It’s the first of December and we need to talk about HIV. As I mentioned last year when I did a similar post, I don’t know much about it compared to other people. I don’t live with it and I thank whatever Greater Power there is out there in the universe that I haven’t lost anyone to it.
What I know though is the need to get frequently tested. Before getting into a monogamous relationship, I used to go twice per year. I now go less frequent often than that but we still always use a condom because you can never know.
According to BBC news the numbers of new HIV positive cases have diminished the last four years. However, they estimate that twenty thousand people do not even know that they have the virus. So, this kind of statistics can be far from the truth. There is an interesting article here.
I know a guy in my circle of friends. His gay brother has been positively diagnosed a couple of years ago, so you can’t really say that he is unfamiliar with this plague. However, that doesn’t stop him from having unprotected sex in saunas, cruising grounds and bars. I really can’t understand what is going through his mind. He is supposed to be a mature 40 something guy with a successful career and a respectable sum of money in his bank account (not that this changes much). It’s like a time bomb waiting to be detonated. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ it will be detonated, it’s ‘when’.
His special case of dangerous living made me think about the immature and auto destructive tendencies that some gay people have. This is another huge issue to discuss but unfortunately drugs, alcohol and unprotected sex are connected and can be linked to very low self esteem and insecurities.
Another thing that is worrying is the fact that younger generations are not well informed. They do believe that AIDS is something of the past, not directly affecting them. They also think that a cure will be found soon and that the new drug cocktails will keep them almost ‘healthy’ till then. This ignorance can be very dangerous.
I don’t know how the already infected people feel this day and I wish to them all the best. We should always remember though that they are not the enemy, the virus is.