It’s Friday readers. You know what that means: it’s Queerty ReBUTTal time! Yay!!
For those of you who don’t know, Queerty ReBUTTal’s the very special section in which we comment on your comments on our comments from the week that was.
Rather than selecting a couple of stories this week, readers, we’re going to focus on one story in particular. Find out which one, after the jump.
One of this week’s most controversial posts came when we heard that Johnny Lamar Dalton, a private first class in the army, had been arrested for knowingly infecting a teenage lover with HIV (Soldier Arrested for Infecting Teen Gay Love With HIV).
In that post, we wondered whether or not American citizens have the right to fuck without a condom. Here’s what we had to say:
Dalton certainly broke rank when he fucked that boy, but one wonders if HIV sexual policing violates one’s constitutional rights to privacy. As 365 Gay explains, North Carolina law “prohibits a person infected with HIV from having sex unless condoms are used and requires that sexual partners be notified”. The latter part of the law makes sense – and should be enforced – but can a state really order HIV positive people to use condoms? Barebacking is intensely dangerous, but it’s also gaining more adherents. Don’t these people have the right to live recklessly?
You kids had loads to say about this, so we’ll just jump right in. The first comment comes from a reader known only as WWH. He minces no words when he writes, “People who knowingly infect others with HIV should get 25 to life. Period. End of story. Unfortunately, much like a serial killer, most of these types get a sick thrill out of doing this.” Sure, some people – ie: the bareback blogger – like playing God with other people’s lives, but it doesn’t seem to us as if Dalton got off on infecting the kid or simply didn’t care. Either way, it’s clear WWH has no pity for the private.
Reader “Underbear1” certainly has no pity for Dalton, nor his unidentified lover:
I have lived with HIV/AIDS for 21 years and never transmitted the disease to ANYONE. I am for full disclosure of your HIV status, and using safer sex methods, but there are TWO people engaging in sex, BOTH are responsible for a disease being transmitted.
Definitely – everyone, regardless of sexuality, needs to make sure they’re having safer sex, but, “nycstudman” wonders if the North Carolina teen knew his ass from his elbow, so to speak:
the kid was 17 and lived in rural N. Carolina. it’s not he was probably getting a lot of AIDS education in school or messages about sex safe, ya know? i don’t think you can apply the same standards as a professional gay man in chelsea to this poor kid.
The idea that someone doesn’t know about HIV or AIDS really doesn’t make sense to us, especially a 17-year old kid. AIDS is older than him and happens to be the most devastating disease on the planet. Surely someone has tipped him off to that fact. Reader Grey Wolf knows what we mean:
HIV/AIDS has been around for 25 years. Even if you live in Podunk Holler, Arkansas you must be aware of this disease. Each individual is responsible for their own health. Anyone who has sex with anyone else without using a condom is a fool.
We won’t say the kid’s a fool, but we suspect he knew the dangers going in – although, we could be wrong. We’ll find out more when Dalton heads to court on August 2nd.
Back to the matter at hand, however: whether people have the right to fuck bareback. Reader Jamie seems to think “no”:
As the saying goes, “Your rights end where the other guy’s nose begins.” Or other body parts, in this case. It’s not only the rights of the HIV+ person at stake. The other participant has the right to full disclosure.
You’re definitely right, Jamie. As we’ve been discussing in our political series, America’s Queer Liberty, laws are meant to restrain man. And, yes, you have the right to know whether your trick’s got something up his dick. Fanboi seems to agree,
I know HIV isn’t the same as full AIDS and isn’t the “death sentence” it used to be considered. But I still think it should be considered attempted murder to knowingly risk infecting someone. If you know you have it and still don’t use a condom – your ass should be in jail.
That’s supposed to be a pun, right?
Obviously there’s no clear cut answer to this problem. We will say, however, that we’re not sure North Carolina can’t rightfully force someone to wear a condom. If they can, then where does sexual policing stop? Just something to keep thinking about over the weekend – besides getting laid, of course.
Make it a good one!