Saturday, December 1, 2012

World AIDS Day

From Corey's Dark Corner
Today is World AIDS Day,   December 1, 2012.

Very often, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had figured out I was gay as a young man rather than at the age of 48.  There's a strong possibility that I would have become infected in those early years and might now be dead. 

I was nineteen in June 1981 when the Center for Disease Control first reported on cases of Kaposi's Sarcoma and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia occurring in young gay men.  Within a couple of years, HIV / AIDS would be reported in 85 countries in the world representing all regions with many thousands of people infected.

From the ages of 22 to about 27, I was a lonely virgin, horny as hell, lacking in self-confidence but having no success with woman.  Hmmm... I wonder why?  I was living alone in or near "gay mecca" cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. 

Had I had the self-awareness or courage to experiment with men at that time, I know it would have been unsafe sex.   At that time, very little was known about how the HIV virus was spread .... in fact, the term "unsafe sex" scarcely existed.

I was so starved for physical contact that any handsome, older and perhaps unscrupulous man would have been able to convince me to do just about anything.

Most alarming are recent statistics which show that 1 in 4 (26%) of new HIV infections in the USA occur in youth, between the ages of 13-24.   60% of youth infected with HIV do not know it and and can unknowingly pass the virus to others. As well, young people are among the least likely to get tested. 

At one point during my most recent hookup with Nerdy-Cute Student, in the heat of his sexual desire, he tried to stuff my condom-less cock into his ass.   I pulled away from his grasp and reprimanded him like some old school-ma'rm:  "We mustn't!  I need to put a condom on first!!!"  He shrugged and agreed .... but I strongly hope that he continues to use a condom with all his partners.  I don't want to have to worry about him.

As well, American statistics from 2010 show that some 67% of new HIV infections occur in blacks and Hispanics.   Researchers speculate that men in these groups are more likely to be closeted and  "on the down low," more likely to engage in unsafe sex and less likely to be tested.  Another good reason to be "out and proud", I suppose.

Most experienced gay men my age have a long list of friends and acquaintances who either have HIV / AIDS or have died from it.   Living as "straight" family man for twenty years, I didn't personally know (or know of) a single person with HIV / AIDS .... not one! 

Even in the past two years, I've only knowingly met two men infected with HIV, one of whom I blogged about last January after we had a coffee date and the week later, went to the movies.  These were pleasant enough experiences although we don't have too many common interests.

HIV+ guy still messages me on pof.com every now and then ...  he 'wants' me!   He's good looking, pleasant, very fit,  has lovely muscles and is extremely experienced.   In sort, he's exactly the sort of guy I should be seeing.  He could be the man I need (among other things) to take my sexual skills and experience to the next level, unlike all the 22 year old gay virgins I hook up with.  

But to be really honest and at the risk of getting some negative comments, I'm fairly sure that it's his HIV+ status which is holding me back from having sex with him.  There, I said it.

Moving on!  Here's a corny, safe sex video with cutie Brent Corrigan.  You can find the uncensored version on www.dcfukit.org/ which is much more interesting.





17 comments:

  1. I'm a little surprised you still have reservations about "dating" a HIV+ guy. I'm sure you know this but it's worth repeating. If you are having sex then you are at risk of exposure to HIV - period.

    Guys, especially ones on hook-up sites, will lie to you (check the right boxes and list the right things in their profiles) and themselves about how often they play safely. Bottoms are more likely to be honest about always using a condom because they are the ones most at risk but if they give any indication that "it's ok with you" then it has been okay with someone else too and so has that guy. Given the choice most tops wills go condomless. Closeted men or men on the DL or MSM (men who have sex with men) are more likely (statistically) to have unsafe sex because using a condom makes it harder to deny they are having sex with a man.

    The ONE AND ONLY TIME you will know a person's status (and this does include you) is when they know and tell you they are HIV+. This means you'll both take the proper precautions and the HIV+ will likely be on meds.

    When you have HIV and are on meds, it is thought that you are less likely to infect another because your viral load is so low vs. that of a person who is unknowingly infected and not on meds thus having a very high VL and being more infectious. There are debates about this so you need to make your own conclusions.

    Every man (especially those over 50) you meet comes with the likely hood of having a health issue, and none of them are immune to getting struck by a drunk driver. I know that you can't get any other type of illness from another person, but if you are sexually active, you are exposing yourself to the risk of HIV just the same as well as several other STI's including some now more fatal and more common than HIV - HepC.

    That being said, DON"T STOP! I love following your adventures and growth as a person, a father and a gay man. Just be careful.

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    Replies
    1. Sean, thanks for taking the time to write such an excellent, detailed comment! But yes, that is honestly how I felt (or feel) about having sex with someone with HIV.

      But I am far from alone in feeling this way. My HIV+ friend told me that MANY if not most guys have the same reservations.

      Beyond using a condom during anal sex, what is the current wisdom on giving blowjobs safely? Do any gay men actually use condoms for this? Even if the guy doesn't cum (or says he won't cum) in your mouth, there will always be pre-cum.

      I would think that using a condom when giving a blowjob to my HIV+ friend is essential. Am I correct?

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    2. Buddy - just because people think this doesn't make it acceptable or right. Your HIV+ just accepts people's ignorance. Also, there are many HIV+ who will not date negs either for various reasons.

      NO your are not correct. If you give a + person head, you should just make sure you have not brushed your teeth for 1.5 hrs at least and have no cuts or wounds in your mouth. Like you should if you give head to any man OR WOMAN. Yes, there have been some documented cases of transmission through oral sex but it such a small percentage as not to be significant.

      I think you missed the key point. YOU HAVE ALREADY HAD SEX WITH SOMEONE WHO IS HIV+. They either didn't know it or didn't tell you. Whether a person knows or doesn't know or doesn't tell is not the point. You must treat everyone as if they are HIV+.

      When you have sex with a person who knows/tells you they are + you are more likely to be safer. Also, since they are likely on meds their viral load is likely to be so low so as not to be infectious. Those who are + and not on meds tend to have very high VL and there for be more or highly infectious.

      Sex acts - as far as I know, nothing has changed for years. You asked about oral - there is almost no risk for HIV when using your mouth when sucking or rimming. Just make sure your gums are healthy and that you haven't brushed for at least 1.5 hrs. However, you are still at risk for other types of STI's.

      Fucking - condoms are not 100% EVER! Usually because of improper use. Condoms are better now then they used to be both in protection and in comfort but they can get old and break or be used with the wrong lube and break or break from rough use. Here the top is at minimal risk and the bottom at high risk. Condoms do not protect against all STI's.

      Drug use - needles and now smoking pipes (crack/meth) increase infection rates buy increasing blood contact (pipes too) and risky behavior and judgement.

      HIV is NOT in saliva or in piss.

      Toys - dildos, restraints, leather, slings, anything that can cause breakage/irritation of the skin or expose skin to bodily fluids needs to be sanitized between partners or it increases the risk of transmission for several STD infections including HIV.

      STI's - Hep C - currently infects more people than HIV, is spread by blood and sex (mostly for those with HIV) and is curable but the med is extremely painful and not always affective and is very expensive. Some sex sites in Europe now have men list their last Hep screening date in addition to their HIV date. Hep A, food poisoning is spread by fecal matter, not washing hands before handling food, you can get it from rimming, is not serious and most people have had it. Hep B is mostly spread by seaman (doesn't talk about oral), can be dormant for 20 years before doing damage, may never show outward symptoms and can cause major damage. There is a vaccine that every sexually person should get.

      There are the classics likes scabies, crabs, gonorrhea, herpes. Anal warts are a bitch. These can all be spread just by physical contact. Scabies and crabs can just be left on your couch.

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    3. Sorry if I got on a soap box, I didn't mean to but as a sexually active man AND a father, you should have a better understanding of how STI's are transmitted and what their risks are. Fear of the unknown is not enough of a preventive strategy.

      One last thing. How do tops get infected? Think of your dick head as Pac Man. Every time you thrust into an opening (mouth, ass, va jay jay) your slit is pulled open and can gobble up pieces of matter or fluids which the get pushed down your urethra. Also, you can get minor tears or scraps on your dick head or shaft that can allow blood or seaman in - that is why using lube is a good idea. Lubes with M9 are no longer made because the M9 irritated the lining of the ass and surface of the cock increasing possibility of transmission.

      You really should talk to and HIV counselor. A doctor, though helpful, will not have the best or most complete info.

      Still horny???? :)

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    4. Thanks Sean but there's no need to apologize! I deeply appreciate this excellent advice.

      Unfortunately, my HIV+ friend says that he is dropped like a hot potato by nearly every guy when he reveals (at an early stage) his HIV status. There is still a lot of fear and misinformation out there on this topic.

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  2. Good info and I agree with Sean (above me). I've never had sex with a man - including the husband - without a condom. It has always been part of sex for me... as the first generation after the onslaught of AIDS. It's disturbing to know our young gaylings are choosing not to protect themselves.
    Fuck everything. Fuck it all over the place. Fuck on a train.. on a plane... in a box... with a fox... in a chair... Just use a condom every time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jeffrey for the sensible, experienced advice!

      I have to say again that I thoroughly enjoyed our coffee visits when I was in Toronto last fall. Sadly, I'm not in Toronto too often ... my next app't is in April.

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    2. Then we will see you in April! :)

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  3. I've read many opinions on the chances of contracting HIV from oral sex. Some sources say it is safe, as semen when swallowed passes through an intact mucous membrane-lined passage and then stomach acids will destroy the virus. Other sources warn that if any semen is discharged into the mouth rather than further down the throat, any abrasion within the mouth will be a likely entry point for the virus to infect the host.

    You were 19 at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; I was not quite twice that age but had just come out to myself and knew I needed to get my feet wet in the gay world. I was also raising two very young adopted Korean orphan girls as a single parent and was extremely aware that I could not do anything reckless -- I had huge responsibilities. So I did what I had to do but started with very low-level stuff: mutual masturbation, frottage, cocksucking for a while and then changing to a hand job well before his orgasm. Eventually when I had my gay feet firmly on the ground there was anal but always with condoms. I managed to come through with only one STD (gonorrhea) scare ever, and that tested out negative.

    Of course it shouldn't be this way but this is the world into which we all came out. We have to take care of ourselves because no matter how nice they seem, we can't trust the other guys to be completely honest. As a top you're safer. Make certain when you bottom that you're being entered safely.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Will, as always, for sharing your experiences and your excellent advice!

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  4. Keep two things in mind please;
    1) if you are going to be sexually active you will run into + people who don't know or won't tell you, so approach anyone with this universal precaution. You can still get it. And it makes no sense these days to contract it.
    2) Many HIV+ are loving, wonderful and yes sexy; your reservation to not have sex with him is somewhat understandable but considering 1), it seems moot.

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  5. To be really honest and at the risk of getting some negative comments, I agree that there would have been a high possibility that you would have gotten infected and would now be dead. It's a sobering thought. How many other intelligent, interesting and fabulous gay men would now be blogging if things had been different? How many mentors did we lose?

    I was alive during the worst of the plague years, and I remember the media hysteria, but fortunately (?) I was too young to deal with the worst of the fallout directly. The only real consequences I have had to deal with have been an abiding terror of sex, and a dearth of gay elders to admire and learn from. It seems like a small price to pay compared to those who lived (and died) through the worst years.

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  6. I was whore for a couple years there when I was stripping. I always used a condom. I always used a condom and/or a dental dam when giving and getting head too. This includes with my one and only high school girlfriend. The first unprotected anything I've ever done was with my husband. Not my most virile moment, it took me about 11 seconds to cum.

    Unprotected oral sex is in no way safe. You can contract syphilis, chlamydia, hepatitis A, gonorrhea, not to mention genital warts.

    HIV is present in saliva, but in levels that are low. Plus there are enzymes in saliva that will combat even that low dose. Still, any ruptured membrane in the mouth or throat could be vehicle enough to host that low dose.

    It's not a documented risk. The likelihood is low, and most medical sources refer to oral as only a theoretical HIV risk. But you have to realize theoretical risk means theoretically possible. Check with the cdc or avert.org. BTW the aids.gov site actually says you "can" get HIV performing oral sex. I don't believe that wording is correct, but apparently someone did.

    Even if you want to just stick to the "open sore" thing, fine. Then think about it this way. If the partner you're hooking up with is not someone you know well, that means you also don't know how rough he's going to get with your mouth.

    Even if you decide to take your chances with theoretical risk and insist on taking HIV off the oral risk table (along with hepatitis b and c because they're transmitted the same way,) you are still risking chlamydia, hep a, syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes.

    In addition to condoms and dental dams, you have a whole shitload of testing options now to lower your risks. They've come so very far with testing options, with accuracy, with determining factors and with availability.

    Now you can even get the Rapidfire site test over the counter in most drugstores. It's a mouth swab. You have the results there in your hand in 20 - 40 minutes. It's completely anonymous and about 92% accurate according to the FDA because it may not detect very recent infections. You know the saying, everyone you sleep with, you're also sleeping with everyone they've ever slept with? Well look at it this way. You carry these with you and test together with the next guy you're gonna hook up with. Instead of sleeping with everyone he has ever slept with in his entire life, now you're only sleeping with everyone he's slept with in the past 14 days. That's a huge risk reduction.

    For the record, the fact that the mouth swab HIV test was approved by the FDA this summer and is 92% accurate should prove that HIV is present in saliva. There's a difference between saying there's not enough HIV in saliva to pose a risk, and with saying there is "no" HIV in saliva.

    The Walgreens home blood test is $50. It's called Home Access Express and you can buy it online. Since it's a blood test it's "greater than 99.9% accurate." You send your sample in, in a little overnight pouch thing. Read the 154 five star rating comments on the site. Some of them will scare you.

    Great post, Buddy Bear.

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  7. Great thread. No one is going to change your mind on this Buddy, and I don't think anyone here is trying to. Education is always a good thing though, and there is plenty of that going on. I hope you read it carefully.

    Sean made a couple of points that are most important I feel. First, the guys on the hookup sites lie, plain and simple. If there is any one guy you mentioned that you should feel is trustworthy, it's the HIV+ one. Second, you have already had sex with HIV+ guys but don't know it, and they may or may not know it themselves. Let that sink in.

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  8. Having a "slut phase" will cost you in some way. It might not be HIV that will get you but there are a myriad of other STI's out there. Some of these conditions lie dormant and therefore you may in fact be a carrier right now and not even be aware of it. I read that 90% of gay men in urban centres have been exposed to HPV, a condition that many consider harmless however it can lead to severe conditions like anal cancer. So be aware, choose your sexual partners carefully and take responsibility for your actions.

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  9. Awesome information from everyone here. And I can vouch for the lice from couch. I won't go into details, but I was lucky and my friend wasn't. Since I was, I figure it didn't come from my bed.

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