16 Feb 2014

Health: Serodiscordant Couples

Category: Gay Stuff : Health : Speak Out : Watch this !

impulse

Are you poz? Neg? Is your BF poz? Is he neg?

If you are positive, does it makes you sad that some people think that being poz is being dirty, slutty, unhealthy or unclean?

Negative guys, do you know that poz guys are sometimes more healthy than other guys? Why? Because they get tested every 2-3 months by their doctor for everything. From anemia to hepatitis and other blood infection or STDs. Of course knowing your status is very important, because when you don’t know it, it can be very dangerous. When you know it, with medications, you become undetectable very quickly and therefore the virus transmission is almost impossible.

The short movie “Knowing” wants to spread the message of the importance of knowing your HIV status, telling and asking, and choosing love.

It is a beautifully shot short film about the early stages of a serodiscordant relationship (on poz, one neg) who manage the task of being tender, sexy and educational without being preachy or heavy-handed.

Impulse Group has followed that effort up with a second short film “Open” ¬†which further explores the nuance of a sexually active, serodiscordant couple during moments of decision, revelation, frustration and, most of all, love.

By sharing these videos with you guys, I want you to educate yourself on the subject if you are not familiar with it. Watch these short 4-5 minutes movies, they are very well done and it demystifies the situation.

Let me know your thoughts and guys….don’t be scared of undetectable guys, they can love you too :)

Dave

 

 

67 comments for Health: Serodiscordant Couples

  • Interesting article and so and yet not so surprising.
    Several times a year I volunteer as a substitute for a joint program between Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS giving free massage to those infected. My specialty is Thai foot massage and my pleasure to offer folks a 1 hour treatment. What breaks my heart is having an individual say ‘you are the first person that has touched me in months’. That is beyond my comprehension. Have we created modern day lepers? It is my joy to touch these good people and offer them some amount of relief even for just a few hours and hopefully a few days…and I touch skin to skin with no fear.

  • I have had to pos partners. my fist one found out he was pos while we were still together, and we did use any form of safe sex. after he traded me in on another pos partner, i moved on.
    My next bf was pos and i knew it when we had sex the first time, we flipped fucked that night. And to this day i am still neg.

  • I understand the need to know your status…but this idea of “undetectable” doesn’t mean they are negative.

  • My boyfriend and i are serodiscordant (he’s poz and i’m neg) and while most of my friends are supportive, i still encounter a lot of ignorance from others. My family thinks i have a deathwish for being with him even though many have admitted I’ve changed for the better since we got together. They refuse to even meet him. As i said, most of my friends are supportive but some have stopped talking to me all together since we started our relationship. The amount of ignorance on the subject of HIV/AIDS still prevalent in modern society is embarrassing.

  • I am negative myself and have been with a positive guy for a year now (since yesterday! happy anniversary to me!). Before being with him I was one of those guys who swore not to be with a negative because “I wanna stay clean.” Its really changed how I look at the situation. Now I don’t see any difference in how I look at any guy. We usually don’t use protection but he is undetectable and I keep him on his medication lol. We cant alienate these guys. especially when everything is starting to look good for the gays.

  • I watched both movies,I am a poz guy undetectable.I struggle everyday with guys scared of me.I want love and to be loved and be in love.These film both brought tears to my eyes..Thank you for posting..

  • it was sad and beautiful i like it i just wish people could see that we are still human and we want the same thing as everyone that is to be LOVE!!

  • Azprofessor,I wish there were more like you. I am not pos, however I have become more aware of the stereotypes and try to avoid making the same. There are so many ways to avoid contracting the virus as a mixed couple, and the risk is so low to anyone not sexually intimate that the discrimination is ridiculous.
    If I were to meet and fall in love with someone, their status would not make a difference to me…

  • I’ve been with one poz dude in a relationship and he was great to me… he taught me a lot about loving myself enough to protect myself. I will say I’m not afraid of poz men as long as they are honest and try to take care of themselves. I say this because how can any man live me when he cannot even love himself enough to manage his health?

  • These short videos are fantastic! As a public relations professional, I think these really have the chance to speak to people. I’m proud to see people taking the time to help other people that are living with HIV.

    Personally, I will not do a NSA hookup with someone that is HIV+ because I did once and it almost killed me with worry. I would, however, be glad to date someone and start a relationship with someone that was. Then we could fuck like rabbits ;)

  • Undetectable and a bottom here. My BF is a top and neg. (No other STI’s between us except for my being poz but undetectable)

    We’ve been together for a while, and yes we bareback (he solely tops). He’s never contracted anything, and he’s not afraid of it. I’d say I lucked out.

  • These are nicely made vids, but I don’t understand what they’re saying other than it’s good to be an attractive rich white guy.

  • Im an hiv neg,poz friendly male who finds crazy how many poz guys are discriminated against in our community,most will hide and most dont admit their status,at least where i live in SC..its really bad here. Also i would recommend watching the documentary “House of Numbers”, a great perspective at HIV..be informed people!

  • Wasn’t easy for me and my boyfriend. During the time of transition between the 6 mo of hi grade fevers the weight loss and of course no passion between us Things are not back to where they once were nor will they be any time soon Even friends see the disconnect we have. Some of the friends thar are + have really shown me a lot of support while some of those that are – don’t want anything to do with me now inc family It is sad to see and experience this and seeing others go through it every day. Hear ding their stories of rejection, as many still do not understand what the term UNDETECTABLE means It is nice to see both of these Short Videos BRAVO !!!!!

  • three thoughts. one.) to the comment above from “azprofessor”…as you may know hiv can have a host of side issues like joint pain and inflammation and these symptoms can be non stop. i’m positive that your volunteer efforts of massotherapy are cherished by your clients.

    two.) from the essay. it’s not medical fact that hiv transmission is or may be lessened by healthy poz folk whom are undetectable (49 or less virons per milliliter of blood) no matter how wonderful that would be. what your indicating may become fact but no studies show conclusive evidence of lowered transmission rates at this time.

    three.) i was in a decade long union which was a serodiscordant relationship (finally a name for that thing).

    which was always safe. but i will say this. the fear of transmitting anything to my dime piece was terrifying and always in the back of my head. we separated in ’06 and since i’ve dated a few poz and poz friendly men but in the end i feel more comfortable with a healthy, undetectable man like myself…

  • Thank you for posting this. I found out on February 5th this I’m HIV+. Just one month after I met the woman I think I want to be with. With her i’ve been able to open about being Bisexual as well as many other thing. But I haven’t told her that I’m positive yet, because I’ve been so fearful that what I have with her will end. Now after seeing those two videos I feel like I can be honest about this too.

  • Dave—

    I liked the first video as it showed what the conversation was about however the second video–I couldn’t tell if there were any dialogue or not.

    Can you please make sure that when uploading video, they have closed captioned features?

    Some of your fans are Deaf/ASL “speaking”. :)

  • Who comes up with these medical terminologies?????? SERODISCORDANT????? REALLY???????

  • It breaks my heart to see how gay men treat each other, in the streets and on hook-up websites. They are so mean and selfish sometimes. Its worse if the guy happens to be Pos. I am a Black man in Tallahassee FL, I am healthy, educated and good-looking. Its still very difficult to meet decent guys who want a relationship or just regular meeting to develop something meaningful. The only thing in the film I disagreed with was the fact the had sex at work, that was risky. Its a very lonely life being gay, Black and educated, living in a college town.

  • 2 beautifully done short films. Well worth watching by everyone in our community and everyone else too. I was married to a wonderful Poz man for 15 years. When that relationship deteriorated I walked away negative. We made it work. I’m living proof that it can work. 5 years later I’m still single, he’s remarried, to a wonderful Poz man, we’re all the best friends and I remain negative with a very positive outlook on life!

  • Paul: what’s wrong with that word? Sero (seropostitive/seronegative) discordant (different). Nothing easier to understand

  • Mark B : there are no dialogs in both movies.
    I think you understood with the images only no?

  • Makes me a little more optimistic that a man will look at me and love me like that one day. Cute films :)

  • Murphy : I’ve talked with doctors/researchers at the HIV clinic L’Actuel here in Montreal and they told me that yes the virus is lessened and almost can’t transmit. Of course they all agree that you should use condoms to prevent all diseases.

  • eric : really? By the way one of them is cleary latino or asian mix. And I wrote a text before the video that explains it all. If you didn’t read it, that’s not my fault.

  • lifegboi: loll rabbits!
    Oh and why wouldn’t you hookup with a HIV+ guy? With condoms you will be fine

  • Jerry, you’re every welcome. You know what? Sometimes poz guys reject themselves before being rejected by others. My friend was like that until he become very confident about it and now he even tells people right away. If they don’t know what it means to be undetectable, he sends them here : http://www.catie.ca/en/home to study what they should know as gay men.
    Stay strong and be “positive” about it. Hve you tried to meet a psychologist specialised in HIV? They really give good help!

  • Mcilvaine: wow that’s disturbing that people stopped being friends with you because of that.
    Send them a email with a link to a HIV website like this : http://www.catie.ca/en/home to educate themselves

  • Over the last couple of year I have changed my views on hiv+ guys. I am a total top, negative (just got tested 2 weeks ago) and my doctor is an hiv specialist and explained to me that non-detectable guys are probably more safe to have sex with than someone who just says they are negative… a lot of these guys have no idea what their status is, possibly have never even been tested, or are are poz and lie about it. So, i have no problem with dating or having sex with a non-detectable guy, in fact i was in the process of getting to know one and possibly date him very recently until he flaked out on me…..

  • I was in a relationship with a pos guy for 4 years. First, it’s important to know how the disease is transmitted. Once you know the facts, you know your limits and how to effectively practice safer sex. We had a very active and fulfilling sex life and I remain negative. HIV is not a curse once you educate yourself.

  • These short films say Tomis that you can have meaningful relationships, and great sex with a neg/poz pairing. It also tells us that we still have to know your status well in a advance so you can make choices that enhance and enrich your life. In today’s world you don’t have the option to bury your head in the perverbial ass, those days are over. Be informed and get out there and meet the man of your dreams.

  • I am a long term survivor of HIV. Poz for over 20 years now. Healthy and thankful. I have had 4 relationships during that period including my current that is now in its 13th year. All 4 of the men were negative and to this day, remain negative.

    I worked in the HIV field as advocate, case manager and most recently Clinical Research Coordinator for a private practice that specializes in HIV care conducting studies on HIV medications prior to them being approved by the FDA. Any new medication from Atripla on, I can proudly say I was involved in the process of getting them on the market. I should stress I do not have any type of medical degree but do have personal and professional experience.

    The Standards of Care for HIV change as we learn more about the disease, meds, etc. But the basics still exist.

    That all being said, there are a couple of points in the article I would like to address based on the Standards of Care for HIV that I am familiar with despite retiring from the field 2 years ago:

    First: The statement, “they get tested every 2 to 3 months for everything.” Is inaccurate.

    Yes, newly diagnosed and previously diagnosed patients that are new to a practice, that don’t have access to their medical history, are tested for not only CD4 (immune system) viral load and (depending on the individuals situation) resistance, but also hepatitis, STDs, liver and kidney functions, complete blood counts and more per Standard. However, ALL these tests are NOT performed every 2 to 3 months as Standard. Now, for example, if a patient’s HIV has been managed over a certain period of time, their HIV doctor may only need to see them every 6 months for viral load, CD4 and other basic blood work as needed or, required per Standard. Hepatitis and STD panels along with other testing per Standard is performed annually, or when a patient presents with symptoms or even concerns of being exposed. Now, even CD4 counts are not done every 3 to 6 months (again, depending on individual circumstance).

    Second: the statement, “When you know it, with medications, you become undetectable very quickly and therefore the virus transmission is almost impossible.” Is also inaccurate.

    Yes, HIV medications do of course lower your viral load and once lowered, in turn, boosts your CD4. However, the “very quickly” comment is extremely misleading.

    There are many factors that can affect how long it takes a patient’s immune system (CDs) and viral load to respond to medications. EVERY PATIENT IS DIFFERENT. Yes, in the majority of cases thankfully, the viral load shows a response 4 to 6 weeks after starting meds, however, it takes ON AVERAGE, at least a couple to 3 months to obtain undetectability. Most people more, some less.

    Finally: the statement, “therefore the transmission is almost impossible.” Although many may feel the following point is simply a matter of semantics, for those that are not familiar with or educated about HIV may take it as a free pass to have unprotected sex. Not everyone knows their status or discloses when they do.

    Yes, once undetectable the RISK OF SPREADING the virus to a healthy person is MINIMIZED, but the virus, no matter how small the amount, is still present in the infected person.

  • I want to use this medium to talk about PrEP….. FDA has recently approved Truvada to be used as prevention medication for HIV to be used as pre exposure (PrEP) medication .

    Most Insurance and health care programs are able to prescribe it at minimal prescription cost to you and it will prevent you getting hiv provided you take the pill everyday without fail.
    This is a blessing for our generation who has suffered so much and lived in fear of hiv….. so all you hiv neg guys who have or want to be with undetectable guys or just want that safety net for yourself from getting it from anyone , please talk to your doctor about prescribing it ……
    Spread the word, prevent hiv from spreading

  • My boyfriend and I have only been together for a few months now, though we’ve known each other much longer than that. He is poz, I am not. My outlook on the subject is this: you can meet some of the most beautiful and stimulating people everyday, coming and going in however many ways. Your match could very well be one of said people. Why let something like HIV stand in the way of something meaningful and everlasting? It just doesn’t make sense. For better or worse, through sickness and health…. I see that in regard to loving your mate, not just wedding vows. I love my guy unconditionally and he’s all I’ve ever needed. It’s sad to think that we as humans find more and more ways to segregate ourselves from our fellow man…

  • Finally, the word is getting out about the changes that come along since Hiv/Aids first came to life. I was infected my life partner of 26 years and choose to stay with him because I loved him. When I found out that I was poz, so many of my so called friends and several of my family members treated me with so much disregard and didn’t want anything to do with me for years. I had a favorite Aunt of mine that actually started serving me food and drinks on paper plates and plastic cups along with plastic silverware. And when I was done, she would put on plastic gloves and disinfect the area of the table that I sat at. Another friend that I went to school with and was always there for her came straight out and told me that we could no longer be friends because I was positive. This hurt like hell in the beginning, but now it no longer does, because over the years some of these same people have become more informed about the virus including my Aunt. I don’t hold their ignorance back then against them today, but at the same time I don’t look at people in the same way I did back then. But at the same time, we still and probably always will have people treat us like second class citizens because of this virus. I’ve since recently lost my life partner, not to hiv/aids, but that other dreadful decease (cancer). So thank you Dave for sharing this information with us. I already knew this because my doctor told me this years ago, but hopefully this will open others eyes that being with a undetectable poz guy is not what some still call a death sentence. I’m not ashamed of being hiv positive nor do I lie about my status. I believe in giving any guy I chose to be with the choice which I was not giving before I got infected. Have a blessed and wonderful day everyone.

  • too much ‘porn’ to tell a descent ‘story’….

  • Okay, so these videos really aren’t helping anyone gay or otherwise, other than to say “go f anyone you want to, whenever you want to.” The first one was fine until he went and slammed his co-worker up the arse in the back area at work. So how is that love? Then the second…what can I say about that? Slutty, and pretty sleezy. The message? Let’s all go have a threesome in the bedroom so another guy has to wait for test results in the mail to see if Russian roulette paid off for him. How is that love? My point is this…just because there are many people out there that have a different viewpoint of HIV, doesn’t make them “misinformed”. If you are willing to take the risk, God bless you. I, however small the risk may be, am not. Have I paid the price by not taking the chance of being someone because they are positive? Yes. I have been in love with someone for almost 15 years who is of undetectable status, and my fear of getting HIV has kept us apart. He’s hot, so of course he’s had many boyfriends in that time. I’m not, so I’ve been alone. Maybe rather than HIV+ being an issue, why don’t we in the gay community look at how the gay community makes those of us who don’t look like the guys in these videos feel – like lepers – rather than hot guys with HIV?

  • I tried to date a poz guy and will most likely never try it again. I think age and expectations are both very important factors here. When I tried I was younger and not thinking much about building a future with anyone. I’m older now, and the criteria has changed. I’m looking for the long haul at this point. I’d definitely never marry someone with the virus. Too many limits for me.

  • Hey Blog–

    I understood the first video as there were text conversations that one could follow.

    For some reason, the second video was harder to follow….

    Anyhoo–keep up the good work! ;)

  • After some bad decisions on my part (for which I take full responsibility as the ONLY person responsible for MY health), I became HIV+ in August. It sucks, but I’m doing well with it and at this point I’m undetectable after taking my medication every night (which sucks in itself). The worst part is that I had a long history of safe sex practices and I knew better than to let my guard down a couple of times with careless, anonymousish acts. I have supportive friends who know and I’ve been surprised by the number of HIV- guys willing to pursue something with me, because I certainly was NOT one of those guys when I was HIV-. I never judged, never felt “better than”, and never thought they were dirty or “slutty” for being HIV+ but I would not have ever considered being sexual with someone I knew to be HIV+, with condoms or otherwise. So I don’t hold it against anybody who wouldn’t with me for the reason that I have HIV. What I do ask for is a little compassion for those of us who find ourselves in this stigmatized predicament. It’s all about perspective. The things we judge others for could very well happen to us.

  • Mark B: thanks:)

  • Matt V: The makers of the video are probably gay and they know how most gay guys act. And they showed 1 situation. I’m not into 3some either, but I understood the movie.

  • Hey there Pozguy1988 here, I found out in June of 2013 that I am positive, Some days I find it super up lifting to know that there are people who will love you know matter what. And then there are other days where people make you feel like damaged goods. The first video had me in tears and how people are more open to the idea of love vs. status then the second video ruined it for me, but what works for some couples doesn’t work for all. Be honest and love will find its way.

  • Please not men that undetectable does diminish a HIV+ from spreading the disease. Last year the CDC stated that men that have been undetectable for ten or more years have a particularly lower rate of spreading the disease than the general HIV+ population.

  • I’ve been positive for almost 31 years. I am surprised today the number of guys that are still “scared” of being with a positive guy. I guess I might feel the same way if the role was reversed. But what is hurtful is the number of guys on A4A who seem to link clean with being negative. Do they really think that positive people are dirty? I have been with negative people and have mostly been disappointed because they usually say that things are OK only to think on it for a while and then change their mind. I haven’t been with another man in over ten years…either negative or positive. There are several positive men on my local bowling league but for some reason they don’t seem to come out. It’s like a big secret event tho’ their profile states their status. Men, just can’t figure them out…:-)

  • Granted, I’m watching these on the phone so the screen is tiny and I’m probably missing details, but I’ve watched both videos twice and I still don’t think I get it. Here’s what I think I saw:

    While waiting for his test results to come back, our ‘hero’ takes a bath with an annoying soundtrack and breaks up with a guy whose results came back positive.
    The next day at work, he hooks up with a poz undetectable coworker. There’s a condom wrapper on the floor but I can’t tell if it was open or not.
    Our hero’s results are neg. He starts dating mister undetectable, they have a 3way and he gets flowers.

  • So what is the point of these? That poz = dirty and undetctable= clean or some oother nonsense?
    Serostatus should only be a factor in sex if you’re doing it unprotected.

  • Here is a question for serodiscordant couples. How do you have a fulfilling sex life when the possibility of transmitting HIV is always there? Are there certain things you do or don’t do (using condoms for oral sex, only having the negative guy top the positive guy, etc.)?

  • This article is DANGEROUS. Suggesting that transmission is diminished when “undetectable” is FALSE! I can’t believe what you get away with on this blog. It’s insane.

  • I dated a lawyer that was HIV positive and did not disclose his status. I was very careful not to have sex with him or even kiss him for a month until I got to know him and did a complete background, credit, reference check on him. I asked him to go to my family doctor and take a HIV test with me. Of course he refused and I found a bottle of Atripla in his closet that he was hiding from me. I confronted him about it and I was furious. He turned the table on me telling me that he is undetectable. I told him undetectable is a low viral load in the blood only. Semen and anal fluid is often more concentrated and very detectable and can pass the HIV virus quite easily. I called our local police department and reported him to the police and make a public service message in a local gay magazine letting other people know in the community that his person is dishonest and do not trust him. I believe that too many gay hiv positive men lie about their status. We need tougher laws that can protect the public from hiv positive people spreading the virus. I have contacted my state senator to lobby for tougher laws in Washington to prosecute hiv positive men that do not disclose. I carry oral quick hiv test and ask guys to test. However, this does not protect me is someone is undetectable or just got the virus so essentially they are worthless. I just wish HIV positive men would really stick to their own kind and not venture out and create a confound for the negative man. Your virus has closed the door on your choices to a certain extend and your selfish motives having sex with an hiv negative person is putting that person and risk for a great disease. Many hiv positive men cannot afford medications and some cannot gain access to free hiv medicines. Futhermore, the healthy public has to endure the cost of paying more for health insurance since the cost to cover someone with hiv is close to $24.000 per year! Do you really want to date an hiv positive man and risk the chance of becoming infected with the virus and having your life go from healthy and proactive to unhealthy and depressing? The hiv meds cause so many side effects and damage to the liver and bones. HIV positive people please stick with your own kind and leave the negative people alone!

  • It’s hard for me to take gay films seriously and as meaningful as they always only have “hot” guys as the main actors. Yes, it’s terrible that the gay community discriminates against HIV+ guys, but it’s even worse that if you aren’t considered hot, then you’re discriminated against even worse. At least you can protect yourself from HIV, but being “hot” isn’t really something you can control. Guys won’t even talk to, or be friends with other guys if they’re not hot enough, how the fuck is that okay? It’s disgusting. If the gay community is demanding that society accept them and treat them as equal, then they should be accepting of their own as well. It’s an appalling hypocrisy that makes taking the gay movement harder for me, and many people I know to take seriously.

    Also, it’s 2014, we don’t need to continue educating first world gays on how to protect themselves from HIV. It’s really obvious how to avoid getting it. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t know how to protect themselves. All of this effort could go into educating people on why you don’t have to be a shallow fuck when looking for friends.

  • @PrEPinfo

    It’s not that easy – at least in January 2013 (before crucial parts of the ACA/Obamacare went into effect).

    I was told by a doctor at an HMO (which shall remain nameless), that I had to unequivocally prove my need for it (i.e. bringing in a HIV+ partner that I have sexual relations with to my appointment). Furthermore, I would have to go to an HIV counseling/specialist program for the course of the prescription. This program screens for HIV every 6 weeks or 3 months. All of this even if you’re negative, but still want the prescription.

    My HMO isn’t just giving out prescriptions to anyone that wants to protect themselves prior.

    In my opinion this really solidified the theories that the for-profit healthcare industry just wants to profit of your sickness (while restricting all options to prevent it).

    I’ll just purchase HIV medication via the Blackmarket or via 3rd party sources.

    I’m really sick of the bullshit.

  • Scary : You obviously don’t know anything about HIV.
    Educate yourself for god sake. We are not in 1990 anymore.
    Ask your doctor, read HIV magazines, HIV websites…

  • Great article but as seen in the comments, people are still so ignorant about hiv. Maybe post an article with a short crash course explaining what undetectable means and how hiv works?

    Also, how about we stop putting hiv in the spotlight and take it off the a4a profiles? The reality is in today’s developed world, as long as it’s treated, it’s a personal medical condition, not a public health threat.

  • undetectable is still positive. you still have to take daily meds to stay alive, there are still side effect of those medications to deal with, you’re still responsible for disclosing your status to sex partners, you still have to worry about other disease and complications, there’s still the risk of drug resistance, and neg guys are still much better off wearing a condom when having sex with you. BTW, not all guys become undetectable. the long term survivors you see are the LUCKY ones.

  • How do serodiscordant couples practice safe sex so that the negative one stays that way?

  • @Josh…

    Are you serious? Take it off of profiles? If you want me to consider sleeping with you, asking you your HIV status is incredibly relevant and fair, so that I can make my own decisions. Taking them off isn’t going to accomplish anything. It’s dishonest and doesn’t encourage acceptance. I’ve slept with HIV+ people before, and I’m neg, but I think I should be able to know what I’m getting into.

    Hooking up is an agreement between two people, if you remove that feature, it’s incredibly deceptive and only protects the poz person, while making it harder for others to make informed decisions.

    Undetectable is certainly safer, but you should still be honest about it. You can still transfer it. A lower risk is still a risk dude.

  • as someone who has been living with hiv for over 15 years (openly for the past 5) i still find it shocking how much prejudice and flat out ignorance and discrimination i encounter. It saddens me when i see someones – status featured on adam for adam in their profile as tho being negative in itself is an accomplishment or makes one better than others. worse yet is when someone makes the statement…”i’m clean you be too”……funny i have been living with this and and remaining healthy for years and have felt many things but never “dirty” or “unclean”. what is this the middle ages? i also unfortunately to often see guys on these sites who i know from my time volunteering at the local aso who are positive but lie about their status. I am all for being honest about status but i think there should not be so much emphasis on it….manhunt has a box that simply says “ask me”…which opens the door for rational dialogue…rather than dividing folks into categories right away. isn’t it bad enough that we experience prejudice from so many other sources. must we also turn on each other? i have been with a few informed negative guys over the years and thanks to being educated and informed not one has turned positive.

  • Greg : condoms :)

  • I understand that condoms are a necessary part of safe sex for gay men, no matter what their HIV status. But I’m particularly interested in the studies that report that seroconversion rates among serodiscordant couples are very low. What in particular are the sexual practices that they follow so that they have a rewarding sex life but also safeguard the person in the relationship who is HIV negative? Do these couples use particular kinds of condoms or lube? Or do they refrain from anal sex? How do they handle oral sex? Do they use condoms for that? Or are there other sexual practices (hand jobs or frottage or massage) that take precedence? I think gay men could learn a lot about safe sex practices from serodiscordant couples.

  • I’m undetectable and because of all the ignorance in the gay community I’ve made the decision to only be with other poz guys, the negative men in our community have proven to me that because I’m HIV positive I’m “Dirty” so I refuse to educate these “men”, therefor saving myself a lot of grief and unwarranted prejudice from this community.

    To be honest I have really found myself while accepting my HIV status and I’m happy for once.

  • Hiv sucks. I hate using condoms, but I’m too young and poor to afford 500,000 dollars lifetime of HIV meds. I understand all sides of the issue, and knowing makes sex less fun for me all the way around.

  • it is difficult being with a partner that is positive. Like many, I have fears that are not always rational. I try to be logical about the matter taking into account that we are not even risky, however, emotion is not logical.

  • I really appreciate your last remark: “emotion is not logical.” That is a very true statement, and I thank you for saying it so clearly.

  • ref: Murphys’ comments (February 17, 2014 at 09:32)

    I appreciate all people who take the time to add their comments. I disagree with this persons view but not their words. Perhaps there are no studies indicating undetectable hiv infected people have lessened the infection rates.

    It is all in the words.

    I agree the rates of transmission of the hiv virus have not been shown to have decreased specifically due to the fact of a person being undetectable. I firmly believe and agree it is true the rate of infection has not decreased in the last decade.

    However, I believe very strongly there are many studies proving very clearly that hiv infected people that are undetectable significantly reduces the chances of infecting others.

    It is true and it is here, from my understanding, it is not the people that are undetectable that are spreading the disease. They are the responsible people. The disease is spread by those people that refuse to get tested and face their own reality. These are the people with explosive vial load numbers. I doubt it is disputed the spread of the virus is ripe when a persons viral load is out of control. That is when the virus is spread combined with risky behavioural issues.

    This is certainly what every medical professional I have been exposed to in the hiv/aids medical community portray. I am not a research scientist. It is here, I believe, if all people possibly exposed or in risky behavioural patterns got tested and treated this epidemic would but disappear.

    This is definitely a complicated issue and the words are the key to what is reality and what is not proven. Does it matter if it is proven there is a reduced infection rate due to people having an undetectable viral load or is it more important it is proven a person with an undetectable viral load is not likely to have the capacity to spread the disease?

  • Thirty years into the AIDS pandemic and we are still debating HIV transmission. As I’ve grown to realize, times may change but human nature never changes. There remain the self-righteous AIDS-phobic, those who would happily segregate those people (i.e., the HIV-infected) so the “clean” people can screw their brains out apparently without care. Then there are the gamblers who declare they don’t mind sex with an HIV-positive man as long as his viral load is undetectable. It seems “undetectable” has become the latest buzzword in the currency of the sexual politics that gay men must negotiate. What some posters on this topic grudgingly concede is that undetectable is a red herring. When it comes to HIV/AIDS, there is no escaping the fact that there should be NOTHING TO DETECT in the first place.

    What I take away from this discussion is that gay men remain as lazy and willfully ignorant where HIV is concerned as we were in the early 80’s; at least then nobody knew what was causing gay men perish within weeks of diagnosis. “Undetectable.” I shake my head in disbelief that gay men are still striving not to accept that HIV compromises one’s health and longevity in a significant way. We write vaguely of the toll the anti-virals take on the kidneys and other internal organs, but that’s as meaningful to a layman as the very measure of viral load. Gay men exhibit self-deluded tunnel vision in seeking a pass, a golden ticket, that will allow us to disregard and muddle the safer sex message that it has taken the past 30 years to propagate.

    Isolating the HIV positive? Favoring only those HIV infected who have undetectable viral loads? Bulldozing into each sexual encounter armed with the over-the-counter HIV antibodies testing kits?

    I had a man ditch me because I admitted that I had visited a gay bathhouse back in the 80’s. “It was the height of the AIDS epidemic” he muttered. I should have corrected him that NOW is the height of the AIDS epidemic. Despite all the medical advances, despite all the sexual technicians’ rationalizations, HIV remains as contagious now as it was 30 years ago. People are still getting infected because everyone thinks he’s a special case exempt from putting on a condom.

  • Blog: To answer your question, I agree condoms make sex safer for two men whether their HIV status is the same or not but again it’s not 100%. I am not willing to take even that 0.000001% chance on a NSA hookup because it’s something that affects my life forever. I would gladly, as stated before, have sex with an HIV+ man if I was in a committed relationship because then the risk is worth it.

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