REVISITED: The HIV Infected Elephant in the Room
Continue reading my original essay below:
Whether its a “hookup” or someone I’m actually interested in, we both just assume that the other person is healthy. Oh, we still perform the theatrics of using condoms and capfulls of mouthwash afterwards (the deluded oral sex morning after pill). But at the end of the day, the words are not spoken.
There was even one guy I met that was attractive, funny, affable, intelligent, employed, lived alone, etc…I really was diggin the dude…but then he wanted to have bareback sex on our first time. Dammit if I wasn’t tempted (naked, in the heat of the moment) to just say, “Fuck it” and go raw…But the “good angel” on my shoulder yelled the loudest and I resisted the temptation. When I denied and asked if he had raw sex often, he replied, “yeah sometimes.” Suffice it to say, that was the last I heard from him so I dodged a bullet there.
Fortunately, I’ve never had a sexually transmitted disease. However, I know that in addition to making some decent choices in sexual partners, I’ve just been plain lucky. But everyone’s luck runs out eventually. So this brings us back to the original dilemma: Why don’t more of us ask The Question?
I think there are two answers to this:
- We’re afraid the other person might actually say, “Yes, I’m HIV positive.” Then that would put us in the awkward position of having to either be cool with it or to disappear and never respond to that person’s texts and calls ever again.
- We think we’re invincible. There is honestly that feeling that bad things happen to other people, not ourselves. We’re actually temporarily surprised when misfortune befalls us.
There are a couple other possible answers as well, HIV is not the “death sentence” as it once was so many people may possibly fear it less now…Lastly, many gay men are just horny mindless whores, uncaring of contracting sexually transmitted diseases until after it actually happens.
My money’s on the latter. But at the end of the day, we all make choices that we have to live with, good or bad.
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