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11 September 2008

Comments

S. Flemming

I hear what Mr. Wilson is saying. But on the other hand come on ... this is 2008. People are well aware of the dangers of unsafe sex - but we all know from experience that there are people who don't care and do whatever they feel like doing, regardless of the consequences. I think more than anything, black gay men have to love themselves more, and that is not something Washington or anybody else can fix. WE have to fix it.

freeleo

Between prison and hiv; there goes the black race.

freeleo

You've gotten close to 100 comments regarding Noah's Arc. If you get 25 comments on this topic, I'll be shocked. So few people care about one another let alone the next generation. It's just sad. Positive people don't care enough to disclose their status to their partners and wear a condom. Negative people, particularly in the demographic hardest hit, are young dealing with the guilt and shame of being sgl, rejection of the larger black community, and the lessons taught by a hateful, intolerant religious society. The church may have been a way to better life right out of slavery but it's killing us today.

I've had a lot of sex in my life; I mean a lot of sex. I'm still hiv negative. When I started getting tested over 20 years ago I wondered how this could be when all of my closest friends were dying? The only reason that it could be is that once we were told by medical professionals that a condom could save your life I never stopped using them. (Just to be clear I'm talking about anal sex. Getting and giving head, I take my chances. It's a lower risk and all the people I know that only suck dick are still here. i'm not perfect and I still get checked once a year for stds.)
The bottom line is use a condom. Save your life. You can still have a great time. (Please don't accuse me of bragging about being hiv negative. I only bring it up to show that it can be done. I suffered from survivor's guilt for over a decade and I'm just getting over it. I want all my brother to live long and healthy lives... Peace

Ryan

it is saddening, but not surprising at all.

and, with HIV med ads showing pictures of people whoa re healthy, strong and resilient, people DO believe that HIV/AIDS can be managed and everyone who has it looks "healthy"

people need to use condoms and get tested REGULARLY...

and also, self-esteem is a big issue for so many black gay and bisexual men...

13-29: alarming, but not surprising...

and WE need to do something as a community..folk need to start getting over their issues with gays and sexuality and start TALKING to each other about safer sex...this needs to happen wher eblack folks go to the most: Churches, community halls, etc....

Aaron

I agree, it is sad and has a lot to do with personal responsibility. The first time I got up the courage to say no to intercourse without a condom in the 80s was with a former lover that is no longer here. That decision and a lot of other "no"s in situations I was not comfortable with have probably saved my life and preserved my health.

freeleo

Good for you Aaron. We have got to start sharing our experiences so that others can see that you can say no to sex without a condom. I like how you used the word "courage" to describe your decision not to have bareback sex. More brothers need to be equally as courageous. As we can see AIDS is not going any where anytime soon. USE A CONDOM BROTHERS! SAVE YOUR LIFE!

Nathan James

I was at the Latex Ball last month, whose sponsor is GMHC and whose purpose is to promote HIV testing and education for the LGBT community. I got tested at GMHC two days before the Ball, and for my trouble was presented with a bracelet which gave me VIP access to the event. This is "incentive-based testing" and while this method rewards people for getting tested, sometimes it falls by the wayside. This is because people refuse to be tested for fear of the results.

As long as gays and lesbians of every description continue to be afraid of test results, no amount of "incentives"--at Pride In The City they used to pay you $20 for being tested--will get them into testing. This fear is often the result of people's knowledge of their own unsafe sexual activities, and ignorance is bliss. But then when these people become symptomatic, how many have they unwittingly infected already?

Fenton's goal is to teach CDC prevention/safe sex methodology to the greatest possible number of at-risk people. However, if he is contending with the twin obstacles of ignorance and fear, he's already in trouble--and so are we.

This past summer, I went on vacation and attended a big party of notable gay figures. I was absolutely astonished to see how willingly some of them had raw sex with those they had just met! If the message isn't getting to those whom we look up to, then woe be upon us, because precious few of the rest of us will get this critical message at all!

Wilson cites the government's "poor response" to this dreadful scythe which is cutting our community down in unprecedented numbers. I submit to the good patrons of Rod Online that we need to stop waiting for a disinterested government to attack this problem. We must, as JFK once said so astutely, "re-examine our own attitudes". HIV/AIDS prevention begins and ends with each and every one of US. We must do it today. We must do it together. There is a holocaust going on right here on our doorstep, and it's up to us not to let it continue.

Mel Smith

Freelo made a good point; do the black community support black gay people? 13-years-old and HIV positive

nahtans

It all boils down to self esteem...why else would you play with fire AND GET BURNED intentionally. YOu probably dont think your life is worth much. I think that senior gays ( 40 plus LOL) like myself and others who have so far survived the epidemic should TRY to mentor younger gay men without being judgemental. Talk to them about careers, life goals etc and in the process show them that they is more to their lives that raw sex, more than just sex. And that they is a cummunity of black people ( us) that support tehm

nahtans

excuse the theys for theres

Jim Pickett

Well, yes there is personal repsonsibility, but there are serious structural issues that are at play here. Lack of access to healthcare, institutionalized racism and homophobia, etc.... How about the CDC's horrifying lack of investment in prevention programs for gay men in general? The funding has not followed the epidemic in this country, unfortunately, it has followed what is most politically palatble - which means a lotta NADA for gay men, particularly black gay men.

Also, we need to support the development of new prevention technologies. We need to have more than LATEX to protect ourselves.... So, gay men need to rally around and advocate for new prevention options, like pre-exposure prophylaxis, vaccines and rectal microbicides.

Jim Pickett

Please indulge me one more time and allow me to share a significant piece of the CDC's report from yesterday:

"The male-to-male sexual contact transmission category represented 72% of new infections among males, including 81% of new infections among whites, 63% among blacks, and 72% among Hispanics. Among MSM, whites had 46% of new infections, and blacks and Hispanics had 35% and 19%, respectively. Among MSM aged 13--29 years, blacks had an estimated 5,220 (48%) infections, compared with 3,300 (31%) for whites and 2,300 (21%) for Hispanics. MSM aged 13--29 years had 38% of new infections among all MSM and 25% of new infections among white MSM, 52% among black MSM, and 43% among Hispanic MSM. Among white MSM, by age group, the largest number of new infections (5,600 [34%]) was among those aged 30--39 years."

This paints a picture that shows gay men of all colors to be seriously at risk, and among gay white men, 30 - 39... So it aint ALL about race, and it aint ALL about age...

Derrick from Philly

It's also about fighting the feeling of hopelessness, isn't it?
Just like too many young hetero black men don't believe that they have a future, the same applies for too many young gay/sgl black men. I'm not sure they even think in terms of living to be in their forties and beyond.

FREELEO, I'm curious. You've mentioned that you grew up in North Philly. Did you know this guy named Hansel who grew up near 16th and York. He was one of the nicest people I ever met, but his life and death are fascinating (and a mystery)to me. I'm told that he dealt with more gay-bashing than I did--not just from the community, but also his own family. Wonderful gay man, but very tragic--like so many, the virus took him away in the 90s.

freeleo

Thank you for the this information Mr Pickett. It gives a broader view of what's actually occurring.

Everything that you mentioned is important by I still believe that it's every individual's responsibility to take care of his own health. Condoms and lube are given out pretty much all over every major city in the country; from clinics to clubs. How do we get people to apply the tools we already have in preventing new hiv infections?
I'm not sure what part more funding plays in this area.

freeleo

please forgive the misspelled words. i'm the worst, but i'm trying to be better about proof reading... peace..

nahtans

but what is sad is that the young black men are the most vulnerable it seems percentage wise

cp

There are so many things happening in the Black community that are not being talked about in terms of the sexual behavior of Black people. We are in the throes of a sexual revolution that include an explosion in a wide range of sexual expression that include male and female homosexuality. Another issue that is never addressed is the outbreak of Black male sexual predators who are both straight and gay. These widespread issues are never addressed and how can they if AIDS and wearing condoms is still an issue to avoid or deny? How can a sexual predator who has an uncontrollable sex addiction be conscious enough of himself to wear a condom? How can the Black community change if we are so ashamed of our sexual selves that we much rather live and die in secret than face the truth and undergo the educational process of transformation and healing? It's rough and its real out here... Young people do not have the luxury of a childhood anymore. We all must get CLEAR about whether we wish to LIVE or SUFFER.

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