Zachary Quinto just criticized gay men for being complacent and lazy. And no one is more ticked off about it than a young couple from Shreveport, Louisiana.
Josh and Chanse, both 19 years old (right), have a lot to say about being gay teenagers in the conservative south. Queerty contributor Mark S. King sat down with the couple and got an earful about being out and proud, HIV testing, treatment and PrEP — and how irritating it is when people like Quinto call them apathetic.
Here’s the interview, as well as a video chat (below) with the couple for Mark’s blog, My Fabulous Disease.
These young men rock, that’s all we’re saying.
I grew up in Shreveport, too, and what I remember is getting kicked out of a school dance in 1977 for wearing platform shoes. They ran me into the parking lot.
Chanse: Wow. Nothing like that has happened to us. We have a lot of friends.
Josh: We hold hands walking down the street! I think once somebody yelled something from their car, but that’s about it.
How is your family with the gay thing?
Josh: Great. Everybody loves my mom. She’s really supportive.
Chanse: I got to see how much my family cares about me a couple of months ago when I tested HIV positive. My mom was really concerned when I told her, of course, and then she decided to throw me kind of a coming out party for our family. There were 20 people there, and we started pinning red ribbons on everybody. Then my mom says to everybody that I would need their support because I had tested positive, and she said how much she loves me.
Josh: It was amazing. Now some of them volunteer for The Philadelphia Center where we got tested.
Well, according to actor Zachary Quinto, the younger generation is lazy and irresponsible and doesn’t care about HIV.
Josh: Oh yeah. If I hear the word “complacent” again I might throw up.
Chanse: It sounded like he wants everybody to start dying of AIDS again just to make a point. He wants to label me irresponsible because I’m positive? I mean, I got HIV and I accept that and I am dealing with it. But don’t make it some defining thing about my character.
Josh: We’re both in school, we’re advocates for the gay blood drive, we do HIV outreach…
Chanse: I just don’t think statements like that help at all.
Josh: Chanse got his results first and was positive and we stood in the hallway and cried about it. I told him right away that I would never leave him.
Chanse: My freak-out lasted about five minutes. And then I wanted to know everything there was about treatment. If they could have given me pills right then and there I would have taken my first dose.
Josh: He was really nervous for me, not knowing my results, and so was I. But then my test came back negative. He was more relieved than I was. And then the staff started talking to us both about what we could do about it.
You mean treatment for Chanse?
Josh: Yeah, but also about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or taking the drug Truvada to prevent HIV infection). I didn’t really know there was a pill that can keep you from getting infected.
Chanse: After they talked to Josh about PrEP he went home and researched it online.
Josh: I knew pretty quickly I wanted to take it. Whatever helps.
There’s a lot of different opinions about PrEP. The studies show it works when you take it, but not if you don’t take it consistently.
Josh: That’s what I do. I never miss a dose, it only takes a minute. What’s so hard?
Chanse: We’re good about reminding each other. The drug for PrEP is Truvada, and it’s one of the drugs I take for my HIV. So it’s like we’re “double Prepping.”
Does it make you want to be a whore?
Sorry. Mr. Quinto says –
Josh: Oh, lord.
He said that people take PrEP to have more recreational sex. And people are worried it will make gay men more promiscuous.
Josh: Wow. We’re not promiscuous to begin with. We’re together.
Chanse: Isn’t all gay sex recreational? We’re not trying to get pregnant or anything.
Josh: I take PrEP and Chanse takes his meds. I think we’re doing the right things. Where does all this come from? It pisses me off when they call us lazy for taking PrEP. I took a lot of time checking it out, I see my doctor and get tested every three months, I take the pill every day… what’s lazy about that?
Not to keep piling on, but they also say that PrEP is so guys can have bareback sex.
Josh: Yeah, I read about that. But honestly, it never even occurred to us. We use condoms.
Chanse: What is it about taking PrEP that they think makes guys change who they are and what they do? Josh and I definitely act the same as we did before Josh started taking PrEP.
Well, a lot of the people in the PrEP studies were not using condoms. That’s how they knew that PrEP was working.
Josh: Then it’s a good thing if guys who don’t use condoms are taking PrEP, isn’t it? They probably need it most.
Chanse: That’s just not us. I have to live with HIV my whole life and I don’t want Josh to have to deal with it. So we use as many precautions as we can get.
Josh: Basically all of these things you’re saying about PrEP, about what people think about it, don’t apply to us. Zachary Quinto doesn’t know anything about us.
Anything else you want to say, to represent young people?
Chanse: We can only speak for us, but…
Josh: Have a little faith, y’all. I mean, come on. Have some faith in us.
Related Headlines On Queerty:
Ten Things HIV-Postive Guys Need Negative Guys To Know
How You Can End HIV In Five Easy Steps
Five Reasons HIV Positive Guys May Live As Long As Negative Guys
The Tower of Power
Maybe “complacent” isn’t the right word, but they do come across as nonchalant about the situation. At age 19, I was totally frazzled and worried about not getting enough sleep while having too much college homework.
These guys are acting like this serious illness is not a big deal.
@The Tower of Power:
No they aren’t! They are doing everything they can to avoid it becoming a problem, and I would like to commend them for their sensible, informed approach.
What else do you want them to do … wear sackcloth and ashes?
19 years old. One of them is positive. Obviously someone wasn’t using a condom with someone else. Did he think it wouldn’t happen to him?
Not to nitpick, but are these guys really the best advocates for the Gay Blood Drive?
Having an HIV positive teenager discuss how gay teenagers are not complacent about the risks of HIV makes as much sense as Bristol Palin lecturing about the joys of abstinence.
I love condoms
I am very disturbed by this article on so many levels.
This article is not ‘Schooling’ Zachary Quinto, it’s actually highlighting the failures of our communities HIV prevention education.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but HIV is not an easy virus to catch, and we’ve known how the disease is contracted for over 30+ years now, so why in 2014 are we (as a community) allowing 19 year old’s to still become infected?
I would have rather read or seen a video clip that featured a 19 year old going to get tested, and his test coming back negative, because before he engaged in unprotected sex, that could lead to a positive diagnosis, he and his sexual partner went to go get tested together to make sure they both knew their HIV status.
I’m not going to lecture anyone on HIV prevention methods, but HIV prevention education can’t just start and stop with PrEP. For many of us, it was possible to have a healthy sexual life and remain negative before PrEP.
Sorry, that article sounds to me like an advertising for Truvada and to turn those young folks against Mr. Quinto, who has merits for coming out early in his career as a hollywood-actor, seems not a good idea to me.
Let’s see the longterm-effects of PrEP (which will be there in at least 5 years) and discuss this again.
Very bad article.
well- the numbers of new infections don’t lie- it’s good to see THESE young men being responsible- but the majority are not.
These two are exactly what is wrong with their generation. The questions I don’t see asked is How do you think you got HIV? Where was his protection? Was he even using any? Were they a couple and was he cheating when he did get it? I’m not assuming he wasn’t safe, but these are the real question I’d like asked.
Throwing a party to celebrate being positive? And they say they aren’t complacent?
I am a huge advocate for PrEP, but used responsibly and with education, so what they are doing now is partly right, I saw no mention of them using condoms.
These two are not the poster boys for PrEP and more sex. They are exactly what is wrong with their generation and why Zachaty Quinto is right.
lol at this article and the argument you are trying to make.
my concern is how did he get HIV? no, not number of men (i don’t care) but was he drinking one night or not using condoms in general? Behavior that leads to infection needs to be highlighted and he needs to voice that also. People make mistakes, but hearing about them helps others. Not just..yea i got it and now i am doing this…
Wow, this website truly has lost its mind. A 19 year-old with HIV schools Zach Quinto? No. He’s living proof of the problem. Armed with a few facts and a lot of attitude. Why don’t these kids talk about other STDs? And for that matter, why doesn’t Queerty? It is completely irresponsible to post article after article about PrEP without stating clearly that PrEP does not protect against other STDs.
I get it. For years, people living with HIV have been shunned and vilified. Now, HIV is no longer a death sentence with treatment and this 19 year old will go on to live a full and wonderful life. But he still has a serious medical condition and it’s insane to pretend that this is not the case and when are simple (non-drug-related) ways to avoid this predicament. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes – all which I got through eating irresponsibly. But I’m not going to post a damn vlog about how now I can eat what I want because I can take Lipitor. I’ll simply eat my kale.
Long time lurker, first time poster. This site posts a lot of immensely dumb shit, but this “article” takes the cake. You are simultaneously vilifying an advocate and voice for our community while PROVING THE POINT HE WAS MAKING. These boys are the definition of complacency in the post-AIDS panic generation. His family threw him an HIV party. It’s still a terrible disease, and while the stigma has toned down some, it should still impact people the way any life-threatening illness can.
This website is a great way to kill time. It’s light and often silly. I think the town you are taking is borderline dangerous to our youth culture. These boys are an example of that.
So one of these guys managed to get infected with HIV before hitting 20 and the other one had never even heard of Truvada until recently. Not sure these 2 budding epidemiologists should be “schooling” anyone on the subject of HIV.
The blogger who is touting these 2 has an agenda, which is to “de-stigmatize” HIV. You can see how he tries to goad these teens into attacking Quinto. I visited his site once and felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards. We need to stigmatize HIV transmission, not de-stigmatize it. The stigma needs to be directed not the people who have HIV, but at the act of acquiring it or transmitting it. That is an act that causes unnecessary harm to human life and health, and there is a moral dimension to it. When people think about getting HIV in 2014, it should bring up a reaction comparable to that evoked by a drunk driving accident or a fire caused by smoking in bed. It should not be waved away with a “Well, sh*t happens! Doesn’t say anything about my character!”
WOW! I’m an old fart. I’ve seen many people die of AIDS, including close friends. And like so many others, I’m hypersensitive about infection.
However, what I see with these young men is NOT what so many other posters are seeing. They are a discordant couple. And at this point in their young lives, the issue is no longer how one of them became infected; their issue is how to live loving lives together and how to prevent the negative partner from becoming infected. They have researched their options; and they have made informed choices, including seeing their respective doctors. There is absolutely no more that they can do. So, they are getting on with their lives.
This is not complacency and it is not laziness. This is acceptance of who each other is, adapting to the best of one’s ability, and then getting on with it. Please note how the scrupulously refuse to become spokesmen for their generation of gay men.
I congratulate them and, like Spock, I wish them to “live long and prosper.”
I think his point was validated with these 2. And it wasnt just about testing either. Today’s young people are complacent about HIV and one of these guys is HIV+ so he must not be paying attention at all.
Zachary Quinto is right period.
The guy who caught HIV is the example of what mister Quinto mentioned. Good for the other guy who probably made his partner to wrap it up, but before that, he caught the virus.
HIV PARTY!!!!!!! What the heck?
Where are as a community going to end?
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
Queerty, this is your worst..absofuckinglutely worst..which is quite some achievement! LOL
The Strategy. BEFORE sex get tested TOGETHER for A VARIETY OF STIs then make an INFORMED decision, google… tested together before
@Jacob23: What an asshole thing to say. Mark has worked in education and HIV activism for many years. His blog is great. It’s a good place to get honest information about HIV, addiction, etc.
The HIV party was about helping him deal with it. Not a celebration. Plus, he has his family to help him which is allot.
This saddens me. 19 years old and HIV positive? And they are sitting there like its nothing! It’s something, it will always be something and until there’s a cure we have to treat it as such, something! Much of their relationship is going to be spent making sure the other doesn’t become infected. Thinking its no big deal is just wrong.
They are schooling Quinto? No way! They simply proved the points that Zachary was making. A high schooler infected with HIV absolutely was irresponsible and complacent regardless of how the infection occurred. Congradulations for their current, after the fact, awareness and responsibility. And regardless of what they might think HIV infection does not justify a party. Yes, for many HIV/AIDS has become a managable infection but others aren’t quite so lucky. If I were a teen today I’d take very seriously what Quinto has to say. Zachary isn’t slamming or even shaming anyone, he’s simply sharing well learned observational information that could save lots of problems (health and financial) to those smart enough to pay attention. Have these two come back in five years and let us know how things are going (and I absolutely hope things are going well) and my thought is by then reality will have set in after some real life experience with HIV (been there, done that).
@Chris: The only example these kids can play is how to behave responsibly AS A DISCORDANT COUPLE. They are in no position to speak for or preach to at-risk youth, unless they are willing to stop sweeping under the rug how the HIV+ partner got infected, and serve in the not-so-glorious role of “don’t make the same mistakes we did” example.
I’m tired of Mark King and his agenda. I’ll take his promotion of role models seriously when he trots out some who have remained negative.
The Tower of Power
@Leonard Woodrow: No, I do not believe slut-shaming works. There have always been sluts no matter how much of a stigma is placed on it and shaming them doesn’t deter them.
But, what he should do is be honest about how he caught the disease and use his own mistake to set an example for others.
My grandfather died from lung cancer after smoking for 40 years, so he made it a point to link his smoking and his cancer as he aged. He wanted to use his life experience to set an example for others.
These kids are not setting a good example.
Yeah… this article schools nothing. These kids are examples are the problem.
If you want to post pro-Truvada propaganda as infotainment, at least get better spokespeople.
And don’t write such lopsided copy.
Talk about backfire lol. Still waiting for the part where they schooled Zachary Quinto, perhaps queerty forgot to include that part?
@DonW: Gee Don what agenda might that be?
You must be though because you keep attacking him anytime he posts here. My guess is that it’s personal.
Good god Queerty! Could you pick two worse examples to make a point against “complacency”?
“He wants to label me irresponsible because I’m positive.” Um, yeah! You ARE positive because you were irresponsible.
What kind of example are you setting for young gay men when you use these two as some sort of role models?
I commend both young men for a) getting tested, b) getting into care and staying in care (medical and social), c) for not wearing the shame that many young gay men take on when it comes to HIV or sexuality, and d) for taking actions to prevent the transmission of HIV.
There is nothing “complacent” about the approach these young brave men took in dealing with HIV – especially as a couple. In the deep south – this is even more of a badge of courage – to come out as gay – as HIV+ – and as a couple that is taking action to prevent any further transmission of the virus.
For those who criticize them – you obviously have issues that run deep regarding guilt, shame, and being hyper-judgemental towards others… Hopefully, you’ll get the help YOU need. And hopefully you’ll never have to face the same barriers or struggles or criticisim that you are doling out towards them.
There sure are a lot of a$$holes who post here.
@Mr B: said..”For those who criticize them – you obviously have issues that run deep regarding guilt, shame, and being hyper-judgemental towards others”
Actually I didn’t see a huge amount of judging of the couple, what I saw were people saying that these were not the correct example to counter act Quinto’s comments.
@Mr B: What struggle? If you insist on having anal sex, then use a condom. It’s not rocket science. Considering the risk of infection from unprotected anal sex is only around 1%, this teenage moron probably did it over and over again before he got infected. He’s in no position to school Quinto on anything.
@DarkZephyr: Did you expect anything less when an HIV post comes along? Get em all riled up and Queerty just loves that. Lol
Alan down in Florida
They’re 19 and in love and being responsible. Not to be too cynical about it the probability is the bloom is off the rose before you turn around and they both start looking elsewhere. Let’s see how responsible they and their future partners are when that day comes.
@Mr B: Jesus, it’s not about judging them. HIV is synonymous with gay. Infection rates are still going up. This community needs to take action. It’s such a nasty disease. I think we need to define how we view complacency in conjunction with HIV infection.
There’s nothing fabulous about this disease. I agree with Quinto, but I recognize that it’s a multilayered issue, and I’m sure Quinto does as well, he’s not a stupid man. When it comes to HIV, and you say something or have a view like Quinto does, it’s not going to sound good. We have to man up here. No one is shaming anything. Sex is a part of life, and in gay life, HIV is a real thing. Infections rates are going UP not down.
One of the big challenges with HIV prevention is convincing people that they are personally vulnerable to infection, that HIV is something relevant to their lives. Seeing a young person with HIV like Chanse actually goes much further towards helping other young men understand that they are not invulnerable than all the scolding and handwringing I see here.
Beyond that, seeing a young person with HIV with such an optimistic attitude encourages others to get tested and treated. A lot of guys who know they’re at risk are reluctant to get tested, to face the possibility of being positive. Knowing that a positive diagnosis is not going to mean the end of your life, that you can be supported and loved by your friends and family, is hugely important.
If young men with HIV are reluctant to talk about it, to help other young men recognize the importance and relevance of HIV to their lives, how will reactions like we see here encourage them to be more open and honest about it? Chanse and Josh display a strength of character that we should applaud and strive to emulate ourselves. I hope that the vitriol here doesn’t lead them to doubt themselves or their decision to talk about how they’re dealing with these issues. They deserve our thanks and support.
^cymatic^ – you expressed it much better than I did… And it is quite disheartening to see so many people being so judgemental towards two young folks who ARE being proactive in containing the virus.
I, too, once thought PrEP was a “bad” thing – and would promote irresponsible behaviors. As it turns out in reality – the opposite is true: People using PrEP ARE taking responibility for protecing oneself from contracting HIV. ANY AN ALL efforts to reduce the transmission rate are commendable. I personally support ALL efforts to reduce the transmission of HIV by anyone… whether it be abstinence, sero-selection/monogomy, condom use, treatment as prevention, or PrEP… all efforts towards having an AIDS-free generation are valiant.
Mr. Quinto was right. I have a cousin who is HIV positive and yet still has unprotected sex; his excuse; “its hardly detectable any more.” I’m glad medication is around now to keep people from dying but show some responsibility. Since wee live in Canada, he also doesn’t have to worry about the cost and gets full disability benefits. How can a guy who simply has to pop a pill once a day compare to another guy who is quadriplegic who faces a whole slue of problems. To be fair he is trying to find work but still in Canada there is this whole little community using their HIV status to get all the government has to offer. This is a preventable illness not an acquired disability due to an accident or fate.
I am appalled by most of the comments here. The gay community is finally showing its true colors when it comes to HIV/AIDS. I’m not even sure where to begin here, so I will just address the two young men, Josh and Chanse.
Josh and Chanse, I am not sure if either of you will see this comment, but let me start by saying how sorry I am for the nastiness in this comment section toward the two of you. Believe it or not, the gay community used to show great compassion for our brothers that became infected with this illness. It was only the right wing religion nuts that attacked us with shaming. Somewhere along the line, many in our community adopted this same tactics to use against our own. My guess is it happened when people stopped dying from AIDS, thanks to the wonderful advances in modern medicine.
Since most infected gay men were no longer the frail looking skeletons that could be held up as a warning for others, shaming had to become the new go to method of prevention for HIV. I will go out on a limb and say that it is Mr. Quinto’s generation, that barely missed the horror of the disease, that has adopted this strategy. What else could they do. People started living longer, healthier lives which left their play books empty. So why not adopt the shaming politics used against us by the right wing nuts when the disease first hit. What could possibly go wrong with that strategy?
People will howl that this is not about shaming, but if you really read the comments, it is precisely what it is about. I’ll point them out.
So to start…
Mr. Quinto says your generation is complacent about HIV/AIDS and many of the commenters here have rushed to his defense and used your example as to why Mr. Quinto is right. Here is why they are wrong. You, Chanse, found out you were poz because you and your boyfriend were doing the responsible thing and got tested together. This is something we would hope all couples would do, correct? Upon finding out your status, you and your boyfriend educate yourselves about all your options to keep yourself healthy as well as your boyfriend as well. You both claim to still be using condoms while also using PrEP. Again, being responsible and not seeing any complacency happening there.
So where exactly is this complacency that people here are saying you both are guilty of? It is because no matter all the things you both have done right since Chanse found out his status, you are still guilty of getting infected in the first place and that is all that matters to them. According to the comments here, Chanse, once you found out you were infected, it was game over. The rest of your life must be spent being used as an example of shame to help those (with the empty play books) scare others into not getting infected. Forget the fact that you can now live a long, full, and productive life despite the virus that has taken up residence in your body. They now expect you to be a shameful reminder of what happens when you aren’t always careful about sex.
Sad isn’t it? You both do all the right things, but the one thing the majority of comments focus on is what a failure you are for getting infected in the first place. They don’t care about anything else other than that. They have now made you a shameful example of why Mr. Quinto is right about your generation. The politics of shame and blame is all they know when it comes to HIV/AIDS, and for you to deny this by living a full and productive life without the shame they demand you carry like a badge, will be considered heresy and a bad example for you peers.
I mean, how dare your family throw a party to show their love and support for you. That must be a real slap in the face to the men I knew that died after they were thrown out like garbage by their friends, family and lovers. I am amazed at how much things have changed that families are embracing their loved ones that become infected with this virus, but equally appalled by the lack of empathy from members of our own community.
Here are some examples of the shame they want to assign to you…
“These guys are acting like this serious illness is not a big deal.”
You will see this a lot if you don’t accept their badge of shame and devote your life as an example for others.
“19 years old. One of them is positive. Obviously someone wasn’t using a condom with someone else. ”
This will be a common theme of judgement you will sadly have to face as well. Shame and blame.
“Sorry, that article sounds to me like an advertising for Truvada…”
Someone managed to turn the fact that Josh got on PrEP to use in addition to condoms, as an irresponsible ad for Truvada. Guess he should have dumped his boyfriend instead, yes?
“These boys are the definition of complacency in the post-AIDS panic generation. His family threw him an HIV party. It’s still a terrible disease, and while the stigma has toned down some, it should still impact people the way any life-threatening illness can.”
This comment had to be the most appalling one of them all for me. “It should still impact people the way any life-threatening illness can”. Gross huh? So, Chanse, you should be ashamed and suffering because it sends your peers the wrong message if you aren’t. They want you to pay for this for the rest of your life.
I am proud of both of you and encouage you to live your lives with dignity and to always call out those in our community that demand you be ashamed of yourself for catching a treatable illness. Be loud and proud and call those b1tches out for what they really are. Including famous actors that should stick with reciting the lines others have written for them when they really don’t have a clue what they are talking about or understand how their “influence” can affect others.
Good luck Josh and Chanse!
@Paco: Yes, there should be shame. There’s no shame in drinking, but if you drive after you drink, and get busted for it, you should be ashamed. There’s no shame in having sex, but if you do it without a condom, and get infected, you should be ashamed. It’s great they’re behaving responsibly afterwards, but the time for responsibility was before infection.
@Merv: What about all the people that get it from cheating BF’s, broken skin from teeth and/or cuts, blood transfusions, etc, Should they also be condemned. What do you say to them. Just be ashamed of yourself?
@Stache99: From a cheating boyfriend? They should be slightly ashamed for being gullible. The vast majority of shame should go to the cheating boyfriend. From “winning the lottery” with a low-risk infection? Little shame if you went into it with eyes open and were taking a calculated risk. From transfusions? No shame, if it was medically necessary and normal precautions were taken.
This is (most likely) a case of knowingly having unprotected high risk sex over and over again. That is something to be ashamed of. Be ashamed and move on responsibly. They are doing the second part, but I’m not sure about the first.
@Merv: You made my other point and you’re also assuming. What if it was a drunken slip up which we’ve ALL done and they just didn’t “win the lottery” that night. All it takes is once. Are they to be shamed also?
@Stache99: Never met the man, but his writing is almost exclusively focused on destigmatizing HIV, which is fine as far as it goes but misses a big part of the prevention equation.
@DonW: You do realize he mostly talks for and about HIV people. At any rate, he does talk allot about prevention. Who do you think brings most of these posts to Queerty. If that’s not educating people about prevention then I don’t know what is. He’s also talking allot about PrEP which is a huge HIV prevention tool.
What else do you want him to be doing?
@Stache99: Yes, I am assuming, but based on math. The risk of infection from a single act of receptive anal intercourse from an HIV+ person is on the order of 1%. It’s possible, but unlikely, he got infected from a single slip up. The vast majority of HIV+ people got that way because they repeatedly had unprotected sex. That’s what makes the continued prevalence of HIV in the community so frustrating. People are willfully ignoring the advice they know will prevent them from being infected, and they’re doing it over and over again.
@DonW: Lastly shame doesn’t work Don. It just drives it underground. That’s why the numbers of infections have been so dismal over the last decade. It’s 2014 and new ideas like open and honest debate and new prevention strategies will be the way whether you like it or not.
I love condoms
@Stache99: We all know that the rise in new HIV infections among gay men is not due to broken skin from teeth and/or cuts, or blood transfusions, but we do know that the rise in new HIV infections is definitely from unprotected anal sex.
As for getting it from a cheating BF, it goes back to ones own personal responsibility. If engaging in unprotected anal sex is going to put you at risk for HIV or any other STDs, then it’s your personal responsibility to protect yourself.
If you’re in a relationship and you don’t feel comfortable engaging in unprotected anal sex with your BF, Partner or Husband because he may cheat, get tested often and don’t have unprotected sex.
@Merv: Merv, you forget that about 20% of gay men that are poz don’t even know they are. Those men are the most infectious because they are not on treatment and have high viral loads. So yes they could most likely and unwittingly infect someone through just one encounter. This environment of shame you stand behind is the very reason these men never get tested. Why would you risk getting shamed by your peers if you happen to test positive?
I don’t care how someone contracts the virus, or any disease. I will still have compassion for them and find less intellectually lazy ways to, hopefully, prevent it from happening to others.
@The Tower of Power: That’s because they’re so smart.
@Merv:I’m HIV positive. I can say maybe 3-5 times I’ve been unsafe and that was as a top. Even then I pulled out before completion. I did one time have a guy cut my dick with his teeth while getting head which is another possibility.
For many years I’ve felt it to be unfair. I’m not some bathhouse bottoms up betty. I’m done blaming everyone else and just accept it now. The point is that it does happen and we’ve all taken risks at times in our lives. Most of us are lucky and move on. Shaming is pointless though unless they’re completely out of control.
Amazed at the scumbags who post all this hate toward these 2 smart teens who rightfully call out Zach Quinto’s malevolent and idiotic comments.
these posters are clear proof of why insufficient facts, bad logic and hollywood actors must never mix. you scumbags have lost the day, there’s a wider prevention arsenal and your neurotic and self-hating need to lie about those new tools only disgraces you.
you scumbags will look back on these attitudes some day in shame…most of you are too stupid to do that for awhile tho.
I love condoms
@Jeton Ademaj: Since when is having unprotected sex and catching HIV at 19 being a smart teen!
@Jeton Ademaj: Meanwhile everywhere, HIV infection rates are skyrocketing.
I love condoms
It’s not okay to be 19 and HIV+.
@tazz602: The generation where everybody gets a trophy if they play.@Paco: You must be Catholic. You’re so big on “shame”. Nobody is saying they should be ashamed of anything. You’re the one thinking that. Shame is something that others want you to feel. Nobody has to feel shame. I don’t. I’m sorry that you apparently were made to feel shame at some point in your life. But that’s not what this is about.
@I love condoms: you have no idea how he caught it, and what you call “unprotected” sex is JUST SEX. taking care of yourself and your loved ones is the definition of functional intelligence.
@tardis: no, they’re just skyrocketing for young queer and trans*, especially those of color.
the feeding frenzy of finger-wagging sanctimony on display here has been masquerading as HIV prevention among many gays for over 20 years…these teens were born into it.
your panic and your posture are failing them. that’s why health authorities stopped listening to guys like you a few years ago…even if Zachary Quinto missed the memo.
@I love condoms: “It’s not okay to be 19 and HIV+”
it’s not “ok” to be HIV-positive at any age, and those of us infected with it are always first to tell people that.
right below your hateful judgemental post is “Greg” claiming “Nobody is saying they should be ashamed of anything.”
go smell each other’s asses…at the bottom of the ocean, please.
I think their continuing love for each other, Josh’s sustained commitment to Chanse, and the support of their families and friends are all commendable. I don’t think any of those things, taken alone, are evidence of complacency.
I do think papering over the the criticisms (and critical thinking) expressed about the article as manifestations of “shaming” or people being “hyper-judgmental” is a bit disingenuous. The word shaming has become a bit of a buzzword around this issue – a card that is played with the intent of putting a chill on any divergence of opinion.
Shame is an aspect of selflessness and a manifestation of conscience. It is a virtue that only humans possess. Dogs, for example, when scolded, don’t really feel shame. The guilty countenance is simply a reflex to our anger.
So, just because shame involves people feeling bad about their actions — and sometimes about themselves — doesn’t necessarily make shame itself the bad thing.
Does that mean shame is a good thing in the context we are talking about? It depends.
I don’t think anyone who is HIV positive should be asked to “wear their shame” / “roll around in sackcloth and ashes” for the rest of their life. There is no point to that. However, I will quote a couple of anecdotes from other posters:
“My grandfather died from lung cancer after smoking for 40 years, so he made it a point to link his smoking and his cancer as he aged. He wanted to use his life experience to set an example for others.”
“I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and pre-diabetes – all which I got through eating irresponsibly. But I’m not going to post a damn vlog about how now I can eat what I want because I can take Lipitor. I’ll simply eat my kale.
It’s not about wallowing in shame, it’s about acknowledging that sometimes bad things happen independent of our control, but sometimes bad things happen as consequences (direct or indirect) of our actions. We may not want to use the word “irresponsible” (because we hate anything with moral overtones) but it is rare that prevention of HIV transmission was outside an infected person’s control. Yes, we know about the exceptions, but they are exceptions.
That acknowledgement is not about beating up ourselves, it is an aspect of selflessness — “[using one’s] life experience to set an example for others”.
I think a lot about these two young men is exemplary but, based on the tone of this article, there is that missing piece — which others have interpreted as complacency.
Even if we were advocating shame, why are drunk-shaming and smoker-shaming acceptable forms, but not so-called “slut-shaming”? All, in some way, pertain to individuals engaged in unnecessary behavior that puts their life and the lives of others at risk.
Shouldn’t there be some shame?
Also, just because shame may be ineffective in a situation is not a reason for criticism to be silenced. Its like saying we can’t be critical of extremists because their recruitment just keeps increasing.
Is this interview fake or what? I personally don’t believe it to be genuine.
By itself, HIV does not cause AIDS. There are tons of people who have been living with HIV for more than 25 years, and without even taking medication to treat it.
AIDS is the result of an overall package of poor lifestyle choices. Remember that you can damage your immune system by taking drugs and not sleeping or eating well.
The immune system is very vulnerable to how you treat your body. Don’t use HIV as the scapegoat for your poor choices in life. Take responsibility for the fact that many of you put illegal drugs into your systems as part of your party lifestyles.
The choice starts with you.
@Jeton Ademaj: “no, they’re just skyrocketing for young queer and trans*, especially those of color.”
Oh, LOL, that makes it so much better!
Firstly, I don’t give a s–t about these kids or what they do or how the one became infected. I do feel bad that they have to live with this disease the rest of their lives tho.
Secondly, the jerk who writes about Myfabulousdisease is a mental case. There is nothing at all fabulous about having or living with this disease.
Thirdly, I have been HIV positive for 20 years and I found out at 30. It has taken a physical, emotional and psychological toll on me and I can’t see why anyone would not want to use a condom to avoid it. I contracted it from my partner who lied to me about his status. I was stupid then and am definitely ashamed of it now. Yes you can live a full life now but it won’t be the easiest life.
I think what Zachary Quinto is saying is that we shouldn’t be complacent about finding a cure. Why is everyone happy just to have a pill that could or could not work; could cause side effects or not… etc. I can’t stand taking these meds every day, but I have to.
We should focus on getting the pharmaceutical companies to bring out the cure, that I am sure they have, and stop being so dammed greedy and becoming millionaires at our expense.
If these kids have a message it should be something like I became HIV positive from… Don’t do … like I did. Get tested and make sure your partner gets tested before engaging in sex.
The people who’re becoming HIV positive are getting younger. There has to be a reason for that and perhaps that’s what Quinto was trying to address. He came up with the answer of complacency. It’s a possibility. It’s also possible that teenagers are more ignorant about HIV because they haven’t grown up with it and haven’t seen the worse effects.
In the effort to paint a rosy picture of life with HiV perhaps teens and young people have gotten the message that being HIV positive is no big thing. Quinto, again, was probably just putting out a reminder that it is still a big thing.
Also I agree with Realltyis. It’s probably better for the drug companies to push an expensive pill that you’ll have to take for the rest of your life instead of looking for a cure. These drug companies are counting on people just accepting this.
Maybe that’s why this entire article came across as an ad.
Boy, Queerty, this sure didn’t go the way you planned, huh?
@Alton: Queerty only cares by how many clicks it gets for advertising. In that respect it was a complete win for Queerty.
@Stache99: From your history, it sounds like you got unlucky. I don’t think people should feel ashamed for *having* HIV, but for any reckless decisions they might have made that put them and others at unnecessary risk. The goal isn’t to make them feel bad, but to stop them from doing it in the future. Not getting tested is also a decision that puts people at unnecessary risk, so I don’t agree with those who say that shaming necessarily is counterproductive to HIV prevention. Shaming people for having sex at all *is* unrealistic and counterproductive. But, the dirty little secret of HIV prevention is that there is a large subset of the gay male population that is behaving very irresponsibly by having unprotected sex over and over and not getting tested. They need to be shamed, and exposed if they don’t change their ways.
Truth is Quinto soft-peddled the unpalatable truth, which is this: a substantial number of gay men feel no duty of care toward their fellows, because they feel no duty of care toward themselves.
The reason for this is as obvious as it is difficult to overcome: homophobia.
By the time a gay man even acknowledges that this is what he is, he will have internalised an often overwhelming amount of contempt and loathing. Building a self-accepting identity on top of this can be like planting a rose on a skip full of shit.
For many of us self-love is an ongoing negotiation. Some of us, perhaps all will act out are self-hate. I consider putting yourself and/or your partner at risk of a potentially life threatening illness such an act.
That said, there is a big distinction between men who systematically bareback and those – far more common in my experience – who slip up coz they were drunk or off their face or wanted to experience skin-on-skin for a change.
The first are the very definition of ‘slut’ and should be ashamed – but of course seldom are, at least consciously; the second often go through agonies of remorse.
So I’d have to concur that ‘shaming’ is a defective strategy. Not because there is no moral dimension to the decision to have unprotected sex or not, but because in the first instance they aint listening and in the second it amounts to persecuting people who already have quite enough to contend with.
@Stache99: Spare us your straw men, please. You say of me: “It’s 2014 and new ideas like open and honest debate and new prevention strategies will be the way whether you like it or not.”
I am not against open debate or new ideas — I am a vocal defender of the role of PrEP within the prevention arsenal. Queerty even specifically cited my pro-PrEP comment in the follow-up story on Quinto: http://www.queerty.com/the-problem-with-zachary-quinto-doubling-down-on-lazy-complacent-gays-comments-20141114
Not everyone with a different approach to yours has a pro-“shame” agenda.
The Tower of Power
@Saint Law: I agree that slut shaming is not a good strategy. I made that clear in a previous post.
I wish the guy would link his agreement to have sex without condoms to his infection. He doesn’t, and that’s why he comes across as nonchalant.
He isn’t setting a good example for other youths, gay or straight or bi.
@jason smeds: Now here comes the crazy denialist Peter Duesberg disciple who knows sooo much more about the disease than the scientists who devote their careers to studying it.
“By itself, HIV does not cause AIDS.”
Yes it does.
“There are tons of people who have been living with HIV for more than 25 years, and without even taking medication to treat it.”
You are referring to “long-term nonprogressors.” There are not “tons” of them. They make up an estimated 1 in 300 people with HIV.
“AIDS is the result of an overall package of poor lifestyle choices. Remember that you can damage your immune system by taking drugs and not sleeping or eating well…” (yadda, yadda) “…your party lifestyles.”
Again, rubbish. Sleeping and eating well and not taking drugs are smart ideas, but by themselves are not going to protect you from HIV infection if you are exposed to the virus, which, again, is what causes AIDS when not treated.
There are legitimate debates (this comments page is full of them) about the best prevention strategies, but the one thing everyone except crazy conspiracy theories agrees on is that the way not to get AIDS is not to get HIV.
I only hope you are not peddling this bullsh!t on sites where young people are getting their information about sexual health.
@DonW: Not to agree with the tin foil hat resident but drugs will make you more susceptible to catching a virus like HIV and it exacerbates the process.
I’ve watched a couple meth addicted friends die that way. What normally takes years took only months with them. They were in their 20’s and 30’s. Drugs and especially meth lowers the immune system so much that an exposure would be almost guaranteed as opposed to someone not doing drugs. That’s also why they say meth users are around 80% positive. Practically hand in hand.
The rest of his clap trap is rubbish though. You don’t need drugs or poor lifestyle choices to get it. I’ve had non drug using friends die from it too.
The Tower of Power
What I find fascinating is there have been 3 cases of Ebola in the USA this year, and people are eager for travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, buying tons of hand sanitizer, and angry about the White House’s response to it.
AIDS has been around for over 30 years and millions of you are still having sex without condoms!!!
Quinto said SOME in the gay community. SOME, get it. Sheesh, the guy is one of us and is concerned about the younger generation. In my opinion, that is admirable.
@The Tower of Power: why must he set an example for anyone? Why can’t you and others get your point across without making an example out of him? You people just don’t get it.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
The Tower of Power
@Paco: Because he went public as an HIV activist, so I think activists should set a good example if they want to change the culture.
As a gay rights activist, I try to set a good example for younger people because it helps our cause.
@The Tower of Power: well no. He came out as a person with HIV that took issue with an actor’s comment about something he related to. Getting HIV is not some big sin one must spend the rest of their life atoning for. If he wants to live his life as normal as possible or being “nonchalant” with how he chooses to live his life because medical science has made it possible for him and his boyfriend to do so, then that is their business. If he doesn’t want to be a walking PSA of regret and doom, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it is doing no one a disservice.
As a poz person, the only thing he owes anybody is that he keeps his partners informed and safe. That’s it.
The correct word is always… safer.
There’s never zero risk.
@Mr B: People seem to have the mistaken idea that you try to “shame” a person by saying that they are symptomatic of a social problem. I say: do not try to pass off your life-changing errors that your own behavior caused as being no big deal, and getting mad at people who say it’s a problem.
I mean, does anyone say this about any other sexually-transmitted disease? Or any disease caused by poor personal choices? Someone above mentioned lung cancer, which is USUALLY (though admittedly not always) caused by cigarette use. Does that mean if young people get it from cigarette smoking, that doesn’t mean they’re being complacent?
@jason smeds: Yes, it does, dude. AIDS is not like
Or how do you explain the people in the past who were infected by contaminated needles or blood? THOSE people died even if they led pretty much sedate lives otherwise!
Younger generation is lazy and haven’t faced the same challenges as older generations. Now there is a pill and a quick fix for everything. What happened to finding a CURE?
@Stache99: Good points. I’m sorry about your friends. I have two separate friends who were each infected while using meth as well. I would attribute it more to the lack of inhibitions and frenzied sexual behavior associated with meth than to any immunosuppression caused by drug use (neither had really reached rock bottom) but I have no doubt that can play a role. Thankfully both have survived and, while it’s been no picnic, are doing well on ARTs. Unlike our tinfoil-hat friend, however, they know they have a VIRUS that, even though they no longer live “party lifestyles,” would kill them if left untreated.
I have so many twitter side eye photos I wish I could post right now you don’t even know.
Alright – last post from me I think — The article is excellent – but you people in the comment section…. what the h*ll is wrong with you?
A bit about me – just to save the virtual ink you will use to misguess everything about me if I don’t give it – because, I suppose – dish and guess is a game.
1. I am as old as most of those reading these articles. I am well educated with a terminal degree in a STEM related field and presently near dissertation for a second one (The Ph.D. in technological leadership). So call me simple or whatever you need to in order to feel better about yourselves – but understand that in fact, I have a pretty good grasp of the science here. I have no degrees in bio-medicine, but generally I have a good grip on the facts.
2. I have raised two and are raising two more children. I have always been monogamous.
3. I have worked since my teens, and have been in the same STEM related field for 22 years now at the same institute.
4. (Since drinking was mentioned in the comments) I have never been drunk, never been “stoned” – never taken a single hit of any illicit drug and never used or been tempted by tobacco.
There, with background that might be questioned, diced, or attacked out of the way (except for those who will want to attack the fact that I gave my background and now make up stories about why I must have been doing that) let me say that I read this drivel written by man after man and I shake my head in horror.
This is the crowd that put the A on Hester Prynn — and yet it is a crowd of gay men. What? Aside from the hypocrisy, that many who rushed to condemn two brave young men interviewed for this story have engaged in the exact behavior that they assume the young men do or must have engaged in, how much of the worst stuff to be said has been internalized and by how many?
For the record, we had no idea who “Quinto” was at all, and even after looking him up are not very informed – so I question his power as an “advocate” to begin with. But of course, I met my partner over the gaming table many years ago, and while we go dancing a few times a year, I have no idea what it has to be like for the “regulars” who really go to the clubs to replace real love and companionship with… something. I can’t imagine being closeted, neither of us ever was, and even decades ago had no problems being out; so that may contribute to the view I have – but the internalized puritanical nonsense and ageist nonsense, and lack of appreciation of the fact that we are beating this virus, and as a result of beating it will beat several other very serious diseases (among them possibly breast cancer — it isn’t yet clear whether the presence of the retrovirus is a marker or a cause, but we have found an HIV relative originating in mice, with a longer human dormancy period than HIV, in the tissue of an overwhelming majority of breast cancer patients – so it could be causative- though we do not yet know [ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23580334 ] ) and that as diseases are beaten, people’s fear level of them diminishes. That is normal and natural and psychologically healthy. However, these young men are not doing that, they are doing just what they should. No, they should not be in sackcloth and ashes. No they are not dirty or bad. No they should not be treated like they are, or shunned or any of the other things that “could” happen in a much less humane world. They are not ignoring the disease, they are not barebacking (including with each other) – which by the way IS mentioned in the article – I saw a person’s uncorrected comment in which it was assumed that it had not been.
I understand that if you are my age you probably lost friends (or at least acquaintances) in the gay community to the virus. I understand that if you are inclined toward promiscuity you may feel like you missed out on a lot because of it. I understand that you may feel bitter because the life that you wanted, passed you by. It is NOT right to take those unfortunate things out on two boys who live in a world where HIV is at least marginally manageable and where a real cure is likely within the next 10 years and most likely a vaccine. To take any other position is to join the madmen who wanted Alexander Fleming punished in 1928 when he developed penicillin, because of its ability to treat syphilis which would make men less likely to suppress their sexuality, after-all, it took away “god’s” punishment.
I urge you, put away your bitterness, remove your scarlet letters and let fall the arms with which you seek to flay two boys whose only crime seems to me to be to live in a time when the disease is treatable, rather than being a death sentence.
@jason smeds: There is absolutely no indication in the research to suggest your conclusion. I understand that there are a very small number of doctors who believe as you have said – but the research doesn’t back the conclusion. The research suggests that depending on genetic variation and copies of certain genes, some people are much more resistant to the virus than others and a very few are immune.
@mcdfishfilla: Less than 10 years and most likely out of a Canadian laboratory. Further the “cure” will lead to cures for a lot of other diseases that if not for HIV we would be unlikely to ever realize were virally mediated.
If more people were ashamed of irresponsible and self-destructive behavior, they would live longer, happier and healthier lives as well as causing less harm to others and grief to their friends and family. The time has come to stop celebrating people who contract HIV. The vast majority of them know how it’s transmitted and how to prevent it and choose to behave irresponsibly anyway. Why not celebrate the young people who are acting responsibly and protecting themselves?
@The Tower of Power: I agree that the reaction to a few U.S. Ebola cases has been hysterical, to say the least, but I don’t think there is much overlap between the Ebola-hysterics and the barebackers.
There are MANY things that can damage your immune systems INDEPENDENTLY of the HIV virus. Heroin use will reduce your T-cell count. Popper (amyl) use will reduce your T-cell count. Eating poorly will reduce your T-cell count. Syphilis and gonorrhoea will reduce your T-cell count. Not sleeping enough will reduce your T-cell count.
HIV is NOT the be-all cause of AIDS.
As gay men, you have used HIV as a scapegoat to cover up your shockingly poor lifestyle choices. These poor choices revolve around concentrating your sexual activity amongst the same group of men week after week, year after year. You are like a club of men who return to the same group of men to get your rocks off.
Well, here’s a fact: by doing so, you lose herd immunity. You EXPONENTIALLY increase your chance of getting an STD.
@jason smeds: WHO are you talking about? Most gay men are monogamous. you sound like a right wing republican from Texas. get a life.
@jason smeds: You can bluster you like about “you gay men” and “your lifestyle choices,” but you have zero credibility to be making blanket statements about the etiology of HIV/AIDS that have long since been utterly debunked by scientific consensus. What are your academic qualifications — degrees, affiliation, peer-reviewed publications? You sound like an honors graduate of the Jenny McCarthy Institute of Vaccine Denial.
@Hermes: said… “For the record, we had no idea who “Quinto” was at all, and even after looking him up are not very informed – so I question his power as an “advocate” to begin with.”
Siiiiiigh, so just so I have this straight, you read and comment on gay blogs, and yet had NO idea who Quinto was even though his coming out what a huge story on all the blogs and gay publications in the previous year and there have been multiple articles on him since then.
As for the people that keep fanning themselves over the horrible attacks against these two kids, I find it interesting that apparently somebody stating that they don’t think these two are the perfect example to argue against Quinto’s comments is somehow an attack.
Brave guys, they live in Mississippi, they’re out, they’re gay and open. All of that I commend them on. But somebody on here saying that they aren’t a great counterpoint to Quntio’s comments isn’t attacking them, and shame on you for the hyperbole. The correct response is to state clearly why you think they ARE a good counterpoint to Quinto, and if you can’t do that, then that says something right there.
@Hermes: I appreciate your trying to defend two obviously nice, well-meaning kids from what might seem to be ad hominem attacks. But the Hester Prynne analogy is a little overwrought. “Adultery” harms no one but the wronged spouse, and shaming people for it is undeniably puritanical. However, risk-taking as regards HIV has huge consequences for individuals and the community as a whole, and it’s perfectly legimitate to question the behavior of people — no matter how fresh-faced and unscarred by the historical trauma of AIDS — who are being held up as role models.
One more thing: your scientific credentials are certainly relevant here, and it’s great that you’re providing some updates on the state of the research. But I’m not sure what your monogamous/parental/non-substance-using bona fides have to do with this thread. Your diagnosis of the commenters here as “bitter” because they “missed out” on the promiscuous life they wanted is facile and patronizing. Some of us (myself included) have experienced full sexual and romantic lives that include responsible safer sex with multiple partners and productive social and political engagement with the LGBT community, and there’s nothing Freudian about our concern about the new wave of HIV infections.
Your snide asides like “I have no idea what it has to be like for the ‘regulars’ who really go to the clubs to replace real love and companionship with… something” might just put you in the category of the alleged shamers we’re all getting so heated about.
Chanse: “Isn’t all gay sex recreational? We’re not trying to get pregnant or anything.”
ha, good one.
I’m starting to imagine Zachary Quinto having Very Serious Sex all the time. He’s kind of hot looking but I bet he’s boring in bed. He’ll probably give you a Serious Lecture while he’s fvcking you.
Stache99 – Based on prior comments, appears to be dude from San Francisco who has HIV, has sex with strangers whom he selects like slabs of meat based on photos posted on a commercial app, doesn’t disclose his status, and talks about his sex partners as if they are objects. Pretty much the inverse of a liberated, progressive gay man. Pretty much the last person on Earth from whom I would take moral advice. Maybe there are some gay neo-Nazis somewhere in the world who would would make less desirable moral mentors, but right after them, there’s Stache99.
“Stigma” and “shame” can be helpful or unhelpful. It all depends upon how those social forces are used. Stigma and shame help people get up to go to work when they don’t want to, help parents to raise their kids when they would prefer to take off for a sandy beach in Hawaii, and keep people from stealing even when no police officer is around. We need to direct severe shame and stigma at the act of transmitting or acquiring HIV. We don’t need HIV parties. We don’t need campaigns like “HIV =” which purports to establish equivalence b/t being positive and being negative. The people who think that there needs to be a war on shame rather than a war on HIV are the very people who are transmitting the virus. They have one interest and one interest only, and that is preserving their access to intercourse with multiple, anonymous sex partners without stigma.
@Jacob23: @onthemark: Obviously, I must have pissed you two off somewhere before. Now I’m being compared to Nazi’s and a promoting meth. Good. That means I’m doing my job. I can’t have everyone love me. LOL.
Yes Jacob. You truly are the new “liberated, progressive gay man”… and if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle. I believe both scenarios are unlikely though. All I ever hear from you is negative attacks on people. Don’t Bullshit a bullshitter as my dad used to say and son you’re eyeballs deep in it.
Onthemark, Talking about issues means being honest. Drugs are fun and great. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be getting addicted. I’m not going to censor myself just to be PC though. Yes it opens me up for attack from complete shitheads but really should I care what you two think of me. I think not..
@Jacob23: Well none of that bothers me about Stache99. What bothers me about Stache99 is he always talks about meth like it’s the most beautiful, wonderful thing in the world. Yeah he SAYS he’s in “recovery,” 12-step yadda yadda & all that, but on the other hand he almost seems to be doing a sales pitch for meth & how fvcking awesome it is. … though he may not totally realize he does this!
@jason smeds: That’s awful advice. Having more different sex partners increases your risk, even if you have the same amount of sex. It’s more dangerous to have sex with a thousand people one time than one person a thousand times. If you’ve taken an elementary probability course, you can calculate it easily for yourself. It’s why monogamy is encouraged to reduce the spread of HIV.
I mean, “jason smeds” is all over the place. He claims he only has sex with “straight” men – because he thinks out gay men are all diseased etc. – but at the same time he thinks glory holes and their users are “icky, icky, icky” (actual quote! – he’s so mature), so I’m wonder where he meets all these “straight” men to have sex with.
Or maybe he’s a 40 year old virgin and it’s all in his vivid imagination.
Or, maybe he has AIDS dementia! – we already know he doesn’t think HIV is even the “cause” of AIDS, so we can assume he is not being treated for it. He probably got it from some slutty “straight” guy.
Lastly, I don’t promote or recommend anyone doing meth. I do talk about it honestly though.
@Stache99: “Talking about issues means being honest.” Um, okay, but why do you tell us ONLY about the good things?
This is not an NA meeting. Save that “honesty” crap for your meetings. Here, it’s destructive and counter-productive. You lose track of how bizarre your love letters to meth sound to outsiders. I always half expect you to brag about how meth made you the greatest c0cksucker ever after it made you lose all your teeth!
It might be helpful to non-addicts here if you ever said something BAD about meth!… once in awhile? That’s part of the “honesty,” is it not?
And I love you Stache, really!
@onthemark: How about just say NO. Ok lame. How about tweakers suck and not in a good way suck. Actually, some do and can do it for hours and hours.. Seriously, since I’m feeling the love I’ll talk more about the negatives for sure on the next drug post:)
I’m sorry I can’t talk anymore though. I’ve got my manhunt search for new sex partner to get done. You know the usual. Find them, drug them, and them trick into having unsafe sex with me. Then it’s off to my Pink Panther Neo Nazi meeting. Lol
I don’t disagree with anything you say.
However, you’ve neglected to mention that having sex with one thousand individuals within a population of 5,000 people is riskier than within a population of 50,000 people. The bigger the population number, the greater the herd protection factor.
This is why the nature of the gay male scene is conducive to STD’s. The small, relatively stagnant population of the scene imparts upon it a greater risk. The homosexual act is not inherently risky.
@Stache99: You’re my favorite slut here, Stache!
@onthemark: Please read the other thread about proper slang words. Slut is such an ugly word. I’m a Barbarella!
@Stache99: OK then. I bet you’re goooood at what you do!
@jason smeds: Oh “jason,” that’s hot. It’s such a turn on when you talk about having sex with a whole “herd” of a thousand straight men!!! Really, a thousand? (You can count that high?)
What with you and Stache99, I’m getting stiff.
it’s hilariously pathetic that those defending their shaming attacks on these 2 teenagers can’t seem to reach any kind of consensus between them as to whether they’re even doing it, whether doing it is helpful or not, whether they’re enjoying it, whether they’re all nuts or not.
answer: most of you are nuts.
your torches and pitchforks would be better used as dildos, but you don’t have to reshape them if you don’t wanna.
good thing nobody who takes this stuff seriously listens to these sentiments. go ahead, go get active in HIV prevention and try throwing this crap at people.
yea…thought not. enjoy your satanic ritual, goblins! 😀
@jason smeds: I have no idea what you mean by “herd protection factor, but I’ll do the math for you.
Assumptions: You have unprotected receptive anal intercourse 1000 times. The HIV infection rate of the population is 20%. The chance of getting infected from any individual encounter with an HIV+ partner is 1%. Your chances of picking an HIV+ partner is the same as the infection rate.
Scenario 1: Sex with 1000 different people one time…
The chance of getting infected on each encounter is 0.2*0.01 = .002 = .2%
The chance of getting infected after 1000 encounters is 1 – .998^1000 = .86 = 86%
Scenario 2: Sex with 1 person 1000 times.
The chance of getting infected after 1000 encounters is 0.2*(1 – .99^1000) = .2 = 20%
To all of you who posted “scientific” data to back out what no doubt came out of your assholes I say, from the bottom of my heart: Thank you for a good Sunday evening laugh.
The Tower of Power
@Paco: He is raising awareness about HIV medical treatments for it. That makes him an HIV activist.
My grandfather became an anti-tobacco activist after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I thought it was very brave and admirable for him to do that because he didn’t want the same things to happen to us.
@The Tower of Power: I bet your grandfather didn’t throw a party to celebrate getting cancer.
I work with LGBTQI teens and yes many of them are complacent about HIV. They see it as an older persons disease. I’m not saying every teen and neither was Quinto. Yes these 2 guys seem to be responding to it well and doing some good with the diagnosis but they are foolish to think that they actually represent the majority. That’s indignant youth for ya. Good for them but they are not mature enough to realize that Quinto was right and instead of trying to use what he said as a platform to get themselves in the spotlight they should be joining him and helping to raise awareness.
I myself am HIV positive and also volunteer with the local HIV/STI outreach….unfortunately the most people joining the support group are under 25. These guys will learn as they grow older that they shouldn’t be fighting this idea of “complacency”but helping to change younger minds cause they need to! The only one who was schooled, or should I say fooled, is the author of this piece.
Masculine, white, affluent, HIV negative, and disdainful of the “gays these days” and those irresponsible youth… Is Zachary Quinto the gay Mitt Romney or what? Do y’all remember the times when middle class well-to-do conservatives nod their heads in unison to agree that minorities deserve to suffer – for example, I don’t know, gay people? Grow a spine and own your privileges in life when they arise (like being HIV negative), don’t spit on the first person you have a leg up on. It only takes one mistake (or a broken condom, or rape, or a positive mother, or blood transfusion, to name a few). Don’t judge.
Quinto should use his status and wealth and power to look rationally at gay sex and provide easy-to-access information and services that will successfully curb HIV rates while promoting shameless gay sexuality, maybe in the fashion of Planned Parenthood (heck, make gay parenthood more of an option for ordinary folk while we’re at it). Chastising youth is a lot easier than investing your own time, money, and effort in solving a global and historical problem.
@Jonathan26: You should learn comprehension skills then
@E T: AMEN….nuff said
@The Tower of Power: that is admirable of your grandfather. I’m hoping he was surrounded with empathy and compassion and not people who felt the need to burden him further by telling him it was his own fault and he did it to himself and told him it was a shame his message was wasted because he smoked in the first place. I really do hope he didn’t have to put up with that, like so many with HIV do on a daily basis because there is an epidemic of heartless people that never make mistakes with their lives.
@E T: Yes, it’s very likely that he got HIV from a blood transfusion. Being HIV- is not a privilege; it’s the result of being careful and responsible.
Here’s a bit of math for you: if you have sex a thousand times with 1000 HIV- people, your chance of getting HIV is 0.
@jason smeds: But how do you “know” they’re HIV-? They all look & act “straight”? They all listen to country music and are into NASCAR? Do tell!
Anyway the thought of YOU having sex with 1,000 people (or even one for that matter) is hilarious!
@Jeton Ademaj: said…. “it’s hilariously pathetic that those defending their shaming attacks on these 2 teenagers can’t seem to reach any kind of consensus between them as to whether they’re even doing it, whether doing it is helpful or not, whether they’re enjoying it, whether they’re all nuts or not.”
Please point out the specific “Attacks” you are talking about. What I was reading here are some people saying that they don’t see how these two are the counterpoint to Quinto’s argument.
If you see that as an attack then you would seem to have some pretty serious issues.
@E T: PREACH!!!!
I wrote a comment, but i didn’t post it because I didn’t think i was conveying exactly what i wanted to, but you’re post is what i wanted to say. Thank you.
In the video, the teens mention both of them use condoms during sexual activity. Both are on PrEP. Chanse takes additional HIV medication. It’s very clear that both are taking every precaution for Josh to remain negative. Josh gets tested every three months.
Less stigma, HIV education, more legal protections, better medications, the opportunity to marry and adopt, living longer and healthier lives, more family support: perhaps Quinto views a younger generation and HIV as complacent and lazy, for the same reasons that that generation is more relaxed about race and sexuality, in general. However, this couple in particular, is anything but complacent and lazy.
Chanse and Josh are the ideal for getting tested, supporting one another, safer-sex, and communication. They are using Truvada and condoms as prescribed, are taking care of themselves, and each other.
@DonW, are you basically saying that today among under-30s only HIV- people can be HIV activists?
Someone either made a mistake or was unlucky as a teen. Does that now permanently disqualify him from speaking up?
I just feel so bad for them reading this, not only do they have to deal with the difficulty of being out in Ms. But at 19 dealing with an HIV diagnosis. Poor guys. But they seem to have pretty amazing attitudes.
@Cam: Not to be dismissive but I don’t feel sorry for them. When were young we can drink and do drugs and bounce back like it’s nothing. At that stage your body is practically indestructible. As long as he takes the coarse he’s taking he should live a long healthy life. He’ll should be healthier then his peers with Doctor monitoring. A life that will more then likely see a cure well before old age sets in.
I feel sorry for the older guys dealing with it. When you enter the stage of life when the body starts to break down under natural circumstances. Something were all going to have to eventually deal with but adding HIV will make anything 10X worse.
@Cam: For sure his life is going to take a different trajectory then you or myself. I do get your meaning though. You end up paying for something that doesn’t reflect who you are today. How many times have I said that.
Take my best friend who’s had natural health problems his whole life. Heart attacks when he was in his 30’s requiring medications the rest of his life. Sucks right? Well, it’s also prevented him from taking risks with his health and he now attributes being healthier and younger looking then his peers today.
Cam I hope he, myself, or any of us have to deal with his in 20 or 30 years. It seems every 5-10 years what seemed impossible is now possible. I’m still very optimistic for a cure.
I still think Zachary Quinto is totally right.
AIDS is not mortal anymore, and it’s more than obvious that a lot of people are not scared of AIDS as they should.
The fact one of them get infected before 20 with all the information that everybody knows make it very clear that Quinto was right
My thing is, nobody should have a hardship for their entire lives for decisions made when they are 18. It happens all too often, a bad relationship mistake, mistakes with the law, bad decisions regarding school or your future, but a lot of those are erasable, or recoverable.
With this kid, until a cure is found he will be on this medication and at risk of infecting his boyfriend because of a rash decision, or even worse, a faulty condom when he was 18.
I’m a realist, and this stuff happens, I just had to see anybody dealing with something 20, 30 or more years later because of a slip or a goof when they were teens.
That was more what I was meaning with the post.
@Stache99: My editor must be off today:) I mean don’t have to deal with his..
They were responsible solely because they got tested and know their results. But to show two 18 years and say “Look their young and healthy and HIV positive, applaud them” It just seems ridiculous, I get it being HIV does not mean a death sentence anymore as long as you take care of yourself. But we should be doing our best by not contracting the virus. That should be number on our lists, to do our best and not get it. to not be 18 and HIV positive before being even legal to drink. Its a sad story, but in the end it makes Quinto’s comments even more piercing. Yes people fuck up every once in a while, I am not perfect either and I try my best to be safe and not make stupid decisions when I go out. I get tested on the regular and I try to be as careful as I can.
@Cam: *sigh* And I think you fail to realize how broad the gay community is. We are parents, professionals, gamers, property owners, political activists on the Left (the whole Left, not the single issue Left) investors and oh, gay. Asking several other friends as well, one of our gaming buddies has a recollection of Quinto as being one of the actors in a series called… Heroes – we didn’t watch the series although we are sci/fi people as part of being gamers. Another believes he is involved in comics – and he may be. But no, we don’t know him – and a lot of other people don’t know him either. Trivia – did you know that gaming (console and MMORG together) makes MORE money than movies do? Interesting isn’t it.
That said, no we didn’t know him, I make no apology for that and see no reason that a gay person should be particularly expected to know a particular actor who he’s never seen because the actor is gay himself. If we really want equality – which I do for all future generations – then we need to act like we are no different from the people who we are becoming equal with. Minorities that remain self-segregating tend to find it more difficult to truly become equal and more difficult to truly become accepted as part of the whole.
@DonW: Thank you for your courtesy.
Before I forget let me say pointedly, I did not make a snarky comment – I made an honest one – I know that dynamic plays in — I’m not stupid — but I’ve never been part of the dynamic and I don’t understand what its like. I can’t honestly imagine how lonely a life it must be. I don’t know what substantive effects it may have on people’s behavior or on their attitudes – it seems to me to make them bitter and nasty – but that is based on limited input.
I appreciate your position and I hear you – but I do not think the Hester Prynn metaphor was misplaced. People are pillorying these kids on very little information. We have NO idea how the boy got HIV – but we assume – or rather many commenters assumed that it was from random, possibly drugged or drunk, sex; as if people couldn’t get HIV from loving sex with someone who was a partner but was infected; couldn’t get it without knowing it was there; couldn’t get it at birth. The fact that the boy is gay does not mean that he got it in a one night stand when he couldn’t remember who he slept with – but that was the dominant idea. Just as the people projected their ideas of what Hester Prynn was like and had done – so did gay men here project their assumptions – based almost certainly on their experiences, on the two boys – and particularly on the infected one. One of the most telling comments in regard to the projection was the comment about them barebacking, when the article clearly said they didn’t bareback at all.
Finally, I understand that some of my biographical comments seem unnecessary – but, unfortunately experience tells me that they are necessary. I can tell a roomful of physicists who happen to all be atheists (uncommon in a room of physicists) that I believe that small green men in space ships created mankind from a genetic imprint found on Mars and I will, while viewed as a crank, be treated with respect in that room. Saying anything that disagrees with any gay person in a roomful of gay people however can get you thrown out of the room, and assaulted (again, in my experience) with the most heinous personal insults — read through the comments on some of these articles, you will see what I mean. I rarely comment to gay groups therefore, unless they are political but non-single issue groups – and when I do, if I am not going along with the “consensus” (as I was not here), I make sure to lay out the facts of my life in advance, inasmuch as I can, so that I don’t have to deal with anymore nonsense than the bare minimum.
Thank you – have a good day.
@Hermes: Hey Hermes. I respect what you have to say and I generally agree with you, although I hope you’ll think twice with the “last post” part, as well as the general “mean gays” worldview.
IF gay men are hostile, it is because of heterosexism and a history of loss, bordering on collective PTSD. If we treated oppressed communities the way we treated war veterans, things might look much different – a break from the usual, “You’d think they’d understand and be MORE accepting!” nonsense. Suffering makes a person colder and harsher.
But most importantly, LGBT people as a whole are good people. When you disengage with LGBT conversations because of hostile domineering voices, you let them define us all (and, with your negative portrayal of gay men, you let them define your concept of the LGBT community, too). Do what you need to do to protect yourself, just please don’t generalize gay men negatively like you did. Heterosexism is bad enough, those among us who can step back and view things STEM-style really shouldn’t judge.
I say this respectfully, and I am aware that I am making assumptions about you. Feel free to clarify or not to clarify but I promise I hold no ill will toward you. Just putting out my two cents.
@jason smeds: Ummm… Herd immunity relates to vaccination. The threshold for herd immunity varies from a low of about 75% for mumps to a high of about 94% for Whooping Cough…. Herd immunity can’t be generalized to apply to infections which can’t be vaccinated against, and it can’t be used in other ways… I’m sorry.
Oh dear lord. You have to laugh to keep from crying. Imbeciles really do look up to other imbeciles. You interview a poz teen to show that gay teens *AREN’T” complacent and apathetic!? What more can be said?
Wow!!! Quote from the article: “Basically all of these things you’re saying about PrEP, about what people think about it, don’t apply to us. Zachary Quinto doesn’t know anything about us.” You’re 19 and just tested positive for a 100% avoidable disease. Apparently, Mr. Quinto knows you better than you know yourself. You don’t like the work “complacent”? How about “irresponsible” or “careless”?
It is probably true that pissing me off is your job, since a meth and sex addict is unlikely to hold down a real one. Your folksy sayings and your references to dear old dad might be more effective if you hadn’t already outed yourself as a cold-hearted, selfish, acquisitive, shallow libertine. I note that you didn’t object or correct a single thing I said in my last comment, including the part about your having HIV and not disclosing. Presumably that 21 year old who fled your apartment when you – in a rare moment of post-coital honesty – told him your age, might now have HIV because of you and your need to achieve an orgasm.
Now, do I make judgments? Absolutely. There is nothing wrong with making judgments. It is essential to leading an ethical life. The key is to try to make those judgments based on evidence as applied to a consistent and justifiable moral standard. The problem with judging arises when you make judgments based on whim or irrational prejudice, or when your standard for judgment changes to accommodate such prejudice. You may see negative judgments from me, but that is because you gravitate to stories about practices which destroy life and health, but which you think are the best thing since sliced bread.
I make positive comments as well. But only about positive things. Things that enhance life and happiness and humanity, rather than destroy it. Go to a story about a courageous gay youth standing up to his family in Georgia, about Derrick Gordon becoming the 1st openly gay Division 1 BB player, about a gay teen in Maryland who invented a superior test for pancreatic cancer, or about an awesome guy surprising his partner in Home Depot with a proposal. Those are the stories over which I will gush praise and positivity. Not on a story about a 19-year old gay youth getting infected with HIV and then having a party. Any decent human being would see this as a tragedy. So of course you don’t.
@Jacob23: LMAO…. Yeah, you guessed me right. You must really love me though because I’ve never had anyone spend this much time hating on me. Three full paragraphs this time. I’m impressed. I’m sure you’ve spent some spent time crafting that for maximum damage too.
You can write and write though and I’ll just continue to NOT read any of your insane babbling. You’re just a boring smug a*shole that only thinks she’s clever. I’ll bet you’re fun at a party though. LOL
@Merv: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Hello everyone, This is Josh and Chanse from this interview, we would like to thank the you guys for the support and we would also thank the ones that have put their opinion out there. some of you guys have commented and asked a few question that we did not make clear so we wanted to answer some of them in a video, so if you would like to know some more about: How Chanse got HIV, about PrEP and about some of the thing we have done for our community, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JvmC3ZAqwQ
I support their right to be dumb and take toxic drugs. As long as I’m not slaving away at work to pay for their medical bills when the shit hits the fan
@Stache99: what what? HIV drugs are toxic, taking them long enough and they cause various health issues, biggest of which is cancer. Recent studies published in the Journal of AIDS society, and elsewhere, show cancer incidence among HIV positive on retrovirals is higher than the general population.
@JDean: Everything these day gives you a higher incidence of cancer. My point was your statment..”I’m not slaving away at work to pay for their medical bills” Again, what does that mean?
@Stache99: meaning as long as I don’t have to subsidize their healthcare through the taxes I pay
@JDean: If you want health insurance yes you will. Just like Paco said about the overweight and many other types of preventable diseases and cancers. We all pay into it and you don’t get the right to discriminate.
@JDean: The higher incidence of cancer is probably due to a weakened immune system and chronic inflammation due to having the disease itself and not the drugs. Not being on anti-retrovirals would most likely lead to an early death so I am not sure how the drugs could be blamed, unless they have found a way to get a control group to live normal lifespans without any drug therapy to test that theory.
Oh and as far as your comment about not wanting to slave away at work to pay for their medical bills…
Until I see you and others begin to yank the cake out of the hands of the obese, and engage in public fat shaming campaigns, I don’t really want to hear it. At least be consistent with your outrage over what poor lifestyle choices we as a society collectively pay for.
@Paco: It’s not the immune system. HIV drugs amp the immune system up permanently, hence why those on the drugs age much faster. The HIV drugs are toxic and the longer you take them the more they affect people.
Also, many HIV positive people are not on drugs, and have never taken the drugs. Educate yourself.
And my comment applies to all – I’m not paying for their healthcare, or anyone else’s. I’d rather the money spend on them to bareback is spent on something worthy – like kids dying of cancers because their parents can’t afford the treatments
@JDean: I’m sufficiently educated about HIV. You on the other hand…
I’m controlling HIV it’s not controlling me” said the 19 year old HIV positive “educator”. It’s probably a lot of fun to say something stupid like that but I’m pretty sure that HIV dictates every day of you life now, for the rest of your life. And I think you do a great disservice to your cause NOT to talk about the mistakes you made that lead to you being HIV positive at 19. How are other 19 years olds going to know how to avoid this 100% avoidable disease if they don’t hear from a voice of experience on what mistakes you made that led you to this point in your life? If your only mission is to make everyone feel better AFTER they’ve contracted HIV, then your help is too little and too late
@hughman55: Don’t criticize the special little flake, he made no mistakes it’s someone else’s fault
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