A Day with HIV

September 21, 2012
A Day with HIV

Check out this picture of the Daddyhunt/MISTER team in the office. What a nice looking bunch!

We pay so much attention to the progress we've made in our fight for equality that we sometimes forget to see how far we've come in other areas of our community. Specifically the stigma associated with HIV. In the past month alone, I've seen several articles, including our own Carl Sandler on the Huffington Post , speak frankly and loudly about how much harm can come from how we in the community treat those with HIV. It's a conversation that's been a long time coming but one that people seem eager to address. Whether it's their fears about infection or their experiences dating someone who's negative, there seems to be a more open dialogue on the subject from both sides. It's refreshing and ultimately making our community stronger, and more importantly, safer.

Today, September 21, Positively Aware hosts its third annual Day with HIV. They're asking HIV+ and HIV- alike to take a picture on Sept. 21 and submit a photo to www.adaywithhiv.com by Sept. 25 . By participating in A Day with HIV, regardless of your status, you'll be sending a clear message to others that you've got their backs. Selected photos will appear in the Positively Aware November/December issue, and all of the submissions will be posted online.

We're calling on our members to take part in this great awareness campaign and show your support. The images can be serious or fun. Whatever you feel represents you and your place in the community.

Do you feel like we're slowly chipping away at the stimga that comes along with being HIV-positive?

Tags: HIV/AIDS, Positively Aware
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Post written by RobHeartsDH (View Author Profile)
About this author: Rob lives in Manhattan with his black pug Riley. When he’s not thinking about daddies, he enjoys writing, eating burritos, watching copious amounts of television, and thinking about his next meal.
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Comments

There's still crap around that HIV+ people can be committing a crime if they don't reveal to a sex partner that they are HIV+.

In my opinion, let's just cut out the ambiguity by making it illegal to have anal sex without a condom.

Also, let's make it illegal to display pictures or videos of anal sex without condoms.

We don't need the sex police monitoring what goes on in our bedrooms. If two consenting adults want to fuck raw it's their decision...we don't need to legislate morality.

I agree.
But tell that to those who are criminalizing HIV+ people when HIV neg (perhaps) people consensually have unprotected sex with people who didn't tell them they were dripping with AIDS.

Both things are true. ANYONE having unprotected sex in a risky situation is taking their health in their own hands. BUT that doesn't absolve someone of the responsibility of disclosing their HIV status. Whether it is prosecuted or not willfully infecting someone with a dangerous disease is illegal in most places and it should be. Third the "it is no ones business if two people fuck raw and transmit HIV" is pure BS. Public health is everyone's business. And if you are infected with HIV who pays tens of thousands of dollars for your treatment? Everyone who pays for health insurance and any tax payer who's tax dollars help fund public health programs that pays for HIV treatment. We should fight AGAINST the stigma that can come with HIV and we should fight FOR personal responsibility. Ok now both sides flame me to prove I'm right.

So, according to your reasoning, if YOU smoke, drink, take drugs, drive fast, stay out too long in the sun...any or all of the above....it's MY business and I have the right to lecture you to stop? That's what you're saying? Because risky behaviour which impacts on the health system runs throughout society. Let people be responsible for their own actions and behaviour and look after your own habits. All this dramatic newspaper headline language will not help the issue just whip up even more stigma form all sides.

According to my reasoning yes. Does that mean we will bat 1000? No. Does that mean someone is a horrible person because they made a mistake? No. But in our community we seem to have gotten to the point where we take no responsibility for our behavior (not all just some). But our collective society/culture does comment on and set standards for our individual behavior. That is what civilization is. This is true for HIV, smoking, wearing seat belts, eating too many french fries, etc. Again my point is not that an individual is bad for doing these things. My point is that when someone says "my irresponsible behavior is none of your business" that statement is total BS.

Smoking, drinking, and drug use differ from unsafe sex in that negative consequences of the former behaviors largely accrue to the individual engaging in them. There are exceptions of course, fires caused by smoking, cancer from second hand cigarette smoke, drunk driving accidents, etc. However, transmission of HIV from one person to another permanently alters another human being's life. If someone is HIV(-) and wishes to engage in unsafe sex, that's their business. However, it is my belief that if an HIV(+) person is asked about their status prior to sex, they should disclose. In the passion of sex, it is possible that an HIV(-) person will engage in activity they ordinarily wouldn't if they knew a person was poz. Not disclosing status because the poz person believes they can keep things on the safer side is wrong.

You hit the nail on the head: *IF* a an HIV+ person is asked, he should answer honestly. Whether a dishonest answer should be criminalized is a debatable point.

That means the onus is on the other guy to ask. Requiring someone to volunteer the information, however, is a different issue. I think a respectable person would generally volunteer that information, but "respectability" isn't something I want legally mandated.

If you can't bring yourself to ask the status of the guy who's about to fuck you, then you don't know him well enough to allow that to happen - so in my view, you forfeit the right to hold him accountable for what might happen.

"...dripping with aids"!! Can you hear yourself? What sort of language is that to be using to describe people less fortunate than yourself!

I'm using that phrase to sarcastically display the stupidity of those who have anal sex without a condom -
the attitude that if someone doesn't tell me that he has full blown aids, I'll let him fuck me deep and hard and spray his seed up into my raw digestive system. Yeah!

You used that phrase because you are a hateful bigot who has nothing but contempt for HIV positive people. Your lame excuse for using that vile phrase is a total crock.

The use of that phrase also exposes your subject matter ignorance. As has already been pointed out in other posts on this blog, current HIV research science has shown that 75% of HIV positive men who are on HIV medications are incapable of transmitting the virus because they are not "dripping" anything.

The overwhelmingly vast majority of new HIV infections are originating from persons who are untested, undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore carrying high viral loads.

1 out of every 3 people who are HIV+ are unaware that they are HIV+. In the absence of that awareness, many believe they are "safe" partners for unprotected sex. The last date of your so-called 'HIV negative test result' is unreliable because you were only tested for HIV antibodies which don't show up in your blood following HIV exposure & infection until after many weeks at the earliest, and more typically it takes a few months for those antibodies to develop (generally 1 to 6 months, 3 on average). An HIV VIRAL LOAD test is the only reasonably reliable tool available to confidently know if HIV is present in your body, but insurance companies are not paying for that type of test until AFTER you have been diagnosed with HIV, so doctors are not giving you that test. You can blame the insurance companies for that foolish mistake.

Until there is an effective vaccine and/or a 'cure', diagnosis and treatment is the most powerful tool that we currently have to address the halt of HIV infection. Your spewing of venom and hatred is precisely what creates the damaging social stigma that discourages others from finding out their true HIV status, so your bigotry only serves to increase the rate of HIV infection.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, however please refrain from name calling in the Age Appropriate comments section. "You are a hateful bigot" is inappropriate name calling. Let's have a positive discussion here.

I have no issue with amending the language of that readily apparent observation to instead state, "You are practicing hateful bigotry".

There is an absence of fair & balanced assertion as to what is "inappropriate" when you fail to also hold the other party equally accountable for a multitude of derogatory references to the human beings who are the subjects of this issue.

HIV is a disease. The disease should be the only enemy, not the victims. When victims of disease are portrayed and treated as the enemy, that clearly constitutes ignorance, hatred, and bigotry.

It sets a bad example for gay youth, and for all others affected by this issue, to imply that it is "inappropriate" to expose hateful bigotry after generations before us have made great sacrifices to confront and overcome it.

"1 out of every 3 people who are HIV+ are unaware that they are HIV+. In the absence of that awareness, many believe they are "safe" partners for unprotected sex."

Regardless of what they are unaware of, they are despicable if they have anal sex without a condom and they are the people you should be focusing your anger on, not me.

"The overwhelmingly vast majority of new HIV infections are originating from persons who are untested, undiagnosed, untreated, and therefore carrying high viral loads."

Regardless of whether they are tested or untested, diagnosed or undiagnosed, treated or untreated - they are despicable if they have anal sex without a condom and they are the people you should be focusing your anger on, not me.

"diagnosis and treatment is the most powerful tool that we currently have to address the halt of HIV infection"

No. The most powerful tool that we currently have to halt HIV infection is - "for anal sex EVERYONE must ALWAYS use a condom and plenty of lube and be careful".
But maybe you don't want to hurt the feelings of those who are too selfish to follow this well known recommendation.

As much as you yearn to believe otherwise, you are not in any position to dictate the personal choices made by others. You have no such power. Get used to it.

well done Trophyboy1 , the only educated one on here !!!!!

"DRIPPING WITH AIDS"...What cave did you crawl out of?!?! Your phrase, in a nutshell, is the exact kind of hateful rhetoric POZ folk have had to endure since the beginning of the epidemic. The writers of this blog may think they are getting out and doing good and, perhaps, tehy are in their small way. However, until members of our own community educate themselves and realize how hateful their own ideologies are nothing will change.

See my comment above.

I am HIV+ meaning that I have been exposed to the HIV Virus that CAN cause AIDS. I am not "dripping with AIDS". I am not "unclean", "unhealthy", "unsafe" or any other the other euphemisms that are commonly used to describe people who are HIV+. These comments though (perhaps) well intentioned are merely ways of not saying the word "POZ" and are ridiculous and insulting. Negative people have every right to protect their self interests and not seroconvert. But have the balls to just say it, own it and do it right rather than this prissy delicate dance around the subject. The question is, "Are you positive or negative?" and NOT "Are you clean?" The best answer starts with the words "I believe that I am....."

And just as a point of information, there are studies that now show that HIV+ people who regularly take their medications and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the HIV virus. To each their own; I merely mention this as a counter to what I perceive as a vicious comment about people with HIV "dripping with AIDS". That's just plain ugly and divisive for our community.

My view on being Negative at the age of 50 is .It was a horrible time in the 80's for everyone .Gay cancer discrimination about gays eating at restaurants.Since 1991 it was made very clear how we can all protect ourselves from this virus.We the tax payer its costing us billions of dollars.The Gay and Bi community needs to come together and bring to light being Negative is a choice ,and start spreading the word taking possibly 20-30 pills a day being positive,or an aspirin after drinking too much at a party.Our community should be a zero people getting HIV status through sex .But its on the rise So is the cost .

Thats such a stupid statement man! Why should guy's in monogamous long term relationships have to wear condoms?? Say that to a married straight couple and see where that gets you!

Hairynhusky you did NOT correctly quote what tat2dbiker said.
You put words in their mouth to try to prove your point and that ain't right!!!

What tat2dbiker said was and I quote DIRECTLY(meaning cut and paste)
"We don't need the sex police monitoring what goes on in our bedrooms. If two consenting adults want to fuck raw it's their decision...we don't need to legislate morality."

What YOU said was and I quote directly again
"it is no ones business if two people fuck raw and transmit HIV"

HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides that this whole thread was SUPPOSED to be about having open and honest dialog about HIV.When,where and how did we get onto criminal transmission of HIV????????

At NO POINT did the thread's author mention ANY of that.
THIS is why a LOT(but NOT all)HIV positive guys like myself serosort and PURPOSEFULLY DISCRIMINATE against HIV negative guys.People like pavementsfa and hairynhusky spreading all of this bullshit sensationalist and hysterical propaganda about sending people to jail for spreading HIV on purpose when the conversation wasn't even about that!!!

It is QUITE CLEAR from your rhetoric that the two of you are the ones who NEED to be educated about this whole issue and you are PRECISELY the reason why this conversation needs to be had.

YOU ARE BOTH OBVIOUSLY FEARFUL OR EVEN HATEFUL OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV.

Otherwise WHY in the world would you even bring up such fear mongering and divisiveness when the whole purpose of this thread was to have open and honest dialog about HIV and STOPPING THE STIGMA ATTACHED TO IT?

HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO MAKE PROGRESS TOWARDS REMOVING A STIGMA WHEN PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT SENDING PEOPLE TO JAIL?!?!?!

When this type of language is introduced into a conversation,it tends to have a chilling effect and all rationality and logic goes right out the window and is replaced by fear.
(and we ALL know how well people respond when they are scared-just look at how dubya got reelected after the whole 9/11 mess)

REMEMBER HOW WELL THAT ALL WENT?!?!?!?!

If it was illegal to have anal sex without a condom then that might put everyone on a level playing field when it comes to sex.
Hence, it might remove the stigma of HIV because it might create a social situation where everyone assumes everyone has HIV.
The "us" and "them" mentality might lessen.
(Yes, I understand that people will still want to ask about status before casual sex due to fears that the condom might break).

The reality is that this proposed law would never be used by anyone because it is absurd for you to complain that someone had consensual (non-condom) sex with you.
(Of course, rape (with or without a condom) is already a crime).
But this law would remove the possibility of people having a "I AM THE VICTIM" yearning for sympathy, get-out clause when they contract HIV through non-condom anal sex - because they would have had to have broken the law to get it.

As long as we have any people who feel that it is ok to have non-condom anal sex - we will have a big stigma about HIV.

Otherwise we can keep going along the way we are going -
with lots of people having sex unknowingly with people whose status they don't know
then when they find out that someone is HIV+ they won't have sex with them (even with a condom).
Watch this video which is so funny because it is so true.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ541LDcUYQ

"As long as we have any people who feel that it is ok to have non-condom anal sex - we will have a big stigma about HIV."

I don't know where you get your delusions son.People were having non-condom anal sex BEFORE aids and will continue to have it long after there is a cure.That ain't got NOTHING to do with it!!!

Stigma's are caused by fear and ignorance plain and simple.
Explain to me how and why it is that when someone finds out I am HIV positive,they refuse to DATE me.NEVERMIND have PROTECTED sex with me???(and YES this sort of thing has actually happened many times over the years)

It's for the same reason that the same people date and have sex with people without knowing that person's HIV status.
Lots of people just don't think about things properly.

6 guys I know turned poz last yr
~ 5 with "neg" guys
~ 1 with an "undetectable" guy

1 was 18 and adorable

nobody cares anymore

the ones who are poz will talk to you in 5 years, (but u won't be around.) Takin the meds is not easy. u guys are in denial. "I was 18 and adorable" and u can sero convert; "nobody cares anymore". only nihilistic gay men who think they are unloveable don't care. Dont get carried away with your attitude. Actually u sound like prime time for HIV infection cause you think you r "special". And many people "care". Give your energy to Project Angel Food if you don't believe ; it may be u who doesn't care

I'm surprised that 6 people you know got the virus from oral sex.
Did they all have sores in their mouths?

Oh and by the way while I am NOT excusing anyone who would willfully and purposefully transmit HIV to an unknowing and unsuspecting party.
As adults it is each persons responsibility to look after their own health and wellness.

NO I am NOT saying let's blame the victim.What I AM saying is that if you have sex with someone and YOU do not make a valid attempt to make sure that protection is used.And/or safer sexual practices are engaged in.Ultimately YOU have to take responsibility for what happens to YOU.
(AND YOU have to live with the results and consequences of it)

If a salesman sells you a bill of goods because YOU didn't do your homework BEFORE you walked into the show room.
If a car hits you because YOU didn't look both ways BEFORE you crossed the street.
If you were text walking and weren't paying attention when YOU walked into a street brawl and got beat up.

You can blame the other parties,prosecute and sue all you want,but guess who has to live with the consequences of what happened?

NOT THE OTHER PARTIES THAT'S FOR SURE!
Blame solves nothing.

Honestaqu - I'm with you man - you're absolutely right.

Thanks drew50!

You know, the purpose of a Day With HIV is not to start fighting and slamming each other. I've been poz for 10 years, i disclose this to all of my partners before the first kiss. I see a lot of emotions on both sides of this issue from the dialogue above. Stop fighting, it does nothing to help curb the spread of HIV. A lot of the anger I see seems based in the grief we all have over those that were lost to this epidemic or who afflicted one way or another.

Channel your anger in more beneficial ways than attacking each other. If you are really angry volunteer for organizations in your community that support safer sex education programs, raise money for programs in your state, or at least offer support to those who are affected. The last thing that those of us who are positive need to discuss is what kind of sex everyone should and should not be having. Criminalizing bb sex won't solve anything, people took it up the butt when sodomy laws were in effect after all.

Regardless of where you fall in this dialogue nothing good came of this kind of fighting. It is doing nothing to help the stigma. It's fights like this that keep a lot of us who are living with HIV silent about our serostatus. We can be a relatively healthy bunch and really don't want to have conversations like the tirade above every time we discuss our HIV. It's easy to villify those who transmit HIV but in most cases the transmissions aren't intentional, consider the staggering number of poz adults who don't know they are poz. Stop villifying the positive people, channel your anger at the fucking virus.

Sure it's a brilliant, powerful, effective virus. If we start working together we are still smarter, stronger and more effective. What I read above is not working together. So start playing nice with each other, as this site intended.

Pax,
Andy

Fair enough.
I think we know how to fight the virus though.
Anyone who is having anal sex MUST ALWAYS use a condom.

I think if we knew the truth about the sexual behaviour of everyone who became poz since 1985 then that would help.
I'm talking about their sexual behaviour before they became poz.
If it involved anal sex without a condom even on one occasion, then, you know, we need to talk to them and ask them why they did that.

I was born in 1974 and I've known since I ever heard about AIDS in the 1980s that the way to avoid it is to not have anal sex, but if you are having anal sex, make sure you use a condom and are safely ensuring that the condom doesn't tear so use plenty of lube.

If I knew that, growing up in a little village in rural Ireland, and if I was able to follow those recommendations - how come others were unaware or chose not to bother being safe?

If there's a reasonable answer I'd love to hear it.

Maybe people just aren't capable of having enough self-control. If that's the case, then I don't think there is much we can do about that lack of self-control in the personalities of those people.

(I know there are other ways to get HIV but they are far less common).

What you are describing is understandable. Sadly the world isn't a simple binary of morality. Lots of people are infected when their partner seroconverts after they begin dating, or there is a secret affair, or condom burst, or anything else. What you describe is inadvertently a "blame the positive" approach to HIV. I agree that the two best ways to prevent HIV are either not having sex or wearing a condom. However sleuthing out how each person gets HIV is honestly only your business if we choose to tell you.

Please don't ever infer that those of us who are infected lack self control. It comes across as preachy and accusatory. "Those people" is also an offensive way to label any demographic. One reason that those of us who are poz often keep it on the down low is we are tired not only of the stigma of HIV but tired of people asking how we got it, suggesting we lack self control, being labelled as "those people," and watching others determine if we did or did not deserve the infection based on our past decisions. Your reactions are a coping skill. They are however a bit oversimplified and kind of offensive.

What it comes down to is no one deserves the infection, regardless of their choices. We deal with the stigma daily, we deal with the coping skills of others who try to blame the victim in order to resolve their own fears of HIV. Some day we may tell you how we are infected, but that probably won't happen until you reach the point in life where you don't have a score card in your head determining if we deserved our infection or not. I guarantee you that regardless of your internal system of quantifying who did and did not deserve our infections we deal with it constantly in our own heads.

We don't want to be judged on how we were infected. We don't want to be absolved or blamed for our infections. We just want to be treated as human beings. As for how I got it, well that story is saved for me, my therapist, and any guys who I fall in love with. It may be a tear jerker or it may be something that reduces me to a "those people" category lacking self control. At this point my only reason to tell you would be merely an attempt to win your approval. In my first years of being infected I wanted to win the approval of those who weren't positive, I'm doing much better now. Sadly pavementsfa your dialogue on here shows why we need to fight this stigma of HIV better.

I know you don't mean to be offensive, but your moral binary approach to HIV does offend some of us. I'm not a spokesperson for all of those living with HIV, I speak only for myself.

Play nice everyone,
Andy

Andy

Your eloquent words also speak for me!

I COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER.

Good job

Carlton

Ok man.
Thanks for your reply.
I'm really trying to understand this phenomenon without offending anyone.

I guess people aren't going to admit to having contracted HIV by bareback fucking (since 1985) anyway because that would make them look like extremely dumb, inconsiderate idiots, wouldn't it?

"Lots of people are infected when their partner seroconverts after they begin dating, or there is a secret affair, or condom burst, or anything else."

"The word seroconversion is often used in reference to blood testing for anti-HIV antibodies. In particular, "seroconverted" has been used to refer to the process of having "become HIV positive"."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seroconvert

So what you are saying is that people are infected when their partner becomes HIV positive after they begin dating?
By using the same toilet?
Or by having anal sex without a condom?

Secret affair?
Did they become HIV positive by drinking from the same tea cup?
Or by having anal sex without a condom?

Condom burst?
Ok - I have sympathy in these cases.

Anything else?
Please give some other examples in relation to anal sex.
I know there are a small amount of people who become infected through oral sex and other methods and I have sympathy in those cases.

Regarding being offended.
I'm fucking seriously offended by anyone who has ever anally fucked without a condom and plenty of lube after 1985 - ie after being made aware that this is the primary method of HIV transmission.

If you're trying to make me be more sympathetic towards "those people" then you will never succeed.

I have no interest whatsoever in your sympathy. My advice rather than burdening those of us positive humans with your baggage and issues take it up with a counselor or therapist. We are all familiar with the modes of HIV transmission, and that seroconversion can happen months to up to a year following a moment of exposure.

You should be really proud of your joking comments about transmissions through toilet seats and tea cups. Yes, i was talking about delayed seroconversion and affairs outside the relationship, I figured you were smart enough to understand what I inferred. Since I'm certain you are a person of intellect I only assume your responses were intended to be abrasive. Congratulations you achieved your snarky intentions.

There are many hard things about learning you are HIV positive. My first panic was that someone would end up playing Bette Midler's "Wind beneath my wings" at my funeral someday. There is the panic of your future. There is the terror of fearing you may have exposed others. The stress to sort out insurance information and track down a good doctor are overwhelming. You have to navigate through the delicate dance of figuring out who you should tell, who you need to tell, and who you should keep it from. Every time you disclose your serostatus their is the fear that someones reactions will be like yours.

Living with HIV, regardless of who is to blame for an individuals serostatus, is a challenge. Your crappy attitude oozes of someone who needs to see a therapist and work out your own issues about the virus. I worked with a support group to get to the point where I'm going on with the living, I'm not dying, and I've dealt with my infection. My friends even know not to play "Wind Beneath my Wings" at my funeral or i will haunt them like a poltergeist. Rather than burden us with your issues please either go to a therapist, support group, and contemplate an extended vow of silence.

Regardless I'm done with you are your issues. I worked through mine 10 years ago, maybe you should do the same rather than burdening us with your baggage.
Andy

Very well said, Andy. Although I do have to point out that the litmus test for knowing if you are dealing with "a person of intellect" would be evidence that he is teachable. Instead, what you encountered was the typical brand of hatred and bigotry that is routinely spewed from the mind of a chronic malcontent. Those are the hallmark characteristics seen only in the litmus test for ignorance.

if you don't want to get burned,don't play with fire. In the mean time, compasion and acceptance is needed in the gay community - altho, all are entitled to their veiws and opinions. We all need to help in the prevention of and the spreading of aids - that has to be our top priortity. Love yourself and have have cpmpasion for and concern for others. Why spread desease and misery?

I am happy to see this discussion occuring. As a man who is new to gay community (not newly gay) i have to say the idea of being sexually involved with somebody who is HIV+ terrifies me. Yes, I know how to play safe and I have never BB with anybody, and have been celibate for years. I also understand what it takes to transmit the virus from one person to another...and yet...it scares the hell out of me. I don't ostracize, riducule, avoid or condemn those who are positive...as I don't know the circumstances of their infection, but, would i get physical with somebody who is poz...most likely not...i am not that brave or daring. I have no illusions that it "can't happen to me". I am very careful. My heart and support go out to those who have been infected, gay or straight. Maybe I am just being paranoid...I don't know...but reading these open discussions helps my understanding and therefore minimize my fears. Thank you for this and keep up the great work.

Welcome to the community.
I don't know how many men you've had sexual contact with but some of them have probably been HIV poz.
I bet you haven't accompanied any of them to the health clinic and been in their company when they've been told that they are HIV negative (and obviously you've spent every moment of the 3 month window period with them also).
But don't worry too much.
Safe(r) sex is safe(r) sex.
If having anal sex, make sure you and your partner use condoms and plenty of lube (and still be careful that the condom doesn't split).
If having oral sex, make sure you have no sores in your mouth.

If someone says they are HIV negative it means 100% NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING no matter how well you think you know them.

Your fear shouldn't only rear its head when you have it confirmed to you that someone you had sexual contact is HIV Poz.
You should be terrified and ultra safe with EVERYONE that you have sexual contact with.

Dontcha think it'd be kind of a mood kill if one was terrified and trying to have sex????

Just a thought........

Oh and this last post only confirms to me that you are the one who is terrified and projecting that fear(along with some VERY offensive,divisive and just plain not well thought out comments)

He has said "the idea of being sexually involved with somebody who is HIV+ terrifies me"
so why does "the actuality of being sexually involved with somebody whose HIV status he doesn't know" not terrify him?

It should be exactly the same.
If it is not, then he and you are living in a dreamworld where everyone who doesn't say they are HIV+ is HIV neg.

And of course, that dreamworld attitude is magnificent for curtailing the spread of HIV.

Get Real.

Thanks for all of the comments in response to my post. Let me clarify a point. when i said the thought of being with somebody who is HIV+ terrifies me, i did not mean it to be limited to just those guys who are up front and say they are...that i can deal with. The ones that scare me are the ones who don't know or just outright lie. This is precisely why i don't BB with anybody. I also take the time to get to know somebody first. I don't do random hookups and above all i play safe when i finally do get intimate with somebody. This point is never negotiable with me, either we play safe or not at all. I truly believe in having compassion for those who were unfortunate enough to have been infected...and to not treat them like lepers...they are after all people. However that being said, all this input is helping me to keep things in perspective, and re-enforcing my own personal policy of being safe no matter what somebody tells me...and above all listening to my instincts. If something does not seem right....walk away.

Well said LookingForYounger.
If everyone had your attitude (and mine), we could easily defeat HIV (and the stigma).

I don't even need to ask anyone about their HIV status because I always have safer sex in line with the well known recommendations.

Of course, many other people want to label me the bad guy for having a bad attitude towards people who have caught the virus by being stupid enough to ignore the recommendations we've all known about since 1985.

If anyone has caught the virus any other way I do have sympathy.

I never would say you were a bad guy. I will gladly admit that your attitude towards hiv is simplistic and down right awful. I don't need your sympathy as my health is probably better than yours. You can keep calling us stupid in order to help you resolve your internal issues with this epidemic. We have heard worse from others in the past. you should be proud that your words embody the very stigma this day is trying to combat. Most of up don't want your sympathy as we stopped being victims a long time ago

I never would say you were a bad guy. I will gladly admit that your attitude towards hiv is simplistic and down right awful. I don't need your sympathy as my health is probably better than yours. You can keep calling us stupid in order to help you resolve your internal issues with this epidemic. We have heard worse from others in the past. you should be proud that your words embody the very stigma this day is trying to combat. Most of up don't want your sympathy as we stopped being victims a long time ago

Are you trying to say that my simple recommendation of
"for anal sex - EVERYONE ALWAYS wear a condom and plenty of lube and be careful"
is an awful attitude?

Well, pardon me.

You also obviously think that for me to feel anger towards those who fuck bareback is an awful attitude.

Well, pardon me.

You are angry at those who fuck bareback because you resent the freedom they have to do what you can't. Raw fucking is the ultimate natural completion of the deepest possible sexual intimacy, and you are jealous that you have been excluded from having that.

I am happy that barebacking offends you, because I happen to be one of the lucky ones who has the freedom to fuck bareback, and I am very busy offending you on a daily basis with absolutely ZERO adverse consequences or harm done to anybody else. I would rather keep my HIV antibodies than lose them at the cost of my freedom.

You can whine and rage about it for the rest of your life, but you are powerless to do anything about it.