It was hard, but I got better at it. Those early months without meds were filled with refusal, cruelty, and hurt. Sex becomes something you can play with. The end result: We automatically bring something to the sheets that our partners have to reckon with, so if you have a bizarre fetish or fantasy you want to try, bring it on.
HIV care is filled with communication tasks like this — dialogues between doctor and patient, patient and pharmacist. Are you a mountain climber? We can do that. Voracious reader?
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We can do that too. Fuck yeah. Cross-country cyclist?
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There are incredible athletes and gym rats with HIV. Gay men are masters of sex — quick and casual, passionate and intense, friendly and fraternal.
Setting Australia’s LGBTI agenda since 1979
It only takes one sex experience to get HIV — one slip-up, one wild night. Because the process of getting treatment and taking care of yourself after learning your status is a crash course in current healthcare. TasP is a triumph of medical science helping those living with the virus. PrEP is a triumph of medical science preventing its spread to those who are negative.
Truvada is currently the only drug approved for PrEP, although other drugs are being tested for it. It is a once-daily pill that prevents HIV transmission, regardless if your poz sex partner is detectable or undetectable, regardless of condom use, regardless of gender. PrEP has changed the dating game.
The HIV-Positive Person's Guide to Sex and Dating, Part One
There are many gay men who are aware of their HIV-positive status and are not on medication. This past weekend in San Francisco, I met a gay man who is homeless and addicted to hard drugs. He survives through paid hookups arranged on Grindr, needle exchange programs, and selling on the street. Guys like him contribute to the spread of HIV, but to call them predatory, dangerous, and problematic is wrong and inadequate.
Some of the most vulnerable parts of our populace — addicts, homeless queer youth, sex workers — get demonized for HIV while they live in a culture that offers few ways for them to get help. For many, their goal is to simply survive, not infect others. Medication and prevention regimens like PrEP are the real ways we stop the spread. It also ignores the many healthy HIV-positive folks on treatment who are actively working to save our own.
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The imagery we have of AIDS patients from the the height of the epidemic are scarred into our collective memory. We need to see and remember them, but we also need to acknowledge that today the appearance of HIV is different. HIV affects the young and old and everyone in between. Unless…they're already positive. But because decisions surrounding my sexual health have potential long-term, irrevocable impacts, I had to know more. Gallen, Switzerland. His work in the late 90s and early s centered around HIV-discordant couples and their attempts to conceive.
During this time, he was one of the first physicians to look at the viral load found in the semen of patients on effective ART treatment. Of all the couples he treated, none of those living with HIV and on standard ART treatment had a discernible viral load in their semen. And yet the couples were under high stress about HIV transmission. He decided to say something—doctors needed to talk to their patients about the realities of the risks involved.
The risk is so low that to tell patients they must use a condom [to prevent the contraction of HIV] without telling them that there is virtually no evidence to support this statement is unethical. He tells me that there has not been one case of someone living with HIV, on suppressive ART therapy with an undetectable viral load, passing on the virus.
With my understanding of HIV deepening, I took these discoveries and bounded back into the dating scene with new found enthusiasm. Enthusiastic because I now respected the seriousness of the virus without living in irrational fear of it. I figured, I cried on the last dick I had in front of me, it could only get better from there, right?
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After a lot of swiping, the basic bitch inside me was thrilled when I landed a date with a model. Everything was going off without a hitch: We were drinking, having a great time, and then we started making out. It was hot. Until he began crying into my mouth. I pulled away to investigate what the hell was happening.
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That's when he told me he was living with HIV and was scared that, despite the fun we were having, once he told me, I would get up and leave—because that's what so many others had done. While the HIV didn't put me off, the mouth crying effectively ended any sexual tension that had been building, quickly bringing our evening to an end.
In the car home, as I was trying to process the mouth crying, I stumbled onto a Queerty article featuring the newest dating app to hit the scene sweet Jesus, just what we need. The app connects wealthy older men with those looking for a sugar daddy. These include: Site and app owners will identify innovative ways to encourage users to get tested for HIV and sexually-transmitted infections regularly. Reduce stigma associated with HIV infection.
Users commonly disclose their HIV-negative status or preference for HIV-negative partners in ways that perpetuate stigma and shame. Owners can share information with users about disease outbreaks and new HIV prevention tools, such as PrEP pre-exposure prophylaxis, which are medications that can be taken regularly to prevent HIV infection , as well as new testing technologies. Donate Now.