Excellent Post about Barebacking and the AIDS epidemic

I’ve been beating the same drum over and over in various forum and commentary discussions, and was most pleased to read this particularly well-thought out article at Proceed At Your Own Risk.(NSFW)

So no matter AIDS conferences and studies are done, the fact is that our society, crippled by a fear of sex, is incapable to providing the kind of sex education and disease prevention programs that would save millions of lives and improve the quality of millions of lives for generations to come.

Definitely worth the entire read.  Go Now.

Then try and tell me again that an honest conversation about sex and relationships in this country isn’t the first step we need to take towards solving this problem.

Sometimes the human race is just a bunch of idiotic children, I swear to God.

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4 thoughts on “Excellent Post about Barebacking and the AIDS epidemic

  1. Well, it’s quite the rant, I’ll give him that. However, I’m not sure exactly what the point is other than, “Despite our ability to make fire, people continue to make stupid choices.”

    I don’t bareback and don’t support it. However, there is this pesky thing called free will and I’m not sure the best way to convince anyone of the dangers of unprotected sex is by castigating and vilifying them.

    I’m also not sure I understand his motivation for going after the CDC which does all it can both as an informational clearinghouse as well as a preventative advocate.

    Frankly, when he got to blaming every single social ill on “fear of sex” I completely lost interest. The statement, “In fact, genophobia may very well be the leading cause of physiological and psychology morbidity, mortality, poverty and human suffering in the United States,” is quite possibly the dumbest thing I have heard all year, and I watched Bush’s press conference Monday. To reduce this country’s social ills and their individual causes down to some sort of Freudian hat-trick is both insulting and damaging to those working to actually do something about those problems.

  2. Well, I don’t agree with everything that he wrote, especially regarding the CDC, but the underlying point, I think, is a good one. (Given the fact that I kinda disregarded the “fear of sex” part myself–I know, that’s a goodly portion of the article.) I DO think that there is some truth, though, in that it is our “fear of sex”–and I wouldn’t say “fear” myself, rather than “aversion to discussion of” sex–leads to a lot of misinformation or even missing information when it comes to young people.
    And the statistical study he points to is frightening in itself. Which, perhaps, is the point. From Sully’s advocation of barebacking–when he himself has HIV–to some of the random nonsensical comments I’ve had to respond to at the Malcontent, I can fully see a need for a bitch-slap wake-up call to younger gay men. And I think that was what he was going for overall.

  3. Yes, “aversion to discussion of” sex is a much better way to say it and I wholly agree that it causes a lot of misinformation. I mean, there are still women out there who believe you can’t get pregnant the first time or if you do it standing up and people have been doing the zygote shuffle a lot longer than they’ve been trying to gauge the risk level of a blow job.

    While I support more education and informational clearinghouses, it seems there’s a saturation limit where people just tune out. For example, the cases of adult-onset, type II diabetes are skyrocketing. It’s a largely preventable condition that, once developed, necessitates major life changes (from diet to possibly having to test and inject oneself one to four times a day) and, if uncontrolled, can lead to a painful and humiliating death (indeed, in raw numbers, AIDS and diabetes kill roughly the same number of Americans each year). The easiest way to avoid it is simple: take exercise, watch your weight and don’t eat a diet primarily composed of sugar and fat. People have known about this risk forever, yet they continue to make poor choices for one reason or another.

    So it seems there’s just an informational saturation point where more education, more information, more facts do not help the situation. People know what they’re doing, what’s at risk and either don’t care or have some other mental process going on that makes the information irrelevant.

    I think we may be nearing that point on HIV/AIDS. People know good and well the facts. HIV, while no longer certain death, is still a ravaging disease that leads to a condition which can kill. It’s easy to avoid, don’t have unprotected sex or share needles. If you do become infected, it requires a major life reworking to control the disease progression (although it is possible, which is something we couldn’t say as little as ten years ago) and you still shouldn’t have unprotected sex so as to avoid reinfection with multiple strains (thus reducing HAART effectiveness). People know these things, but they just don’t care.

    You’re right, people need some sort of bitch-slap to reenergize and reinvigorate them. I’m just not sure more education is going to do it in the US nor is name calling. Outside of the US, education and information is still key. Worldwide, AIDS is a truly frightening epidemic that kills more people than terrorism every year. These are preventable deaths, but these lives are literally not worth saving because it’s not cost effective to provide the masses of people with HIV/AIDS the drugs they need to stay alive or because corruption in governement prevents these drugs from ever making it to the people. Truly, this is one of the greatest shames of our time, beyond Iraq and whatever the hell is happening in the middle east. This bald-faced admission that there is a price on human life and that huges swaths of people just aren’t financially worth saving is the biggest black mark on our collective soul.

    As for the study itself, I’ve seen it and all I can say is that it’s interesting. These studies are notorious for the reliability of their predictions. Not because the methodology is flawed, but because there are so many factors playing into infection rates that short-term forecasts are difficult and long-term forecasts near impossible. It’s obvious that infection rates are increasing (and it’s obvious that there’s a demographic shift into the African-American gay community) but other than that there’s very little hard forcasting that can be made.

  4. We cannot change them but we can pass our good wills to them.
    Safe sex is always the first thing that we should realize before having sex. Unfortunately that some of them don’t acknowledge nor keep in mind.

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