A reality that I’ve even admitted to being at irresponsible while avoiding.
Since we’re on the subject of sex, could that be the overall reason a checkbox for HIV status is programmed into gay sites? Let’s face it, gay culture is driven by SEX.
Most social websites targeted to gays may have initially been created for “chatting”, but ultimately many people use them for sex hookups. However, I knew many straight men who used Myspace and Blackplanet for casual hookup sex with women on many occasions. So why the bias for homosexual male’s websites? The HIV statistics?
That brings me back to my original question. If the reality is what it is, can we blame the masses for assuming you are gay if you’re a masculine black/latino man who advertises your HIV status online (negative or not)?
Can we blame websites that are not specifically geared towards Gay/Bisexual men for ignoring the HIV status question? They are not promoting sex or catering to a particular lifestyle defined by sex…So why should they?
If I have to offer my opinion, my short answer would be that the numbers for HIV infection in this country are hard to deny. In parts of Africa, HIV may be a universal risk, but here in the States the numbers show that Gay men (especially black gay men) are the main people becoming infected with the virus (53% of all infections, CDC).
The reason why I hate my answer is because we ALL should feel comfortable conversing about HIV and our status without perceived stigmas being placed on us. To be completely honest, your status is no ones business except for the person you plan on having sex with in the near future.
So maybe if we can somehow shed all the shame from the conversation, black men would feel more comfortable getting tested. Thus possibly reducing the alarming rates of transmission.
Ah…if the solution was only that simple.
– Nick D
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