It’s tempting to go a little crazy on gay pride – there are so many boys, girls, loads of drugs, sex, music, you name it. Even the most seasoned gay veterans can find themselves caught up in the madness of it all.
That’s why we asked Robert Hagerty, Senior Research Coordinator at the NYU Center for AIDS Research, to pen a friendly reminder for you guys to keep your noses (and everything) else clean. Or, at the very least, safe…
Pride is a time for celebration, and our community finds many ways to celebrate our identity, diversity and culture. Pride is a wonderful time of the year, but like other holidays and celebrations, it can also be a risky time for some people.
Sometimes when we celebrate, we lose our inhibitions–through the use of alcohol, recreational drugs, or just getting caught up in the spirit of the day–and that loss of inhibition can lead to unsafe sex. At the NYU Center for AIDS Research, over the years we’ve seen people that came in for testing because of a possible HIV exposure during Pride; some of these people turned out to be HIV-infected.
So however you celebrate Pride this weekend, please be careful. If you’re going to use alcohol or recreational drugs, please use them in moderation. Make sure you pack condoms and lube before you leave your house for the day. And, please, please ask your friends to watch out for you.
If you’re worried about a possible exposure to HIV, you should contact your doctor or call us for testing and treatment options. Also, you may want some information about post-exposure prophylaxis, which may reduce your risk HIV infection after an exposure. You should also learn about the signs and symptoms of a recent HIV infection, which can be found here on our website.
Whatever you get into, make sure yo have a very happy – and safe – Pride!