Listen, I want you to know something about me.
I hate condoms. I hate wearing them. I love fucking raw. I love it. I don’t do it. I can’t do it.
I wanted to fuck my lover without a condom.
I want to cum inside you.
I love you.
This is what HIV looks like in 2013:
He wants me to ‘take control’ he wants me to beat him and fuck him.
He wants ‘verbal’. He enquired if I preferred him to call me daddy or sir.
I’m interested. This daddy loves an obedient boy.
We talk on the phone, he’s upbeat and sweet-natured but after we agree to meet he texts me:
‘Before we meet. I’m Positive. And I’m honest about it. Thoughts?’
I wait a moment. Restraint of pen and tongue.
I text him back. ‘Can we talk?’
I explain why I can’t meet him. I tell him that I’m scared and I don’t want to risk an infection. I’m too old to get infected. I lived through the AIDS catastrophe. I didn’t get infected.
The conversation I had with Brandon is not common. Usually when I say that I can’t have sex with someone who is HIV positive they spew vitriol.
They tell you that it was a ‘mercy fuck‘ anyway, that I’m ugly , that I’m ignorant… of course… I know what they are really saying.
They usually get what they want when they want it and woe-betides anyone who fucks with their plan.
Some HIV poz men feel that by being honest I will feel equally warm and fluffy and my respect for their honesty will translate into a fuck.
Let me tell you what I remember when someone tells me they are HIV positive.
I remember the gaunt, yellow faces of formerly beautiful young men crying because they don’t want to die. I remember men hermetically sealed from the world in plastic tents. I remember the smell of piss and shit.
I remember the quiet sobbing of newly widowed men.
I remember all of that and I cannot go there.
More controversially… when you tell me you are HIV positive I am confronted fair and square with your sexual history.
I imagine other men cumming inside you.
I just do. I can’t help myself.
That’s why I can’t sit facing the toilet when I am in a restaurant. Imagining people pooing and wiping their asses. It puts me off my dinner.
There are two communities. Two gay communities. The HIV negative and the HIV positive.
I have no interest in interacting sexually with the latter. I will be damned for writing that.
Brian says: ‘Duncan, someone who knows they’re positive and is on treatment can easily be less infectious than someone who doesn’t know that they’re positive and happens to have a high viral load, and is therefore very infectious.
That could be the issue of ignorance of which they speak. I agree no one has the right to go off on you for not wanting to play, but the issue is more complicated than pos/neg.’
The issue is NOT complicated for me. I don’t want to be HIV positive.
The community with HIV is very eager to diminish their responsibility and guilt those without HIV into thinking it’s all ok just because they describe themselves as ‘healthy’.
They still have HIV and they can infect you… however low their viral load.
They claim they are ‘undetectable’ which means they have a very low viral load.
Undetectable is a big problem.
It is used incorrectly by many people to make others feel that the sex they have is safer than with those who are not undetectable.
Undetectable people are still HIV poz.
The condom breaks. You are now a slave to toxic chemicals. A slave to big pharma.
Who are these undetectable people? These invisible men? Gay ghosts. Scarcely there.
Leaving behind just the whiff of AIDS.
HIV is totally avoidable in 2013. Yet, we still go on being the largest group of new infections in what is still an epidemic.
I don’t want to talk about Africa or straight people of intravenous drug users.
I want us to take some responsibility.
Especially those of you who are transitioning from the Neg community to the Poz community.
Those of you who make the choice… who made the choice last night to take a risk.
Those of you who thought, or did not think, as he came inside you… that you would risk the consequences of HIV.
You are packing your bags, you are moving to the other side. To the other gay community. The undetectable gay community.
Finally, one last nail in my gay coffin.
What’s this crap about gay men and shame? We can’t shame men into wearing a condom because they are gay and have shame about their sexuality?
We can’t shame gay men into making better choices for themselves… like we do smokers?
No… because we must be shameless at all cost. We are gay! We live without shame.
I say… shame those who knew they were HIV poz and took away the neg status of others by lying.
I know a few good men who have had their good health stolen from them by unscrupulous gay men.
There are two gay communities. One of them is HIV positive. The other is not.
Those who are not positive are described as elitist by those who are.
Those who are HIV positive scoff at those who are not… because the implication is: they weren’t pretty or handsome or desirable enough to get infected with HIV.
I am scared of getting HIV. Like some people are scared of snakes.
I am happy that I am HIV negative. In fact… I am proud to be HIV negative. Does that make me elitist? Well, yes… if elitism means that I mostly took care of myself.
That I don’t have to buy costly drugs every month to stay… undetectable.