? Manhunt? A night out at a bar?
Let me tell you, I know for FACT that there are a ton of guys who frequent these hook up sites who ARE HIV+ and DO NOT disclose their status and ARE having unprotected sex. That’s just sick. What’s even crazier is when someone tells us he is negative, we just assume he is. . . and BAM we’re off to do it without a condom. That’s even more insane.
It’s time you get a hold on your sexual health. It’s time we as a community unite to stop the spread of HIV. Otherwise we are in for a rude wakeup call, more stigmas amongst our loving community hearts, and so much more.
I am prescribing an action plan for my own sexual health and doing my part to set an example. My hope is that you too will join in and take control of your own sexual health.
First, I am no longer putting myself at risk when it comes to sex. Even living with HIV, I still have to protect myself (not to mention others) from contracting HIV or other STDs. I have filled up my nightstand with condoms!
Second, I (and hope you) will continue to get tested for HIV and STDs regularly . Listen, boys, sex if fun; we know it is! BUT. . . Infection is not!! This is why I have teamed up with JustGetTested.com for online access to tests because if you are like me, I am a bit embarrassed to go to a clinic or even ask my doctor to test me regularly for STDs. This way I can do it at the comfort of my own home and if a red flag pops up, I can go get the treatment I need.
Third, I am talking about HIV and STDs openly with all of my sexual partners; not just my fantasies!
And lastly, I am being honest with myself about who I want to be as a gay man – random hook ups or not? I am being honest that HIV and contracting other STDs is still a serious issue among us gays.
Seriously, again, we LOVE sex! Well, at least I do! AND I like lots of it. Difference is, after contracting HIV, I am now more aware of the urgency to Just Get Tested, and to protect myself and all those I love or simply meet randomly from contracting HIV from me. An in retrospect, I hope you, negative or positive will join in, in this domino effect of taking control of HIV and the spread of STDs among us gays!
So with that said, what is going to change in your sexual life as a gay man?
Daniel Bauer is HOUDINII
Nationally recognized motivational speaker, magician, escape artist and more.