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First Person: Why I Refuse To Get Tested For HIV

And this is why I, like many others, proactively refuse to get tested: Best case scenario, the test comes back negative. Worst case scenario, I go from being a human to a deadly weapon in a matter of seconds. In that case, thanks but I would rather risk your safety than to jeopardize my entire life and future. Until you give me a better choice, that is sadly the only option I can see, because I refuse to open myself up to that kind of liability for any and every opportunistic leech or mentally unsound person that learns of my status. No status = no problem. If you want my compliance with testing, quit using laws like this to criminalize homosexuality by proxy.”

Queerty reader Joseph, discussing HIV-transmission laws, in Lambda Legal Appeal Shines Spotlight On Iowa’s Draconian HIV-Transmission Law.

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jun 16, 2012
Tagged: , , ,

  • 171 Comments
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      Joseph is a sociopath.

      I’d rather not get tested and possibly infect others, than get tested and then have to deal with the consequences and realities of being HIV positive.

      charming

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hamoboy
      hamoboy

      “I would rather risk your safety than to jeopardize my entire life and future.”
      “No status = no problem.”
      That is quite possibly one of the dumbest and most selfish comment I have ever read on this site.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      This is a horrible human being. Rather than take accountability for his own actions, he’d rather risk the health of others. That ignores the fact that he risks his own health by not treating a possible infection. Everything that’s wrong with a human — totally okay with harming himself and others.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sfo
      sfo

      What a sicko.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • oh123
      oh123

      Beyond reason and sanity and beyond commenting on.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      I can’t even finish reading this post. Beyond words.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      He’s a great example of why these laws are totally wrong and counterproductive. The vast majority of HIV+ people who are being successfully treated are NOT “deadly weapons” and are nearly incapable of infecting anyone. You are only a deadly weapon if you have HIV AND DON’T KNOW IT.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      And what purpose, Queerty, is there in even publishing this post?

      @QJ201: And a criminal one at that.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Then wait to become a flashback of the 80’s when you start to get every infection going around.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      Sounds like a manslaughter chg waiting to happen to this guy. Blowtorch anyone?

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Even at selfish, it’s still an incredibly stupid position to take. Knowing you’re positive would only mean telling potential sex partners and risking their turning you down. Being positive and NOT knowing means no treatment, and no treatment means volunteering for an early and horrible death. Is the risk of getting less sex really worth it?

      (But yes, since some people are idiots and think it is worth it, that kind of law is a bad idea.)

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      What an idiot!

      By refusing to get tested, worse case scenario it comes up Positive you’re going to avoid getting treatment and going on meds and you’ll pay for it in the long run.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob

      Also if this guy is a barebacker he’s putting others at risk for HIV infection.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xamthor
      xamthor

      selfish & immature….. but sadly it’s probably more common than i’d like to hope.

      Protect yourself, kids. People like this are out there.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Not that Joseph
      Not that Joseph

      As a Joseph, I feel obliged to disassociate myself from such a foolish and immature man.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      Was this a Queerty plant?

      Jun 16, 2012 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • derek
      derek

      Two issues here: First, untested and having unprotected CONSENSUAL sex puts both parties at risk; dude having unprotected sex with HIM is equally responsible and idiotic. Secondly, untested and hoping for the best with regard to one’s health is simply playing ostrich. Unfortunately, this individual would put other peoples opinions and treatment of him ahead of his own best interest. Double whammy: Intellectually dim AND emotionally retarded. Sadly, he is not an uncommon example of what’s out there these days…

      Jun 16, 2012 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      Translation:

      “If I knew that I was capable of spreading a lethal disease, I might feel the need to limit my sexual activity so as not to hurt others. So I’ll deliberately avoid learning my status so that I may continue to have unfettered sex, even if that means endangering the lives of other human beings. Ignorance is bliss (well, for me anyway).”

      Sick, sociopathic individual.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean Strub
      Sean Strub

      I think Joseph’s decision is an unwise one–particularly since he could, with a little effort, get tested anonymously–but his post does highlight one of the unfortunate and dangerous unintended consequences of HIV-specific criminal statutes.

      The message many hear is “Take the Test and Risk Arrest”; because ignorance of one’s HIV status is the best defense. If you don’t know, you can’t be convicted (generally). Yet people who get tested and know their HIV status are far less likely to transmit than those who are positive but don’t know it. HIV criminalization is horrible public health policy. Every person with HIV is one disgruntled ex-partner away from finding themselves in a courtroom.

      The Nick Rhoades case in Iowa isn’t that unusual; in these cases, typically, use of a condom or having an undetectable viral load has no bearing. It boils down to simply a matter of whether or not the person with HIV can prove they disclosed.

      I’ve been videotaping interviews with people who have been prosecuted or threatened with prosecution and am interested in videotaping people who have pressed charges, or otherwise have been affected by these statutes (including you, Joseph, if you’re willing to discuss your decision in front of a camera).

      I won’t comment on any pathology that might be read into Joseph’s decision, but there’s no question a society that creates a different set of laws for one segment of that society, whether based on their race, sexual orientation, gender, viral status or genetic makeup–is seriously flawed.

      Sean Strub

      Jun 16, 2012 at 10:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reid
      Reid

      Your body is a “deadly weapon” whether you know your status or not. The only difference is you don’t think it is if you stay in the dark. Get your head out of your backside and wake up. Getting treatment now means you can live a longer, full life instead of ending up dead from pneumonia in a few years.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IzzyLuna
      IzzyLuna

      This is his excuse and justification for being a pussy.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike
      Spike

      Pretty much sums up the mindset of the 20/30something guys walking around a bathhouse that wants to fuck you, bareback.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      @oh123: Then why did you?

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      Joseph doesn’t state whether or not he practises safe sex…..but the onus should always be on YOU to protect yourself.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jones
      Jones

      It is true that many statute require knowledge of one’s HIV status. However, in virtually every state the term knowledge includes the concept of willful blindness. Under that legal concept, if one is aware of a substantial possibility of a fact, but avoids discovering that fact, one is treated by the law as knowing. For instance, if someone asks you to carry a package across the border and give it to Joe and you don’t ask what’s in the package. You don’t “know” what’s in the package. When you are stopped by Border Patrol, you can be convicted of knowing possession of the drugs that are contained therein, because you willfully avoided knowing what was inside. Same is true here. If you are aware of a risk that you are HIV positive, and you refuse to get tested in order to avoid the legal consequences of knowledge, the law will treat you as knowing that you are HIV positive.
      Moreover, at least one commenter brought up manslaughter. Even in states where HIV specific legislation has not been passed, laws of general applicability can make conduct criminal even before you “know” your status in the sense that you have been tested and learned of your results, so long as you are aware of some substantial risk of your status. For instance, reckless endangerment would require merely that you are aware of and consciously disregard a substantial risk to the safety of others. Negligent homicide can be found even when you are *not* aware of such a risk but rather when you *should be* aware of a substantial risk to the safety of another and your actions cause death.
      Thus, failure to get tested will likely provide little or no legal protection and substantial risk to others.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean Strub
      Sean Strub

      @Jones: I qualified my assertion that one can’t get convicted if one doesn’t know one’s HIV status because I am aware of two cases–one in Canada and I think the other was in France–where a person was convicted even though it wasn’t proven that they had known they were positive. The courts found that they “should” have known (I think based on a previous partner’s death from AIDS, or their medical history or something like that). So, at least in those circumstances, it was possible for someone to get convicted without having gotten tested. But they are exceptionally rare and I’ve never heard of such a case in the US.

      In fact, most of the cases in the US do boil down to whether or not it can be proven that the person charged knew they were HIV positive or not. What poster Jones suggests may become common in time, but right now it is not a realistic threat to Joseph or anyone else who does not get tested. The extent to which the failure to get tested creates a risk to others mostly has to do with the behaviors that person engages.

      Another poster pointed out that Joseph didn’t note what his behavioral boundaries are, to what extent he exposed others to the risk of blood- or semen-borne pathogens.

      I am curious to know if Queerty readers think that people who do not know their HIV status should be prosecuted for not using condoms or for not disclosing that they do not know their HIV status? Should people who fail to disclose they have HPV or hepatitis or CMV or EBV be prosecuted for failing to disclose their viral status? Or is it only HIV that should be subjected to such exceptional treatment in the law?

      Jun 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NovaNardis
      NovaNardis

      I’d rather infect other people with a horrible disease like HIV that potentially have to live under some unfair laws.

      What a guy. If I asked a guy his status and he said “Oh I don’t know”… that would be a deal-breaker.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      If you’re too cowardly to get an HIV test, then you’re clearly not mentally ready to be having sex. Sorry.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      Here’s a response to some points made by Sean Strub, the moral defect and apologist for knowing HIV transmission:

      Strub:

      “The message many hear is “Take the Test and Risk Arrest”; because ignorance of one’s HIV status is the best defense.”

      — No, Sean. The best defense is to not expose others to HIV to begin with. The second best defense is to always disclose. Your assumption that, of course the HIV+ person is going to have sex and not disclose, so therefore it is better for him not to know his status, says a lot about you. It is a good guideline for policymakers in that they should understand the sociopathic mindset which is at the root of this problem and which they must confront.

      Strub:

      “I am curious to know if Queerty readers think that people who do not know their HIV status should be prosecuted for not using condoms or for not disclosing that they do not know their HIV status? Should people who fail to disclose they have HPV or hepatitis or CMV or EBV be prosecuted for failing to disclose their viral status? Or is it only HIV that should be subjected to such exceptional treatment in the law?”

      — No, you are not curious. You just desperately want to change the subject and make it more complicated than it is. All the better to hide the evil of your position. Whatever rules we come up with for other, more complicated public health risks, the HIV scenario is easy.

      As for other transmissible diseases, of course knowing transmission should result in criminal liability. If you go around with syphilis or hepatitis and screw people without telling them, that is criminal. With respect to curable STIs, a more lenient punishment may be warranted. As for disclosing that you don’t know your status, I don’t see the point. The point is that you should not withhold material information. The key to materiality is whether a reasonable partner might alter his decision to have sex based on the information. I doubt if it is material to your partner that you don’t know your status.

      It is obviously very material if you do know that you are positive. I saw your horrifying Youtube video attempting to defend this practice and the common theme among these criminals is that they each openly acknowledged the information about their HIV status, if disclosed, would have imperiled the sexual relationship. That is precisely why they needed to disclose – because it was important to the partner to make an informed decision.

      I urge any Queerty readers who might give to Lambda Legal or who were considering doing so to withhold all contributions so long as it defends those who knowingly expose others to HIV.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jack
      jack

      He is a lower life form than pond scum!

      Jun 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Olive Austin
      Olive Austin

      Just assume everyone is positive, even if they have paperwork showing otherwise. That way your condom usage — every time — will not only protect you from HIV, but herpes, Hepatitus B and C, drug-resistant Gonorrhea and Syphilus, MRSA, and anything else that may not even have a name yet. Except crabs, but they never killed anyone.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jean
      Jean

      At least he is being honest on how he thinks. If everyone claimed they got tested, then people would be more trusting and then get infected by those who lie. Everyone should assume that anyone they are not in a long term monogamous relationship with could be positive. Every stranger could be this guy, so protect yourself, don’t trust them, that is the real lesson here.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      You people are fucking pathetic. Are you even listening to yourselves? “Oh, he’s so self centered, he’s not getting tested for ME”. Seriously? Grow the fuck up and wear a condom. Accept that if you’re screwing strangers, some of them aren’t going to be the most savory people. Refusing to get tested for YOUR convenience is hardly the worst thing someone’s trick could do.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      This guy is already a walking lethal weapon. His selfishness is incredible!

      Jun 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      Let me get this straight: the average queerty reader is apparently engaging in sex with strangers. Rather than admit that strangers sometimes don’t behave as we’d like and respond accordingly, we’ve constructed an ideal in our heads that these people have an obligation to get tested and disclose for OUR protection. Then, when we’re presented with the reality that not everyone does this, it is somehow THEY who are selfish, stupid and mean? Wow. I mean, wow. All ideals aside, you people are fucking idiots. Would you also leave your doors unlocked and wallet out only to be horrified that someone took your stuff? As for selfish: I don’t think you even know the meaning of the phrase. To be offended that someone isn’t risking a legally subordinate position just so you can have the sex you want kinda takes the cake, doesn’t it? Wow. What part of Bizarro World do you people live on?

      Jun 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Well
      Well

      Well, I have a certain amount of sympathy with his view, although he can still get tested anonymously. The point is that these laws are used to prosecute positive people even if they DID practice only safe sex (but accidental transmission occurred, or the other person got the virus from an undisclosed other contact).

      I always practice safe sex but for this and other reasons I only ever get tested anonymously. For this reason also, I will welcome the new saliva home test kits when they become available.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Doug MacKay
      Doug MacKay

      There is one aspect of this here that I don’t see being mentioned. That is the individual who is HIV positive who informs his partner as they are about to have sex of his status. What if the other one denies having been told about his partner’s status and charges him with a felony? Do we walk around with waivers that the other has been informed and has consented and signed? I agree that the aforementioned individual is being careless and selfish and lest add irresponsible but a murder rap is rather extreme.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dixie Rect
      Dixie Rect

      Oh my.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sharon Cox
      Sharon Cox

      Scary.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      I definitely disagree with Joseph, I get tested regularly and I think that it is absolutely imperative that others do the same if they are at risk, but I understand why he is so frustrated. A large percentage of gay men, including many who post on here, already have sex with HIV+ men on a regular basis without knowing it. Since a huge percentage (44% according to one CDC study) of poz men are not aware of their status, you can never really say with any certainty that any particular guy is negative unless you know and trust them very well.

      The problem is that with this “no status, no problem” attitude people are encouraged to be reckless and irresponsible, and punished for being responsible. If you bareback 24/7 and never get tested, you have no chance of being prosecuted despite having a high chance of contracting and spreading the virus. If you’re responsible and get tested and treated if you are poz, you have a chance of getting fucked over by these draconian anti-HIV laws even if you do disclose your status (how can you prove you did? it’s your word vs theirs). You also have basically a 100% of being shunned or rejected by many people in the gay community who still believe that safe sex with an HIV+ man on treatment is akin to russian roulette when in reality it’s vastly safer than barebacking with some random “neg” guy and probably not much more dangerous than safe sex with one of those guys considering the high prevalence of HIV and people who are unaware of their status.

      The bottom line is our laws and our community treat openly HIV+ guys like shit, and then tons of queerty commenters come out and express even more vitriol and disdain for these folks, I especially love the guys who say if they were poz they would never have sex again out of fear of exposing someone, yeah right. The bottom line is we are never going to stop the HIV epidemic until everyone out there takes responsibility for their own damn body and started using safer sex methods and getting tested regularly. Those two things will do far more towards stopping this epidemic than trying to throw every HIV+ guy in jail for having sex.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Okama
      Okama

      While it’s clear that Joseph is selfish, I think most of the commentators are missing his point. What he means is that the consequences of testing positive are so grave that he doesn’t see it as an option to get tested. He’s not saying that he wouldn’t get tested under any circumstance, he’s saying that he won’t get tested until the laws are such that getting tested won’t condemn a person to harsh public and even criminal judgement. While this still means that he’s more concerned with himself than with other people, the point about the virtual criminalisation of being HIV positive is still absolutely valid. Endangering others’ lives isn’t justifiable under any circumstance, but maybe this should make us think twice about laws like the one in Iowa.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      @Okama: There are no criminal consequences for testing positive. It is not a crime to have HIV in Iowa or anywhere else. Joseph can test positive and go on to live a lovely life in Iowa. He can even have sex without any criminal sanction so long as he discloses.

      What is criminal is for someone who knows he has HIV to have sex with another human being without informing him of his HIV status. That’s it. This is apparently too much of a burden for people like Joseph. Why? Because if he told his partner, it might mean that the partner would balk and Joseph wouldn’t get to have sex.

      Since this is an obstacle to Joseph’s pursuit of pleasure, his solution is to intentionally remain ignorant so that he can expose his partner without guilt. This is sick and evil. Don’t defend it.

      I think the answer to people like Joseph is to have the law encompass a “should have known” standard. It probably wouldn’t be used that often, but if you have a scumbag like Joseph who has reason to believe he is positive but then tries to avoid responsibility, there should be a mechanism to impose a penalty.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean Strub
      Sean Strub

      @Well: Transmission is only the case in a small percentage of HIV criminalization. People like Nick Rhoades, Monique Moree and Robert Suttle–the three people in the short film I’ve made, HIV is Not a Crime–were not accused of infecting anyone.

      There are some places, I think including England, where prosecution only happens if the person with HIV transmits it to another person. But to my knowledge most if not all of the statutes in the U.S. don’t have anything to do with transmission or how much risk was actually present, it is just about whether the person with HIV disclosed or not.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean Strub
      Sean Strub

      @Thomas: Thomas, if you want to call me names it might have more meaning if you felt strongly enough about it to identify yourself. I’ve spent most of my adult life combating the epidemic; for you to call me morally defective or an apologist for “knowing HIV transmission” says more about you and what you think of people with HIV than it does about me.

      Not disclosing one’s status, especially when engaging in behaviors that can’t transmit HIV, is not the same as “knowing HIV transmission”.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • samwise
      samwise

      Joseph, I hope that your dick shrivels and falls off.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      @Jeff: You’re ignoring some big issues here and trying to make this more simple than it is. First, how do you prove that you have disclosed your status? What if your partner is drunk and they claim to not remember you disclosing, what if they contract HIV and claim that you didn’t disclose in an attempt to get back at you for giving them HIV? People newly infected with a dangerous virus are not the most rational people, I have actually heard gays say that they would go back and attempt to get they guy prosecuted if they found out that they contracted HIV. We’re talking about serious felony charges and long prison sentences, and we have nothing to go off of but one person’s word vs another. I’m all for people who intentionally infect others to be punished but we really need a better way then these terrible laws.

      Second, what about states that don’t even make disclosure part of the law? In Minnesota where I am from we have a statute that criminalizes ANY unprotected sex that involves an HIV+ individual, disclosure or not. Someone was actually recently prosecuted under this law despite the jury believing that the defendant was telling the truth when he said that he did disclose. That’s right, he disclosed his status but he was still charged with a felony because of the way the statute is worded.

      Third, there’s a really strange belief in the gay community in regards to sex with HIV individuals. Most gay guys are totally ok with having sex with poz guys, and many of them do it all the time. If you’re not ok with having sex with poz guys, then your option is to enter a long-term committed monogamous relationship with someone who you trust very well. Since many guys are single and sexually active or in relationships that aren’t necessarily 100% monogamous, they’re obviously ok with potentially being exposed to the virus. Most gay guys are, however, not ok with having sex with OPENLY poz guys. They’re ok with having sex with guys they don’t know well, knowing that they’re potentially exposing themselves to danger, as long as this is all kept under wraps and not discussed. When the topic of having sex with openly poz guys comes around it seems like the same guys who think nothing about hooking up will view having sex with a poz guy as a dangerous, foolish, insane, and life-risking activity.

      I know most people on here couldn’t care less about the emotional well being of HIV+ men, but can you seriously not see how your attitude might be in need of some adjustment if you’re totally ok with having sex with someone who has a 10-20% chance of being poz yet view having sex with someone who is openly HIV+ as insane or suicidal? You sit here and wonder how someone could have beliefs as twisted as Joseph, yet you’re unwilling to examine your own beliefs and prejudices that could be contributing to this problem. If you want everyone to be open and honest about their HIV status and 100% comfortable about getting tested, stop treating HIV+ guys like crap, stop putting a ridiculous stigma on those that have the disease, and for the love of god stop lecturing anyone about safety and health on this matter unless you’re either 100% celibate or in a long term monogamous relationship.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • F Stratford
      F Stratford

      This is why I don’t engage in one night stands. Too many gay creeps out there who fit the bad gay stereotypes we are trying to change.

      Darwin says though that these guys will likely die off
      The guys who are stupid enough to have unprotected sex with them will die off too

      Oh wait no. Stupidity is not genetic.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork
      Clockwork

      @Todd:
      >Accept that if you’re screwing strangers, some of them aren’t going to be the most savory
      >people.

      Very true, ah yes, please someone else save me from my promiscuity.
      Like you folks are going to trust what someone says anyway.

      Start a relationship, go get tested together or live with the consequences.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jaded
      jaded

      Selfish is an understatement. And purposely having sex with someone when you know your HIV status, don’t tell them and go bareback is beyond selfish. Yes, that makes your body a deadly weapon. Besides, not finding out your HIV status is also hurting yourself isn’t it? If you don’t know, if you do have it, you won’t treat yourself with meds that can make a difference. I think the best approach is to use a condom, it’s just safer isn’t it?

      Jun 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @Clockwork: I know, right? All these fucking girls sit here whining about how its a “deadly weapon”. We’re not talking about fucking rape here. If they’re so fucking terrified, they need to sit at home and jack off.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @F Stratford: Who the fuck is this “we” you speak of? The worst gay stereotype I’m seeing is someone who whines that they’re a victim at every turn but can’t even be bothered to stop whoring around to save their life.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DC
      DC

      There are some other problems that go underneath this guys’ sociopathic stance.

      First of all, I know several people who have had false-positive ELIZA HIV tests, and the clinic where they got tested was ready to usher them in. Fortunately these friends of mine got re-tested somewhere else, including a western blot, and were found to be HIV-negative.

      I also have two other friends who have been HIV+ for years who have since gone back and gotten numerous rapid HIV ELIZA tests and tested negative several times. Their doctors’ explanations: “Oh, those tests are wrong.”

      There are some serious, serious problems with the HIV tests and HIV testing protocols that are currently in place and those are more important to address than this guys’ sociopathic stance.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trackster12
      trackster12

      I understand if he is angry about his local laws, but I sure hope he isn’t serious about infecting others and not getting tested

      Jun 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      HIV does not cause AIDS. Therefore, there is no point in getting tested.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Well
      Well

      @Matt: “In Minnesota where I am from we have a statute that criminalizes ANY unprotected sex that involves an HIV+ individual, disclosure or not.”

      I didn’t know this. This is actually a strong legal incentive for (1) not knowing your status, or (2) not disclosing a known positive status, at least not to casual partners while only engaging in safe sex, and (3) always getting tested and treated anonymously and destroying any evidence you may have at home regarding your status or test results, even if it you were negative (given the possible “he knew he was at risk” prosecution).

      These are morally grey areas. I don’t think these choices are necessarily evil, and I am sure that the majority of men who are positive in fact do either (1) or (2), so that should really the default assumption when you meet someone and have sex with them. Unless it was rape, the responsibility for not getting infected lies as much with the negative partner as with the positive one.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeremy
      jeremy

      @jason: I think someone like you should be required to wear a chastity belt- the one that locks your dick and a-hole away for the rest of your life.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tazz602
      tazz602

      Joseph is totally batshit crazy.

      He is only a deadly weapon if he refuses to disclose his status before a sexual encounter, and if is that afraid of telling the twink he is pounding in the bushes in the local park – then maybe he should look at his behavior and grow up and grow a pair. That is the statement of an adolescent, not an adult.

      Admittedly – the time is long overdue for these laws to come off the books, HIV is no longer a death sentence for most, and it’s really the responsibility of both partners to discuss that before they exchange bodily fluids or always play safer.

      What’s particularly disturbing that I see in Joseph’s logic, and others I heard say similar things, is that they are going to claim they are negative, which is an outright lie unless they have ever had a negative HIV test. They are not negative, they are untested – and I hope that Joseph at least has the balls to be honest about that, but I doubt it.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      @jason: Pull your head out of your ass, jason. 700,000 Americans dead of AIDS and each and every one of them not only had advanced stage of HIV viral loads. EACH AND EVERY ONE.

      Being the asshole contrarian you so enjoy is one thing, repeating the gibberish that HIV does not cause AIDS is as sociopathic as Joseph — you too are advocating not getting tested, which also means, not getting treatment when infected.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony
      Anthony

      How fucking selfish >:(
      “I don’t want to take care of myself, for I worry what people may think of me and that I may not get laid as much as I used too”. What the fuck, Jason? You scum. You sociopath. I’m glad that you can’t breed.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tami Haught
      Tami Haught

      Like Sean, I have decided to use my actual name when I make my comments. Just a reminder for everyone out there, HIV is not a gay disease, I am a hetro female who has been living with HIV, in Iowa, for 18 years. Some of the comments here are disheartening to say the least and part of the stigma, hate, and discrimination plwha face daily.

      Disclosure is a VERY tricky thing, you’re not just disclosing to that one person, you are disclosing to every person they tell. Every time you tell someone you are putting yourself at risk for some of the hate, stigma, and discrimination shared by many on this page. People are disowned by their families and friends, people have been fired, to physically assaulted.

      Also remember 20% of people infected are unaware of their status. Any unprotected sex is risky sex, even if you are in a monogamous relationship you have to remember your partner might not be in that same monogamous relationship. A 50 year old woman was just diagnosed in Iowa, she was shocked, she was married, this wasn’t suppose to happen to her. Her husband cheated contracted HIV and brought it home. No unprotected sex is “safe”.

      I ask you, before you make snap decisions think, what if this was YOU, does death, being beaten senseless, 25 years in jail, LIFETIME sex offender seem reasonable to you. NO It’s not. We’re just easy targets because HIV was first classified as GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficeiancy). We are easy targets to discriminate against and dispose of, just remember we are JUST like you, only we contracted a virus.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      AIDS exists but it isn’t due to HIV. Learn to accept this fact. The AIDS industry has made a lot of money out of ignoramuses.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      The pharmaceutical industry has a made a lot of money from the phony notion that HIV causes AIDS. It’s a scam.

      A lot of you refuse to accept that AIDS is due to your poor lifestyle choices rather than a virus. The virus enables you to justify your sleazy choices.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dirty Ole Man
      Dirty Ole Man

      @Tami Haught: While I feel bad for you situation, it is not the same situation that Joseph taunts. He is implying that he is going to have unprotected sex while not knowing his HIV status. I doubt that is your situation.

      You will not be an easy target if you move to a state where the tea party mindset is not dominating the laws

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sansacro
      Sansacro

      I encourage everyone to ignore the self-loathing, completely uninformed individuals venting on these threads. Just let them babble on like a crazy on the street corner who spouts unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. Soon they’ll be talking only to themselves, as they do already at home alone.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dvd-junkie
      dvd-junkie

      @jason:
      You are trying to pass off your HIV denial as fact. Well, where is your evidence?
      You claim AIDS is the result of our “unhealthy lifestyle choices”. Exactly what lifestyle choices are we talking about? Because I consider your HIV a denial dangerous choice.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      @Matt:

      wow what a great post, its so true now that you say it, you know a stranger could be postive but you don’t think they are (or don’t want to) so you have sex freely, protected but when you know someone is positive (sadly) generally you would be cautious or maybe even refuse – that is odd

      Jun 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ruhlmann
      Ruhlmann

      @Tami Haught: Stay strong, stay healthy Tammi.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Matt: The reason you see this as so complicated is b/c you are mixing up 2 separate concepts. The first is the HIV+ person’s obligation to avoid infecting others. The second is the obligation of everyone to look after their own health and take proper precautions. The first exists independent of the second. Even if some gay guys are inconsistent in assessing risk and in protecting themselves. Even if some gay guys are complete idiots. It doesn’t affect your obligation to avoid infecting others. Their idiocy is not a defense to criminality.

      BTW, if you really believe that “Most gay guys are totally ok with having sex with poz guys, and many of them do it all the time” then you are delusional. There may be some gay guys out there like that, but not many or most. Most would consider the HIV status of their partners an important piece of information which might alter their decision to have sex. That is why you have to tell them – whether they are prudent and wise or reckless and dumb.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Tami Haught: I hear you. I am not insensitive to the stress that this must cause. But you cannot “solve” the problem of the stress and fear of rejection by risking the health of others. It can’t happen. And I’d guess that you wouldn’t want that on your conscience anyway.

      You either have to disclose and deal with the repercussions or, if you can’t trust the person to keep your confidence and treat you respectfully, don’t have a sexual relationship with him. If this is someone who would react violently or would violate your privacy, he is not the right candidate for a sexual relationship. This is a limitation on sexual freedom that HIV has created, but there are other ways to have intimacy. Seek out caring people and get to know them. If there is a foundation laid before sex comes up, you can disclose with greater confidence.

      As for the penalties, I agree that there should be better calibration in sentencing based on the degree of risk of transmission and other relevant circumstances. Certainly someone who fails to disclose on one occasion but uses a condom and has an undetectable load should get a lower sentence than someone who repeatedly has unprotected anal sex. I can’t say what the sentence for the former should be, perhaps a year or two, but I would have no problem with 25 years for the latter, longer if actual transmission occurred.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mattyd210
      mattyd210

      There are many hot button issues here that need to be addressed.
      1. @Thomas: Sean Strub is absolutely right… “Take The Test and Risk Arrest” is the stance many gays will take in a society that prosecutes people living with HIV, lord knows we’re already persecuted for such things. You said, “the best defense is not to expose anyone to HIV in the first place” In the case of Nick Rhoades in Iowa, he didn’t EXPOSE Mr. Plendl to HIV, he had an undetectable viral load, AND he used a condom. If you educate yourself, you’ll learn that transmission with an undetectable viral load is actually VERY UNLIKELY, when you add into the equation the use of a condom, Mr. Plendl quite literally had a better chance of getting struck by lightening that evening, than he did “catching” HIV from Mr. Rhoades. And in that particular case, no transmission ever even took place.
      Many of the individuals sounding off on these blogs are using data and information about HIV that they learned in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s, or at the turn of the century… WAKE UP PEOPLE… IT’S 2012. Intentional transmission of HIV, where there is MALICE involved, and transmission actually takes place should be prosecuted.
      Disclosing one’s status isn’t an easy thing to do. It is done in a private personal exchange almost 100% of the time. Whether you are disclosing your HIV+ status to a friend, that you know will support you, or to a potential sexual partner, it is still a difficult thing to do, ands almost always a PRIVATE, PERSONAL exchange. And now it needs to be documented with a date and signature? Do you want me to take it to a notary as well? Proving you disclosed your status during a conversation where there was likely only you and your sexual partner/accuser present makes things VERY DIFFICULT. It’s one persons word against the other. The HIV+ individual is going to lose before they’ve even begun.
      Those of you who are gay and came out before the year 2000, before gay life and culture began to become more mainstream, before being gay became “cool” know the struggles, the uphill battles each and every one of us had to challenge at home, at school, at work, at church or in our communities… you know the STIGMA that we faced just by having to “come out.” Hindsight is 20/20 and it may have been tough, but it made us all stronger people for it. Overcoming that STIGMA was difficult, but it is nothing like the STIGMA associated with being GAY and HIV+. tHE stigma associated with being POZ is nothing in comparison to the stigma I faced coming out in a small New Hampshire community around 2000 when I was 21 years old (and that even by it’s own standards was difficult enough).
      I live in San Antonio, TX. The stigma here is alive and well, so much so that many gay men are in fact NOT getting tested because of the fear of stigma alone. In San Antonio, over 40% of the male gay community, that’s right almost half, 1 in almost every 2 gay men are HIV positive. It’s terrifying! It’s only getting worse. It’s an epidemic, and it’s being driven by STIGMA. Having laws that criminalize people with HIV only drives stigma, sends these problems further underground… that is not what we need. We need to expose these issues, bring them to the light of day, EDUCATE PEOPLE with today’s facts, both inside and outside of the gay community, and get peopple talking about these things in PUBLIC FORUMS.
      This is critcal to gay society and gay culture, without action I truely fear what this will do to our community. God Help Us All.

      Jun 16, 2012 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Well
      Well

      @Dirty Ole Man, to be fair, Joseph is not saying he is going to have unprotected sex. He is not saying that he had unprotected sex in the past. He is not saying he is in a high risk population. For all we know, he has always practiced safe sex and his risk of being poz is low.

      @Tami Haught, I completely sympathize.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bailey
      Bailey

      I am rather shocked at these attitudes here.

      People are fine having unprotected sex or protected sex with virtual strangers and then get upset when they find out that person was HIV positive… even if it was wholly protected sex.

      HIV isn’t a death sentence anymore. It’s like herpes.

      The bigger issue is that you people take no responsibility for your own actions… so you slutted around last week and meet a new guy this week and have sex… you could be HIV+ even if you don’t know. At least hiv+ people who know their status can take and ensure precautions.

      Most of you would rather bury your heads in the sand and believe they are negative because they ‘look’ healthy or told you they are negative from their last test (and whether true or not, unless they haven’t had sex for 3 months prior to that test and none after, they don’t know.

      Accept responsibility for YOUR OWN actions and stop blaming someone else.

      It’s time to decriminalize this.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 1:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jerry
      Jerry

      So, rather than *not disclose* your HIV status to your sex partners because you don’t think they deserve to know, you’d rather *not disclose* your HIV status to them because you don’t know it? What exactly are you supposed to be withholding in this bargain?

      Personally, I’ve never understood why people have trouble talking about their HIV status among people with whom they plan to have sex. Okay, sure, it might be a deal breaker for some people, but it’s easy enough to get laid in the gay community and if I can do it with a clear conscious then I don’t have to come up with stupid rationalizations like the one Jason posted.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 2:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben
      Ben

      Maybe I am just a nicer breed than most people – but if I was ever unfortunate enough to acquire HIV, I would never sleep with a negative person again.

      My highest priority would be to never, under any circumstances, transmit the disease onwards.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 5:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      @Bailey: AIDS IS NOT like herpes you fucking idiot!

      And, fucking moron, most of the comments are ridiculing Joseph not embracing his sociopathic lunacy; of course, then you pose contrary opinions: take responsibility VS decriminalize irresponsible behavior.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bailey
      Bailey

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: Hey, you fucking idiot. You must assume that every person you have sex with has hiv.

      If you don’t, you will get hiv.

      Don’t blame them. Blame your damn self.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 8:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bailey
      Bailey

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: It’s not irresponsible behavior to not tell someone you have hiv if you are having protected sex.

      There, I said it. It’s not irresponsible to have sex with somebody without telling them. It is irresponsible to have sex with somebody without knowing your status and being protected.

      I’d venture 90% of you don’t know your status here… and hook up… regularly. Why is my hiv status criminal but yours is just dandy?

      Jun 17, 2012 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TF
      TF

      I so have to disagree with Joseph. Whether he feels stygmatized or not he has shown he doesn’t care about himself. He would rather not find out even if it could save his health as well as his own life. So I cannot side with someone who so blatantly will say “I won’t get tested, because someone will not like me, because I don’t value life anyway.” There are lots of issues not counting the legal ones attached to this. But, if I met him how would I ever trust him? He doesn’t even value his own life?

      Jun 17, 2012 at 8:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Bailey: Exactly. Enough people have died ….for us to be playing the VICTIM.”But he told me he was negative ” is the reaction of the WEAK. Most men tend to be deluded…or liars….which makes you a fool if you believe the word of a trick…..or a “boyfriend”.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      Some people here seem to be deliberately ignoring (?) how exactly HIV is transmitted.

      It’s transmitted thru barebacking. That’s pretty much it.

      If you have sex with some anonymous trick, and you don’t get around to a “disclosure” conversation (where he might lie anyway), and you DON’T have anal sex WITHOUT a condom, or if you’re the top in anal sex, or you don’t have anal sex at all, or you just have oral sex, or you just do any number of other things –

      – you have nothing really to worry about.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 10:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      I want to thank Queerty for bringing up this subject again.

      A few months ago, this subject came up here but unfortunately the comments got highjacked early on by the “monogamous,” pro-barebacking crowd, and the comments really got ridiculous.

      Queerty waited until the right time when the Iowa news became pertinent again, and I think, helped guide people in the right direction.

      I’m dismayed however to see comments here to the effect that “sex” (unspecified) with an HIV+ (knowingly or unknowingly) person causes HIV.

      Let’s be specific… Barebacking causes HIV… barebacking causes HIV… barebacking causes HIV… barebacking causes HIV…

      Jun 17, 2012 at 11:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nat
      Nat

      “I’m dismayed however to see comments here to the effect that “sex” (unspecified) with an HIV+ (knowingly or unknowingly) person causes HIV.”

      … why? An HIV- person cannot contract HIV from another HIV- person. Viruses aren’t magically summoned into an individual’s body.

      “A few months ago, this subject came up here but unfortunately the comments got highjacked early on by the “monogamous,” pro-barebacking crowd, and the comments really got ridiculous. ”

      I doubt more than 1 or 2 people here condemned non-testing, non-disclosure while endorsing barebacking. This point is nothing but a red herring to try to castigate those who take issue with men who lie about their HIV status.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nat
      Nat

      @Bailey:

      “It’s not irresponsible behavior to not tell someone you have hiv if you are having protected sex.”

      Yes, it is. Not telling or lying to someone about an STI negates their consent to the sexual act. They are not able to make an informed choice. You are under the same moral obligation as a doctor is to disclose the risk.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      @Nat: You can look it up. There are often posters here who endlessly sentimentalize monogamous (so they say), “intimate” relationships that involve barebacking. Personally, I don’t get it, I’m an oral guy myself and think anal sex is overrated.

      Btw, if you’re HIV- and get a bj from a HIV+ guy, NOTHING HAPPENS except you get a good bj! (hopefully). It’s absolutely impossible to get HIV that way.

      There was a guy – I remember his online moniker – who said he was a longtime HIV prevention volunteer in his 40s, working with younger guys (ha ha, I could guess what that meant), who rambled on & on & on about “intimacy” and the supposed importance of “monogamy” and being able to bareback with one’s partner, yadda yadda yadda. Even though he admitted, himself, to having been rather promiscuous in his youth, back when unlike now it was really dangerous, before the modern drugs came along in the ’90s. I called him on it: it was pretty obvious he & his partner were just looking for younger three-ways. Boy, did he get mad when I pointed that out.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MAP
      MAP

      @Thomas:

      if you actually knew anything about Mr. Strub’s long, relatively thankless yet diligent advocacy for people who are living with HIV or advanced HIV infections, you’d wash your own stupid mouth out with soap.

      No, far easier for you to blast blast blast. What Strub and others have tried to make suburban nellies understand for 30 years is that laws that criminalize sex aren’t aimed at, or proven to, make you safer. Laws that prevent discrimination based upon sero-status would do so, and that’s been proven in several cases in states where false allegations of attempted transmission were made, and disproved (Indiana and Iowa come to mind).

      If you truly want to make life untenable for positive people, and for gay men particularly–positive or not–then by all means continue with your little “lock ‘em up” crusade–even though no study shows that HIV positive men are any more likely to try to fuck you raw than the “negative” party boy from down the street.

      What Sean might tell you if you bothered to listen is that criminalization is simply the wedge to outlaw the sex you like to have as a gay man. But don’t listen to him, to me, or to Lambda Legal–let’s just see what happens if Mitt “I now hate gays for profit” Romney slithers into office. You thought GW Bush was bad? Dumbass, I can’t wait to see what will happen when Lambda Legal, with none of your Mary with Pearls money, tries to win anything to protect you against them.

      But hey, crucify the poz! Feel better yet, fag?

      Jun 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      @Nat: True, I don’t see anyone condemning “non-testing, non-disclosure while endorsing barebacking.” (In this thread, anyway!)

      I’m referring to those who believe that “promiscuity” (undefined) and “sex” (undefined) are the cause of HIV, when HIV in gay men really has only ONE specific cause – barebacking.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • biscuit_batter
      biscuit_batter

      everyone should watch “house of numbers”. i still get tested with my yearly physical but dont mind looking at all points of view on the matter of HIV/AIDS.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: Oh get the fuck over yourself. Aids might not be “like herpes”, but your bizarre need to perpetuate the mentality that it is the debilitating sentence most assume only furthers stigma and hysteria. You’re tha last fucking person to have a right to complain about someone else. Grow the fuck up, get a life and stop whining about a disease which has been “manageable” for the better half of the time we’ve been aware of it.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @Bailey: Fucking ditto. This “they need to disclose” bullshit ignores the reality of the epidemic in favor of people’s fantasy. Its fucking insulting to those of us who took control of our health, it usurps any rational model of prevention and it makes things much, much worse for everyone. The ten ton elephant in the living room is that these queens are freaking out because the OP just popped their balloons, not because he’s doing anything unusual.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sammy
      Sammy

      In response to “Bailey” and “Todd” – this is why we have criminal law. You say that having sex and not disclosing is a responsible way to behave. Others disagree. To settle these differences, we have elections in which we elect state legislators who make laws. The law settles the issue. If you ignore the law, you go to prison. You can tell your cellmates how responsible you were.

      If you don’t like this, you are welcome to garner support from legislators who agree with you that exposing others to HIV is responsible.

      I further think that your sex partners/victims should use the civil law and sue you for all the damage you cause. I wish that I were a theist who believed in a hell, because then I could wish you both there, but alas, any consequences for your evil will have to come in this world.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      @Sammy: “I further think that your sex partners/victims should use the civil law and sue you for all the damage you cause.” Which is ZERO in this case, of course, and would be zero in almost every case of an HIV+ person who’s being successfully treated and has “undetectable” stats.

      If you bothered to read the original article, you might see that the only ones “exposing others to HIV” are those who have NOT been tested (or treated) and who don’t know they have it in the first place. These laws encourage idiots like Joseph (in this article) to take the “logic” here to its extreme and not get tested at all.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      Whiny assed bitch that would rather blame another ,than themselves ,for not practising safe sex.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      HIV can also be spread by oral sex even without receiving the load in the oral cavity. Precum contains virus too. Very few people practise safe oral sex. Testing and disclosure is of course the only right thing to do.
      Undiagnosed HIV is deadly and early diagnosis will insure a MUCH BETTER treatment result.
      The treatment today is better with fewer side effects and high quality of life is possible WITH TREATMENT.

      So the real question is do I want to take of myself and others properly or do I just want to be able to claim a clear conscience?? The people we have sex with, I assume we care about them. If not, buy a doll instead or a masturbator. Saves a lot of time those…

      Jun 17, 2012 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Some Random Guy: Do you practise safe oral sex??? If not YOU could get infected. Stop moralising. Condom use for oral sex is what 1%? Lets be real about these things…. Please!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is negligible….but let’s not let that get in the way of a good old session of scare mongering! Be aware of the state of your gums,don’t perform oral sex if you’ve got a cut in your mouth.Don’t brush your teeth prior to a sex session..use mouthwash.Stunted bitches would rather you sat in a corner terrified…rather than living your life with as little fear as possible.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      @What the f**k: Exactly right, and you probably put it more politely than I would have, thanks! The kindest theory I can come up with is that some of these guys are so terrified of actual sex that they stay home 24/7 watching porn, and all the masturbatory exhaustion has adversely affected their mental processes.

      It’s weird that all these defenders of this law make their Solomonic pontifications about how it really IS a mitigating circumstance that the supposed “victim” did not get infected, etc. (yeah, duh, 99.9% of the time it wouldn’t happen) – while forgetting the fact that in real life, none of that was considered. Rhoades was still sentenced to 25 YEARS even though nothing happened!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @What the f**k: Negligible? Well the risk from unprotected anal sex is 0,04 or 4% . Is that negligible?? Risk is low and negligible until you catch the disease. There are well documented cases of oral transmission. Im a dentist i should know, so please stop the sanctimonious crap about stupid barebackers bringing it on themselves. Anyone performing oral sex is at risk. Queerty reported a case with oral transmission to a young porn actor some time ago. Often you never know exactly how someone was infected so “risk” is difficult to quantify
      Treatment however brings down virus count and risk of transmitting disease. Theres NO EXCUSE for not testing or not telling!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @What the f**k: How many of you guys use dental floss daily anyway? Ill tell you 5%. So its not enough to be aware of the state of your gums. It actually takes effort.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      There are NO comprehensive ,incontestable statistics regarding oral HIV transmission,although 0.04% is the suggested statistic for oral HIV transmission (4th annual aids conference 2011).What’s the bullshit about dental floss….obviously DON’T floss before you blow someone.Just because You say you’re a dentist doesn’t magically give you some greater insight into oral transmission than anyone else. And ,to be frank,your hysterical bleating and spurious claims are just that..DRIBBLING .NONSENSE.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Martin:@Some Random Guy: You’d think that you might find some sanity on the subject on a gay website…but mostly you get the thrill of watching bitter frightened ,snivelling ,inbred queens throwing about misinformation ,fear and hate like confetti.”I’m scared….you should be too!” F**k THAT!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 7:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      @Martin: ??? – Most gay people I know floss almost every day, well okay we may skip a day here and there. Where do you get the 5% figure of people-in-general-who-floss? Maybe you hang out with a lot of homeless people, is that it? Well in that case, the HIV threat would be shared needles with heroin!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Martin: And I heard from someone,who knows someone ,who went out with someone, who’s sister said that someone said that something happened…to someone!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Some Random Guy: Do you get the feeling that Martin is just here for a look see …the “you guys ” comment gave me pause….that would explain his ….”theories”‘.That and the fact that he presumes we have no concept of dental health!

      Jun 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Some Random Guy
      Some Random Guy

      @What the f**k: I think Martin was a major commenter on the thread I mentioned a awhile back – a few months ago on the Iowa, Rhoades case. I think he was one of the nervous nellies afraid of actual sex. My boyfriend and I had a lot of fun hassling him and the others. (We are in a long time “sero-discordant” relationship.)

      I’d look it up and give you the link, but it’s a beautiful evening in New England and summer is short here, gotta get out… give ‘em hell! (will check back tomorrow.)

      Jun 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      There are a lot of posts focusing on the degree of risk of various sex acts, e.g., oral sex, sex with an HIV+ person with an undetectable load, etc. All of this misses the point. The point is that it is the partner who has the right to make the call whether to take a given risk after being informed. The HIV+ person does not get to pick and choose what sex acts he thinks are sufficiently low risk; that is the partner’s call after being informed.

      Once the HIV+ person discloses, the threat of criminal liability ends (assuming no other deception, coercion or other conduct that would vitiate consent). His partner can decide for himself whether oral sex or any other kind of sex with an HIV+ person is one that he wants to take.

      Disclosure is what is required. Let your partner be informed and then make up his own mind. That is not too much to ask of anyone with a conscience. To say that these laws “criminalize HIV” or impose an undue burden is a appalling lie. Lambda Legal is way off base here and it seriously makes me question their priorities.

      Jun 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • !what the F**K!!!!
      !what the F**K!!!!

      @What the f**k: correction :that should read 4th international oral aids conference 2000

      Jun 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • !what the F**K!!!!
      !what the F**K!!!!

      @Dennis: So what you’re saying is that if a responsible adult with HIV ,who witholds his status, has protected sex with someone …..they should be charged as if they had not used protection. Regardless of the other person not becoming infected….just because there was the possibility,however infinitesimal,of exposure. And you don’t think that’s stigmatizing ?So you meet someone on a night out …you want to have sex…but before that can reach it’s conclusion you both need to provide your papers to confirm your status.As HIV is no longer a death sentence are other diseases(hepatitis B for instance or syphlis) also included on those papers.Why just HIV… why not treat Hep b and syphilis under the same laws as they can lead to death.Why not a law against carriers of chlamydia and gonorrhea for straight people …they can cause sterilization for a female. And what if someone lies about the disclosure …says you didn’t make it…what then?

      Jun 18, 2012 at 1:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bailey
      Bailey

      @Dennis: So, you are saying essentially, don’t get tested so you don’t know so you can feel better.

      You are saying to believe someone who says they are negative and/or looks ‘healthy’.

      The simple fact is that you should treat EVERY sex partner as having HIV.. because you can’t believe people and many people don’t know they have it. If you look at it like this, then there is no issue.

      Just don’t put ALL the blame on the HIV+ person. People have to take some personal responsibility for their own actions and criminalizing safer sex is not the way to do this.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 1:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • !what the F**K!!!!
      !what the F**K!!!!

      @!what the F**K!!!!: HPV can lead to cervical cancer….perhaps carriers of that disease should have a disclosure law too.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bailey
      Bailey

      How about a disclosure law about herpes. A disclosure law before kissing someone. Yes, let’s throw someone in jail for 25 years for a kiss.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 2:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      How about a disclosure law for c**ts and the deluded…to protect those poor souls that can’t spot them a mile off!

      Jun 18, 2012 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @What the f**k: Its like i said moron. THERE ARE NO RELIABLE INFORMATION. That does not make it safe. Oral transmission is a FACT whether it suits your purpose or not. Like i said queerty reported on a case some time back with a gay-for-pay porn actor who had only done oral on a seropositive co-actor.

      About dental floss: no daily flossing means chronic infection in gums in the interdental area (which is a large area in total). This tissue is essentially an open bleeding wound with very limited barrier function against viral infection

      Most people want to make a good impression and are reluctant to admit short comings. So they say they floss. Any dentist can easily see that they dont. Gay people are not that much better.

      My issue here is with people who claim anal barebacking is the only way to get infected, and that you consequently dont need to get tested, because you dont put people at risk because they should have used condoms during anal sex. That is not true and while you feel the porn actors experience is “negligible” he might think different.

      You clearly have an emotional bias about these things as demonstrated by your rant here on this thread.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 5:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @!what the F**K!!!!: Why have an oral international aids conference if the problem did not exist?? You tell me…

      Jun 18, 2012 at 5:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Some Random Guy: You “think” i was a major commenter and a nervous nelly? Well if you looked it up you would see that that you are wrong.

      It is of course much more convenient to attack my person than my arguments as you are clearly not a medical person. Its sad really and says a lot about the credibility which should be attached to your statements.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 5:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bailey
      Bailey

      @Martin: “That does not make it safe. Oral transmission is a FACT whether it suits your purpose or not. Like i said queerty reported on a case some time back with a gay-for-pay porn actor who had only done oral on a seropositive co-actor.”

      Um… I think there are still many, many questions about the validity of this claim. Likely, he conveniently ‘forgot’ many non-business related encounters… just sayin’.

      Oral transmission is also extremely rare to be considered an extreme abberation… also just sayin’.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 6:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Martin: At No point have I intimated ,prick,that there is no need to get tested if not indulging in unprotected sex.The “bias” you suggest I display is towards reality ,fairness and compassion.What do YOU suggest my “bias” stems from?Would you be inferring perhaps that I myself am positive?Because having recently received test results,in the past month…and tested even though I religiously practice safe sex….it blows your intimation apart,@rsehole.You know zip about my dental health and cannot make assertions about whether I would lie about flossing…I mean REALLY!??!Although I have come across dentists that have not deserved the title!HIV prevention is about research and dialogue in the hope of managing and possibly finding a cure for a truly awful disease …..why wouldn’t health care professionals and activists keep that dialogue open and active.I did not suggest that you could not contract the disease through oral sex.However,the risk is miniscule ..0.04%….TIT!

      Jun 18, 2012 at 6:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @What the f**k: And by the way…I’m attacking your argument…let’s just get that clear….moron.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 6:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      How is it that the one example of supposed oral transmission you can produce is a…..sorry Queerty, tabloidesque story of a pornstar? And your hysteria about not flossing each and every day is laughable….It’s a wonder there are any queens with a tooth left in their heads…if your horror fiction is to be believed.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 7:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      Correction: Minuscule

      Jun 18, 2012 at 9:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @What the f**k: HIV prevention is not only about research and dialogue as you put it, its even more about practise of sensible behaviour. Getting tested is sensible behaviour, and so is telling your partner.
      Some people dont tell partners because it restricts the choice of partners. That is extremely selfish bordering on evil. These people cannot excuse their behaviour with practise of condom use during anal sex alone, because oral transmission cannot be ruled out.

      The perfect oral health conditions you dream about are rarely achieved, and some measure of inflammation is ubiquitous. Even with perfect flossing, restauration margins will still dispose to inflammation. It is a fact. Inflamed gums are NOT an effective barrier to viral infection, however your smelly teeth can still remain attached for quite a long time even in the absense of oral hygiene.

      Your emotional bias screams out of your comments, which are pitched with emotion and rage. It doesnt exactly spell “detached”.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tonic
      Tonic

      Even IF he never infects another person, this is a HIGHLY dangerous attitude.

      I had a friend who tested POZ but was too embarrassed to tell anyone or get any treatment. Years later at age 30, since he hadn’t gotten any meds, he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with brain lesions and given 4 weeks to live. Apparently my friend figured you can just get meds once symptoms start showing. Too bad – he’s been gone for 4 years now.

      In other words, EVEN IF YOU’RE A SELFISH PRICK and care about no one but yourself, you should STILL know your HIV status. Get tested!

      Jun 18, 2012 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      I never said I was detached from the issues and you’re dancing on very thin ice here…. stick to the point …avoid supposition and speculation ….and if you want a debate stop trying to fudge the crux of the matter by inferring points I have not raised. If it helps you clear your mind trawl through the comments I’ve made on this post so you can fully and comprehensively respond,without trying to CREATE a narrative for me….I ‘m loud and clear …..and you’re muffled….inaudible ,in fact.Try again …..

      Jun 18, 2012 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @What the f**k: My mind is clear, yours is clouded by anger. It is not supposition read your own posts. Trying to patronise me (ROFL) isnt really helping you at all, and I guess your claim in post 115 about attacking my arguments and not my person only kept its “validity” to your next post.

      If you want to die of undiagnosed AIDS by all means do, but dont infect others or try to excuse delusion and selfishness. Testing is in everyones interest.
      Of course putting others health and the public health at risk with your eyes open should not go unpunished and your sorry excuses and ranting only demonstrate that you are up to your ears in this one way or the other.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      While I believe that everyone should be tested and know their status, I know first hand what stigma and discrimination related to HIV are and that is why I can understand the point of those that don’t want to take the test. This is not 1988, when friends would rally around you to bring support… people in the gay community are very nasty towards people with HIV, in hook up sites we are constantly insulted and ostraziced with comments such as “HIV neg, and what to stay that way” or “you should be too”… well, use a condom or just don’t sign in into hook up sites! People is nasty towards us for been honest, so, as a result, people now are avoiding the test. Criminalization, estigma and discrimination are the real enemy. The person trying to protect himself from discrimination and prosecution is not the one to blame for his desicion. our own gay “community” and the efforts to criminalize HIV without considering the hige responsibility that the negative person has to take care of himself, are to blame. Everyone is responsible for their own health. Am I my brother’s keeper?

      Jun 18, 2012 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      Are you stupid….I think we can confirm that you most definitely ARE stupid….either that or autistic ….maybe that’s why you’re “rolling on the floor laughing”….You have no points to make …you think that if you stay here long enough talking ABSOLUTE DRIVEL that makes you right.You are the one who called me a moron(110)….I just returned it…and threw in a few more for good measure.Where do you get off trying to imply that…I would deliberately infect anyone…..that I’m HIV. Positive…that I have “smelly teeth????Honestly….You really are a fool…

      Jun 18, 2012 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @Danny: “The person trying to protect himself from discrimination and prosecution is not the one to blame for his desicion. our own gay “community” and the efforts to criminalize HIV without considering the hige responsibility that the negative person has to take care of himself, are to blame. Everyone is responsible for their own health. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

      You dont mind being your brother’s undoing, because he should have taken care of himself better? You are free of blame and responsibility because someone snubbed you in the past?

      Most decisions to have unprotected sex are not taken with cool deliberance, but taken while tired, excited (read: horny), under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being without any condoms. Some seropositive guys wouldn’t care a lot since they are already positive (although they can get infected with other subtypes of HIV too), and wouldn’t care to restrain themselves for someone else’s sake. “They should have taken care of themselves. Its their own responsibility etc”

      For these scumbags prison must be held up as a counter motive to self-indulgence at someone elses expense.
      You deserve to be shunned, not for your serostatus but for your un-caring and selfish attitude.

      I never discriminate positive patients, im always empathic and caring, because telling me that they are positive shows that they care about me.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin
      Martin

      @What the f**k: I seem to have hit a nerve here… I must be pretty close to my mark… You only degrade yourself by ranting, you sad person

      Jun 18, 2012 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      @Martin: Then the problem are not people living with HIV, the problem are drunks and horny/careless druggies. It is too easy to find an scapegoat for the problems associated with HIV/AIDS, and we, poz people are easy target of people like you. I do take care of myself, I am in a monogamous relationship with a poz man and I am not a drunk or a druggie. It angers me that, in forums like this, all the responsibility seems to fall on the positive individual… and I ask, what about the responsibility of the presumptive negative? why are we paying the broken dishes, just because someone else was careless? why not punishing carelessness in stead? Negative people remain in their high horse and claim no responsibility in the sexual act, and frankly, that is completely wrong.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 11:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      Now now Martin,….you’re bullshit is transparent…..try again….this time bring some Relevant points with you….

      Jun 18, 2012 at 11:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eddie
      Eddie

      I’m going to keep this short, and therefore save you all the preachiness. I am a HIV positive man. I am practicing abstinence as a personal choice because I don’t want to cause anyone else the pain that I have been through over the past three years. But that’s my choice. If anyone knows this Joseph guy, please stop having sex with him. At least until he gets tested. This whole ignorance is bliss stuff is not acceptable in 2012. It wasn’t acceptable in 1992. I haven’t had the time to read all of the comments left here, but I assume I’m not the first one to point out that just because you don’t know you’re positive doesn’t mean that you aren’t positive and infecting others. No one know’s for sure that they’re positive until they get tested.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      @Martin: @Martin: Then the problem are not people living with HIV, the problem are drunks and horny/careless druggies. It is too easy to find an scapegoat for the problems associated with HIV/AIDS, and we, poz people are easy target of people like you. I do take care of myself, I am in a monogamous relationship with a poz man and I am not a drunk or a druggie. It angers me that, in forums like this, all the responsibility seems to fall on the positive individual… and I ask, what about the responsibility of the presumptive negative? why are we paying the broken dishes, just because someone else was careless? why not punishing carelessness in stead? Negative people remain in their high horse and claim no responsibility in the sexual act, and frankly, that is completely wrong.

      Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/first-person-why-i-refuse-to-get-tested-for-hiv-20120616/#ixzz1yA7tQky2

      Jun 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Martin: C’mon Martin …..let’s see you hit a bullseye.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @!what the F**K!!!!:

      You asked:

      “So what you’re saying is that if a responsible adult with HIV ,who witholds his status, has protected sex with someone …..they should be charged as if they had not used protection. Regardless of the other person not becoming infected…”

      That is exactly what I am saying and more importantly, it is what the law says. It isn’t your call to determine what the “right” level of risk for your partner. Your partner gets to decide that. If you have material information, i.e., that you are HIV+, you have to tell him so he can make an informed decision as to whether to proceed.

      If the risk is very low b/c of the activity you have planned or for whatever reason, you are perfectly free to make that argument to him. He may agree with you and have sex. In that case, there is no criminality, even if there is transmission. But if you withhold the information because *you* have decided that the risk is acceptable for him and that he doesn’t need to know, then you are on the hook for criminal prosecution regardless of whether there is transmission. If convicted, I do think that a lesser sentence is warranted if there is no actual transmission. But you’ll still be a convicted felon and you should still do some time.

      Bottom line: HIV+ people are people and they respond to incentives and disincentives. They have incentives to do the wrong thing, i.e., withhold information – avoiding difficult conversations, avoiding the possible loss of an opportunity for sex. That is why the law needs to be there to counter those incentives. Better to have some awkward moments and perhaps miss out on sex, but nothing compared to time in state prison.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      @Dennis: “Your partner gets to decide that. If you have material information, i.e., that you are HIV+, you have to tell him so he can make an informed decision as to whether to proceed.”

      Part of the issue with these laws in many states, is that both consent and the act of informing a potential sex partner are not easy to prove. There is a case in GA in which the positive individual notified the presumptive negative partner about his status; even when the positive guy had his status very clear an visible on his manhunt page… yet, the judge sent the positive guy to jail because he told him that it was criminal to have sex in his condition. Bottom line, no one is safe under these stupid laws criminalizing people living with HIV. Even if you ask the presumptive negatives to sign an affidavit stating the agreement to have sex, conservative activist judges will always find a way to push an anti-sex agenda.

      Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/first-person-why-i-refuse-to-get-tested-for-hiv-20120616/#ixzz1yANcaBT7

      Jun 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James Krellenstein
      James Krellenstein

      I can see why many people would initially support HIV criminal “transmission” laws. Indeed, before I gave much thought to the laws, I (as a young sexually active HIV- gay guy) also supported them. But when one actually thinks about the laws, the moral and ethical implications of the laws, and their total (lack) of efficacy, it becomes rather clear that criminal transmission is a serious abuse of the criminal justice system and NOT an effective public health policy.

      Perhaps the most compelling reasons to support the repeal of these laws is the fact that criminal transmission does discourage testing. In an ideal world, every person would get tested regularly, would always have safe sex every time and every positive person would disclose their status to every sex partner. Under the current status quo, however, simply knowing one’s status is a significant risk, because even if you disclose, if you use a condom, even if there is no transmission, you can still be prosecuted. Now, of course, everyone of these statutes require that you do NOT disclose in order to be prosecuted, but how, short of a legal document (and even then, as @Danny demonstrated is not good enough) can you prove that you disclosed? It is simply a matter of he said/she said (or much more likely he said/he said), and if the judge or jury does not believe you, you are looking at in many cases, a significant prison sentence.

      Jun 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Neil
      Neil

      Don’t most or at least some of these laws require willful intent to infect with HIV? At least that’s what I’ve ready that it’s not simply enough to prove that someone did not disclose their status but that it has to be proven that they actually intended to infect the person with HIV. Maybe laws in different states are different?

      Jun 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • oh lordy
      oh lordy

      When posts like this are written, a couple of things happen:

      1. Guys who have unprotected sex (in relationships or not), who are afraid of HIV, get nervous and upset. It reminds us that we are susceptible to this disease and that we can get it by doing something we greatly enjoy. No one likes to feel that way, so we vocalize our support of the controlling of the “scary” variable: The HIV + body. We reason that if all the poz guys would just get tested and be honest about their status and “serosort”, all us neg guys will be safer. While there’s some statistical truth to this, there’s no way to control for the variable of human emotions like pride, shame, and lust. Things happen, mistakes are made.

      2. Poz guys and poz advocates, who are afraid of being marginalized, get nervous and upset. Since this is a disease that is spread largely by behavior, those who are infected are often treated like they brought their situation on themselves. Many of them have, but let’s never lose sight of the fact that what they “did” to “bring this on themselves” we, for the most part, have all done. Some of the poz guys are relentless barebackers who, indeed, knew what they were getting into and certainly have the medical problems to show for it. Some of the poz guys out there had sex with one infected guy. Just one. Some were infected by their partners. A poz guy looks out at the world that doesn’t want him around because he’s gay. Then he looks at the gay community, where he is supposed to be welcome, and they, too, don’t want him around because he’s HIV positive. I guess in many ways I can understand why poz guys don’t want to share their status. I don’t agree with them and it makes me afraid (see #1), but would you want everyone to treat you like an outsider? So, in response to this threat, poz guys and poz advocates bristle at the idea of criminalization of hiv transmission.

      Let’s be honest about what is happening out there:

      1. We’re barebacking more
      2. We’re not necessarily asking about status
      3. We’re not necessarily sharing status
      4. We’re not getting tested
      5. Guys who don’t know their status are saying that they’re negative
      6. Guys who have undetectable viral loads are saying that they’re negative

      All of the above conspires to infect you with HIV. HIV is a distinct possibility with even one of the above in the equation.

      So, whose fault is it?:

      1. The neg guys
      2. The poz guys
      3. The unknown guys
      4. The undetectable guys

      All of the above has the ability to make mistakes. All of the above has the ability to lie. HIV is a distinct possibility with all of the above, even the neg guys. Don’t believe it? Ask even the most liberal HIV testing specialist and they will tell you that without a realtime PCR, you still have at least a 2-3 week window from last exposure for most HIV tests.

      Also, for those of us who are afraid that HIV+ guys will knowingly spread the virus, in study after study of gay men who have sex with men, HIV seropositive individuals are more likely to REDUCE the exposure level of partners of negative or unknown status by behavior modification and lower-risk sexual activities.

      Full disclosure: I am an HIV negative (by last test) guy in his late 20’s who has had unprotected sex on occasion.

      Jun 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean Strub
      Sean Strub

      @Neil

      No, they do not. The California statute defines intent more narrowly, requiring some proof of a genuine intent to harm, but almost all of the other states with HIV specific statutes equate intent with the failure to disclose. The interpretation of the intent part of the Iowa statute is a key part of Nick Rhoades’ appeal. To most people, the use of a condom is evidence of the intent NOT to expose; but in Iowa, using a condom is not a defense and simply not disclosing–even in the absence of risk–has been considered intentional exposure.

      Your misperception is common, which is why despite some of the nasty comments, I welcome the discussion reflected in the comments above because it provides an opportunity for those who want to know the facts about these statutes, how they are applied and the effect they have on the epidemic to be better understood. http://www.hivlawandpolicy.org has an excellent report on the states with HIV specific statutes, providing the exact text of the statute as well as some analysis as to how it has been applied in that state. I think Lambda’s site also has a resource listing all the statutes.

      Jun 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dennis
      Dennis [Different person #2 using similar name]

      @James Krellenstein:

      Transmission of HIV is not criminal. Failure to disclose coupled with acts leading to potential exposure is the criminal conduct. Don’t be mislead by the deceitful rhetoric of people like Sean Strub who casually talk about “criminalizing HIV.”

      @ Sean Strub:

      If you read through the comments here, it is very clear that people are talking about disclosure, not intentional transmission. Don’t assume that you have the support of the gay community and that those who oppose you are simply mis-identifying the issue. We know exactly what the issue is and we know that you are on the wrong side of it. Hopefully, one day you’ll be able to put the lives of others ahead of your ideology.

      @Danny:

      If there was a bad case with a terrible judge, that should be rectified. If the judge ignored the facts and the law, there is a good basis for an appeal in that case. There are also cases of rape and other sexual misconduct where proof is an issue and sometimes innocent people get caught up in a prosecution. That doesn’t mean we solve the problem by legalizing rape and sexual assault. It means we have police and prosecutors do a better job of assessing evidence and dropping those cases that don’t have merit.

      Jun 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David K
      David K

      @oh123: I am 100% in agreement with you, I am really at a loss for words and that doesn’t happen very often with me.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean Strub
      Sean Strub

      @Dennis:

      Dennis,

      My point is that most of these prosecutions have nothing to do with intention; they are about whether or not the person disclosed prior to engaging in intimate behaviors with another person. So I think we agree on that.

      But intimate behavior doesn’t necessarily mean exposure to HIV; most of these prosecutions do not take into account whether or not the degree of risk of transmission. That’s why people like Nick Rhoades, who had an undetectable viral load and used a condom, and many others have been prosecuted.

      The appeal of Nick’s case, filed by Lambda, focuses in part on challenging how the courts have defined “intentional exposure” in the state. The brief is available on their website and is an interesting read.

      Part of what is under debate, once one gets through the fog of misinformation and misunderstanding, is the extent to which it is the responsibility of people with HIV to protect those who are not taking responsibility for protecting themselves. Being HIV negative is not an entitlement, it is a preferred health status that one must respect, value and protect.

      I don’t think anyone should put a partner at risk of harm and when there is a meaningful chance of transmission, I think someone with HIV (or any other sexually transmitted pathogen) has a moral and ethical obligation to disclose their status. But defining what is a meaningful risk is somewhat subjective (although I’m still trying to find a documented case of when someone who was verified undetectable transmitted the virus to someone sexually) and, in any case, we don’t make every moral or ethical lapse criminal.

      And the profoundly stigmatizing and sometimes dangerous consequences of disclosure cannot be ignored in this discussion.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 1:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      @Bailey: No you are still a fucking idiot, idiot.

      I am positive, fucktard, and have been for 30 years! And yes, I do tell guys, so they can decide for themselves what it is they want to do.

      Being positive, undetectable viral load and playing safe IS NOT the same thing as being positive, undetectable viral load, playing safe AND disclosing + status. Undetectable viral load means 50 copies/cc x 5000/cc/body = 250,000 copies. And it only takes 1 copy to infect. Yes the risk is low, but that is a decision for the risk taker not the risk giver.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      @Todd: Eat shit, shithead.

      Assholes like you are the ones who spread the disease just cause you’re horny. Fuck that; if you have the balls to fuck another guy, have the balls to say whether you carry HIV, and let him decide for himself if some stranger fucktard like you is worth risking infection.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: Oh grow the fuck up you sanctimonious asshat. I haven’t spread it to anyone. Between condoms and undetectable status, the people I sleep with are more likely to be crushed by blue ice falling from an airplane than infected by me.

      For the record, I *do* disclose to everyone, mostly because I don’t want some crazed nutjob like the losers on this website to come after me when they inevitably test positive. And yes, many of them will inevitably test positive. Anyone who thinks that disclosure is an effective way to protect agains the virus is setting himself up for a rude awakening. Just because I disclose doesn’t mean I agree with these laws, and just because someone disagrees with these laws (or doesn’t disclose) doesn’t mean they spread the disease. They’re separate issues. It is only because people like you keep reinforcing the idea that they’re one and the same that people continue to operate under the delusion that disagreement=nondisclosure=infection=murder.

      Its fucking hilarious how you jump down the throats of everyone who dares to question the orthodox view of HIV as anti poz, but go on and on with scientifically unobserved and statistically unlikely accounts about “one copy of the virus being risky”, or jump on some bandwagon about something being “a risk” when there is no realistic risk to be had. You’re one of the worst stigmatizers on this website. You make things worse by validating wrongheaded ideas and fostering the very paranoia which keeps us down. You’re every gay person who complains that they “hate guys who don’t act like men”. You’re every black person who thinks they’re being cute by calling themself an oreo.

      Disclosure isn’t about “someone else’s right”. We don’t disclose when we have any other STD, including HCV and HPV which each kill more people than HIV. We don’t disclose to everyone we walk near if we have TB, despite the fact that you’re more likely to get TB from a casual acquaintance than HIV from a condomed, undetectable trick. We don’t disclose our driving records to our passengers or our credit scores to our lovers. All of these things are “relevant risks”, but we don’t demand people talk about them. Why? Because in every other area, we concede that there is some small amount of risk, and we admit that sometimes people have to take responsibility for their own decisions. HIV and “disclosure” are special areas, detached from the actual complications of the virus or the liklihood of infection.

      HIV Disclosure hasn’t been about anything noble since it became apparent that condoms were an effective way to stop the disease. Its about forcing people to wear a scarlet letter, ghettoizing those who are infected and covering the whole thing up with a cheap veneer of “personal harm reduction” or whatever the discrimination-disguised-as-prevention crowd wants to whitewash it as. No one has trumpeted this horn as loudly, or as uncle-tomishly as you, and for that, I’m rightfully calling you out on the carpet as a jerk and a bigot of the highest order. You’re not “saving anyone”, you’re validating discrimination, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Todd
      Todd

      @Sammy: My “victims” are you fucking kidding me you precious, selfish bigot? I don’t have victims. There are no infections. Are you honestly trying to use the existence of a law to validate the law’s existence? Seriously? That’s fucking dumb, even for this website. As a gay man, who likely complains about a lack of protections for gay people, its also astonishingly hypocritical.

      Look up “Tyranny of the majority”. If you can’t apply the concept to the issue of disclosure, you’re beyond help.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • What the f**k
      What the f**k

      @Todd: Total agreement here!

      Jun 20, 2012 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john
      john

      okay I got here late. So in a perfect world we would all be tested. Great now lets say you come up pos and like a huge part of the US population you have no health care? Tell me again about the great treatment thats out there? And who will be paying for it should you work a job with no bennys? knowledge is great but what are poor people and those with no insurance supose to do? Please spare me the oh there are programs out there to help. less programs now then there were at the start and meds are anything but cheap. having lived through the 80s and 90s i see how we have gone from cure to treatment the drug companies have made bank on our sick and dead, the rage has vanished. People arec strugling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, until you address this you miss a huge point of what is going on out there

      Jun 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kris
      Kris

      Not disclosing or learning your HIV status isn’t fighting injustice; it’s being an asshole: http://www.popingay.com/post/25520010434/not-disclosing-hiv-status-isnt-fighting-injustice

      Jun 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      I am actually appalled that someone, anyone supports this criminalization of HIV. Some very uninformed people here truly believe that it is about “intentional transmission” (or whatever the fuck it is called.) Conservative judges have the last word on whatever happen to the individual, consent, notification…. none of that matter to those judges, who are nothing but politicians with the power to convict people based on their personal (and often homophobic) beliefs.

      It also horrify me to see so many self appointed spokespersons for the Gay community… there is no “community” there has never been, all we have in common is what we like and what we want.

      As I said before, the responsibility of staying negative is the SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE NEGATIVE PERSON… Don’t want HIV? Don’t fucking fuck! but please don’t put your attention deficit and your laziness on the positive individual… you can not make good decisions while intoxicated, then don’t fucking get intoxicated MORON! If you got HIV, it is your problem and your problem ONLY! don’t try to find scapegoats to justify your stupidity.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      @Dennis: the fundamental problem is equating rape and sexual misconduct with the ignorance and carelessness of the negative person. You make it sound like everything can be “rectified” good luck with that! That doesn’t happen. The responsibility of staying negative rest on the negative individual only, end of story… the rest is an attempt to scapegoat and blame the positive individual for the stupidity and negligence of the presumptive negative individual.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @john: First, these programs are still in existence, and nominally functional, so few are dying in the streets yet. If you worried about what will happen once these programs have collapsed, I’d recommend lobbying for EVERYONE’S access to healthcare, instead of focusing on bailing out doomed HIV programs. I’d also recommend vigorously enforcing The spirit of intellectual property laws so that dozens of these medicines go off patent in the next decade(s) as scheduled, allowing generics to be sold for next to nothing an making their overall expense a moot point.

      None of this has anything to do with the issue we are currently addressing though, and I’m confused why you brought it up but for another Queertyesque attempt to casually link HIV to utter doom.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Kris: Absolutely stunning. In one post, he complains that gays are the victims of discrimination. In another, he supports a special set of laws designed to marginalize people with HIV, and supports it by selectively ignoring the reality of risk. Wow, utterly F*a*B*u*L*o*U*S. Someone looking for an example of what is wrong with gay culture need look no further than this dude’s blog.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob
      Rob [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Kris: Demanding that other people put your health before themselves isn’t “justice”, sweetheart. Calling them assholes and comparing them to rapists is childish, and an an offense to everyone who has actually been sexually violated. It is amazing how small some queers can be. Grow the fuck up. If one good thing has come out of this epidemic, its that it has snapped some of us out of the cutesy, Peter Pan world we lived in.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      I am actually appalled that someone, anyone supports this criminalization of HIV. Some very uninformed people here truly believe that it is about “intentional transmission” (or whatever the fuck it is called.) Conservative judges have the last word on whatever happen to the individual, consent, notification…. none of that matter to those judges, who are nothing but politicians with the power to convict people based on their personal (and often homophobic) beliefs.
      It also horrify me to see so many self appointed spokespersons for the Gay community… there is no “community” there has never been, all we have in common is what we like and what we want.
      As I said before, the responsibility of staying negative is the SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE NEGATIVE PERSON… Don’t want HIV? Don’t fucking fuck! but please don’t put your attention deficit and your laziness on the positive individual… you can not make good decisions while intoxicated, then don’t fucking get intoxicated MORON! If you got HIV, it is your problem and your problem ONLY! don’t try to find scapegoats to justify your stupidity.

      Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/first-person-why-i-refuse-to-get-tested-for-hiv-20120616/#ixzz1yOGtHGrm

      Jun 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kris
      Kris [Different person #1 using similar name]

      In Canada, where I live, in recent memory Cases charged for aggravated sexual assault based on intentional transmission have been heterosexual men infecting women. But beside the point, my point is that everyone has the right to make informed decisions. There’s inherent risk in all sexual activity, but placing the onus on the negative person is as wrong as assuming all men who have sex with men have HIV. Safer sex is only that: safer, not completely foolproof. But hiding or intentionally avoiding knowing isn’t fair to your partner or to yourself. If you disclose and they have an unreasonable reaction then they’re the asshole. But the only consent is informed consent.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Kris: you’re willfully ignoring the reality that not all behaviors transmit HIv, and not all HIV+ are infectious. Further, the only time “safer” sex is just “ER” is when we’re tryin to defend these stupid fucking laws. Someone who reacts to a “disclosure” isn’t being a jerk, they’re behaving as designed, in a way that isolates the positive, creates motivation to remain silent and avoid the test. Isolating the remote possibility of HIV exposure above other remote possibilities begs the question of what these laws are really about.

      Jun 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kris
      Kris

      [Part of this is directed to comments driven to my blog from here.]

      To the person who acquired HIV through rape, I am so sorry that happened to you. Violent physical rape is a true violation and a serious crime. But can you honestly say to someone who was unconscious, too drunk, too provocatively dressed, too promiscuous that there is “actual rape” and then whatever violation happened to them? No one deserves any of it, and to essentially say that someone is asking for it is dismissive and cruel.

      What really upsets me is the level of disdain there seems to be for your sexual partners. If you disclose your status to someone and they decide to have sex without protection, then that is no fault of yours. And if you disclose and they react like you had the plague, who’s the asshole then? There shouldn’t be shame in sex, and there shouldn’t be shame in HIV.

      But I find this “well they deserved it” attitude hard to understand. You might call it naive, or entitled, but I don’t think it’s entitled to want people to respect one another. It’s respectful to disclose. If someone acts like an asshole about it, you probably wouldn’t want to be having sex with them anyways. But if you treat your sexual partners with such disdain as to say you’ll do what you want and to hell with other people, at the risk of sounding trite that’s just plain inconsiderate. And if you think that little of the people you’re having sex with, I think that’s a really sad way to live.

      I just think you owe other people, and YOURSELF, that measure of respect, and if you really think that way about others, then I don’t think I’m the one who should be ashamed.

      Jun 21, 2012 at 1:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Kris: Don’t be a twit. Saying “there shouldn’t be shame in HIV” while endorsing a law that adds shame to HIV is absurd. This would be forgivable, but for the fact that you’ve intentionally overlooked a point that has been repeatedly brought up on that website: People who are medicated do not pose a reasonable risk of transmission. The fact that we single out people with HIV over all the other obscure risks that are posed in the course of our day begs the question of what our actual motivation is in these types of laws. The answer is that it is a form of legal persecution.

      That you have the audacity to invoke to words like “respect” and “rape” to describe your own perceived victimization by a group of people who are hounded, humiliated and degraded for refusing to go with that persection is sickening. It speaks of a narcissism and self-centeredness that would be considered sociopathological were it not so common. As it stands, the fact that you, as a gay man, can complain about social bias in some capacities while endorsing it in others just makes you a hypocrite.

      Another fact that you’ve selectively neglected is WHY the author of the Queerty article refused to get tested: He felt the social stigma against a positive result was so problematic as to make the testing situation something to avoid. Ironically, this means that he is now more infectious, and more risky. The stigma you fearfully endorse has created that which you fear. The irony in this instance is annihalating.

      Jun 21, 2012 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kris
      Kris

      This paper provides the more nuanced back-and-forth of the issue, and although it comes to a different conclusion than I, I think it’s worth a read for the thought process behind both sides: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:uFtlXWrnof8J:www.ruor.uottawa.ca/en/bitstream/handle/10393/19876/22-Symington–HIV_Exposure_as_Assault.pdf?sequence%3D33+&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShJ103GVb-dzrLlvQAD45jgnNwmIFP7iimBbRkUsIYRQp-g1RYak84G6jgJ56NbuABL-ogtUxMTMMYXYzUG-hDZXNE00uGQsJo1Z26ndk1XkKJ_oKQitLmTZut8Y6xftoj_4ik3&sig=AHIEtbQrDnQtjiF_qyq0gzMn1LINF9w9aA&pli=1

      I particularly like the analysis of the “crime of knowledge”, and placing it in a context including concerns of gender and heterosexual relationships looks at HIV as more than a gay man’s problem.

      I may want to more deeply reconsider the idea brought up that “”not all morally repugnant behaviour amounts to an offence”. I still think that failing to disclose *significant risk* (significant being the operative word) makes you a jerk to your sexual partner. And if I’m hypocritical you are equally hypocritical when placing a person’s right to avoid stigma against a person’s right to bodily integrity and sexual agency. The law deserves examination, but the spirit of the law is in defence of that right.

      Jun 21, 2012 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      @Kris: This whole thing is an attempt form HIV neg. individuals to abandon all notion of personal responsibility. The same way a woman is responsible for her own body and her decisions about it, any other person is responsible from avoiding HIV. The HIV positive individual bears no responsibility whatsoever when we talk about a relationship between consenting adults. This laws are crafted to scare people form considering sex, the same way many other campaign that claim to be about “HIV Prevention” in reality are a response to the cry of the most conservative sectors of society, that hate the notion of consensual sex. All these laws are bound to do is to scare HIV positive individuals from pursuing a normal sexual life, in a time in which there are studies showing the efficacy of medication in reducing not only viral load, but also the possibility of transmission. These laws offer no protection to the HIV positive individual against false accusations, the basic principle is “if you are HIV positive and you had some kind of contact with the presumptive HIV negative individual, then you are guilty by default.” Some one before answer to me saying that this “can be avoided by appealing the rule of a judge” well, in many states, like TX, proven innocents are executed often because we know that the system is slow and in many cases, the state attorney general prevent the appeal from happening. Not until there is a provision to protect the HIV positive individual from false accusations, these laws are more a problem than a solution and are pushing people not to get tested.

      Jun 22, 2012 at 1:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Theo Smart
      Theo Smart

      I’ll use my full name as well. I’ve been an HIV prevention and treatment activist/writer/educator going on almost 25 years now. I’m HIV negative myself, not really because I’ve been more careful than everyone else… probably a mixture of luck, genes, or because my back is too hairy and I’m bad at cruising — I don’t know. But I’m only mentioning it to put the rest of what I’m saying in context, if anyone bothers to read these comments to the end.

      First off, I am not entirely convinced that Joseph is a real person (notice, he doesn’t respond to any of these comments?). So how many of you have considered that he might just simply be a character someone made up to illustrate a point, and, um, provoke discussion? I think that point might be — regardless of whether you think he is a selfish sociopath or not — that there are people like him making similar reckless choices — not really consciously TRYING to put others at risk, a little in denial about it, postponing getting testing maybe partly because it makes it easier to remain in denial and ALSO now, as this Joseph person says, because there are a surprisingly large number of irrational prosecutions of HIV-positive people for transmission and even ‘non-disclosure,’ where it is essentially one person’s work against the other. HIV-transmission doesn’t have to occur for ‘the victim’ to press charges; and contrary to what some have written, intent doesn’t have be proven. The HIV-positive person doesn’t have to have had bareback sex or practice any high-risk behaviour. HIV-positive people have even been charged for attempted murder for spitting, which couldn’t possibly be putting anyone at risk.

      25 years in prison for a case in which there was no HIV transmission… where condoms were used consistently? How does that compare to sentences for rapists and murderers?

      What’s worse, is that the burden of proof tends to fall upon the defendant in many of these cases — and there’s often no way to really prove who became infected first. In some places, your supposedly monogamous partner could become infected first, then infect you, and then press charges against you for infecting him. Is that rational?

      The point is, these laws/prosecutions don’t protect us… they are counter-productive and actually increase our risk. I think that was the point Joseph (or whoever came up with the idea of Joseph) was trying to make.

      We are all responsible for our own protection — but I doubt there are that many commenters here who have a perfect safe sex track record…. That makes a lot of us scared, but it should also make us circumspect. A lot of us have slipped up at one point or another… maybe when we were kids in love and too trusting, maybe when we were drinking/partying too much, maybe one night after our partner dumped us and we had no self-esteem, or so depressed that we didn’t care whether we lived or died.

      Unless each of you rushed out and got tested before you ever had sex again, you are just like Joseph. And what was it iDavid said about a blowtorch… well, let him who has never ‘sinned’ be the first to light their blowtorch up.

      And think about this… by taking antiretroviral therapy, women living with HIV can profoundly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to their infant… but there is still a risk of transmission. Are all of you saying that if she chooses to have a child, adheres to the best preventive options available, but the child becomes infected anyway, that she should be arrested, made a spectacle in court and put into prison?

      Look over the comments and the level of anger that people are expressing. I think a lot of people when they first become infected become really angry, and may even think they know who infected them, blame them and seek revenge… but they are not always right, and a lot of times they blame the wrong person. Maybe one day, that person could be you. Imagine your life, your relations with co-workers, neighbours and family, after the newspapers and TV have labelled you as ‘the HIV monster.’ Just picture it for a second.

      Now about Sean Strub: A moral defect defending wilful transmission? You REALLY do not know the man… he has been serving our community heroically for decades, and having lost virtually ALL his peers during the height of AIDS, is the LAST PERSON to want to see ANYONE become infected. I know he believes that if we create an environment where HIV positive people don’t fear arrest, eviction, loss of work, and hatred — and can access effective treatment and support — it will be SAFE for people to live openly with HIV and transmission will drop dramatically. Google him.

      Jun 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tami Haught
      Tami Haught

      @Theo Smart: THANK YOU Leo Smart!!! Well said, and I apprecite it. I agree with everything you have written. Thank you.

      Jun 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Winkleman
      Jon Winkleman

      My gut reaction is this comment sounds like a troll pushing buttons rather than someone talking about the real reasons they do or do not get tested. I agree with everything Sean Strube and Theo Smart wrote but I’d like to add my own anecdotal experiences. That is that getting tested regularly is a component of prevention.

      I have known many gay men over the years who refuse to get tested though never as a protest or defense against HIV criminalization (one reason I suspect this might be trolling). They don’t get tested but then they do not identify as HIV-Unknown but as a firm HIV-Negative. They refuse to get tested because they are in denial of their own risk. In fact the gay men I have personally known to refuse being tested are most all men who engage in high risk sex. More than a few have such a high risk sex life that I guarantee they have been exposed to HIV and there is quite a high likelihood they may have been infected. I personally hate being tested. My first test was in 1988 and 24 years later I still get just as anxious and scared of the possible results as I did that first time. Inevitably that anxiety and relief when the test comes back negative, recommits me to use condoms and stay safe. The emotional urgency I experience after blood is drawn does me more medical good than the Medical benefit of the test.

      Studies have shown the same emotional phenomenon amongst teenage girls. Those who are sexually active but refuse birth control do so to stay in a state of denial that they are at a high risk of getting pregnant. Giving these girls condoms or a prescription for the pill may do more to dissuade them from having sex than ignoring than not making them available.

      Also we need to cut the PR crap that the HIV cocktail is no different than taking aspirin. Side effects may be reduced but despite what Big Pharm spindoctors or some well meaning HIV empowerment activists say, no one should want to take these meds if they don’t have too (meaning it is worth the effort to stay negative). Friends on the cocktail most commonly have days they feel like absolute shit. Some have episodes where they literally shit. Some mess can cause lipo dysmorphia which makes your cheeks look sunken and can give you an extended belly or hunchback. Aside from side effects a first generation of long term HIV survivors are showing a high risk for early dementia and heart attacks. Being HIV positive makes you no less of a human being but it will take its toll on your quality of life. It can also take a financial and professional toll. You cannot leave a job with health insurance to freelance or start your own business without considering of you will be able to afford the outrageously expensive meds.

      Get tested, recommit to safe sex and prevention and support your friends to do the same.

      Jun 24, 2012 at 11:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Joseph,
      It’s not easy to be the change you want to see in the world. But when the world DOES change, you won’t be remembered, at least not for the change you want to see. Know who will? The people who fought. Nick Rhoades will be remembered. What contribution are you making to the world that is so important that you cannot be bothered to be remembered for fighting against unjust persecution?

      Jun 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jacob
      Jacob

      HIV is NOT a legal issue, it is a health issue!
      In the early days of AIDS we helped eachother, we protected ourselves AND eachother – now it seems the ‘moral majority’ demonize the POZ folk and blame them for this scourge. What happened to self responsibility?
      Protect yourself please! FROM THE LAW, THE HATERS AND HIV.
      Be well.
      Jacob

      Jun 26, 2012 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • censoredagain
      censoredagain

      @hamoboy: @ hamoboy I agree with your qualification of “selfish” in reference to the quoted remark however, unless each individual in which you keep your company has an I.Q. over 180; I doubt very strongly that the quoted remark is the “dumbest” thing you have heard. If one were to be completely objective it would be easy to see the reason is completely reasonable; thus not dumb in the least.

      Keep in mind the context of the quote; it is in reference to legal liabilities associated with HIV transmission laws.

      Jun 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • censoredagain
      censoredagain

      @The Real Mike in Asheville: I will not doubt the high number of deaths due to AIDS related illnesses. However the number you used is inflated because it does not take into account that dieing from the side effects of the meds is not an AIDS related illness but the side effect of a drug to treat HIV infection. They are very similar but they are also two very “distinct animals”.

      Jun 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lukefromdc
      lukefromdc

      I agree with refusing to take HIV tests as long as HIV criminalization and HIV stigmas exist. You can disclose that you choose not to take the test and at that point are protecting yourself from pigs and prosecutors while giving essentially the same warning.

      Whether or not you have a duty to bring this up depends on circumstances. In a place where you can SEE a lot of anonymous or multipartner action, the “at-risk” question was asked and answered when you came in the door. To then silently assume such a person is HIV negative unless they say to the contrary would be NUTS. On the other hand, in a random situation where a person’s history/choices are not at all obvious you would need to bring it up. I do advise avoiding encounters with people at little other risk for STDs barring a blunt approach from them and clear warning in response.

      As for treatment after a positive test, not everyone has income, health insurance or the willingness to deal with a life of doctor’s appointments and drug side effects, no matter how much it may extend their lives. I don’t screen for cancer either, and anyone who takes the time to talk to me before getting it on will quickly learn these things. Unfortunately, in some anonymous scenes trying to have ANY conversation will end the encounter.

      I’ve been very much into the casual sex scene since 1983, and getting it on since I was 12 back in 1978 yet I am still here, without relying on asking anyone their status. I remember the LaRouche AIDS Quarantine scare of 1986, and that armed group profiled in the Jan 1987 issue of Stallion that swore to resist it, causing the issue to drop off the radar in months.

      Mar 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • quasimodo
      quasimodo

      @QJ201:

      Hiv does not cause AIDS. The guy that played a role in inventing the HIV test and Nobel prize winner says HIV does not cause AIDs, his name is Kary Mullis and also Peter Duesberg a virulogist and who has also been nominated for Nobel Prize also says that HIV does not cause AIDS. Check out his site, it explains everything. HIV USA is probably caused by long term drug abuse like heroin or cocaine which after ten to 15 years causes aids, just like a chronic smoker who smokes for 10 to 15 years has a 10% chance of lung cancer.

      Jun 10, 2014 at 7:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • quasimodo
      quasimodo

      @QJ201: @QJ201:

      Hiv does not cause AIDS. The guy that played a role in inventing the HIV test and Nobel prize winner says HIV does not cause AIDs, his name is Kary Mullis and also Peter Duesberg a virulogist and who has also been nominated for Nobel Prize also says that HIV does not cause AIDS. Check out his site, it explains everything. HIV USA is probably caused by long term drug abuse like heroin or cocaine which after ten to 15 years causes aids, just like a chronic smoker who smokes for 10 to 15 years has a 10% chance of lung cancer.

      Jun 10, 2014 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • quasimodo
      quasimodo

      @QJ201:

      HIV does not cause AIDs, check out Peter Duesbergs site. He is an expert on viruses and was even nominated for a nobel prize concerning them. Also check out Kary Mullis another nobel laurete who agrees.

      Jun 10, 2014 at 7:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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