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19 July 2012

Comments

Anti_Intellect

Are we to feel empowered or informed by this "news?" How many more of these reports will the post? I get it, Black gay men are diseased vectors.

rc

If today's porn reflects or hints at what is desired in real life this news is no surprise. It seems like raw porn has increased in popularity. Extreme practices like multiple raw partners and taking cum inside are seen by young gay men as "hot". I wonder how far these practices are from reality and what would allow someone to practice raw sex regularly?

Kirk

Another reason why we, Black gay men, should love ourself a lot more. However the challenge is getting beyond the notion that "every" Black gay men is "infected". DILEMMA?

Zambos27

No, they should treat every new (as well as old) partner as if they are infected and protect themselves.

And more people need to talk about this and find a new approach because these numbers aren't getting any lower.

Southern Brother

After reading this report I am frustrated because some of the proposed solutions (more testing/education, developing respected black gay institutions and leaders, addressing relationship issues) are the same things I've been hearing for the last 15 years.

It's bad to feel like the black gay 'community' hasn't made much progress in nearly 2 decades.

albert frye

The bottom line is that thousands of black gay men are just stupid,dumb and ignorant and plain too damn lazy to practice safe sex by wearing a condom and not swallowing another man's sperm. As painful as it may sound I do not have any sympathy for this kind of black gay man

kevjack

Albert,

You are ignoring a lot of issues. HIV infection rates have been stable for several years. The issue is that the money for prevention is not targeted to the population where the epidemic is focused. White gays continue to get HIV, but at lower rates because those with HIV have access to medicines which keep their viral loads low.

Also, it is difficult to get funding for research on black gay men. How can we target them if we do not know what strategies will be effective? You'd be shocked to know what the CDC does and does not do about black gay men and their HIV prevention efforts.

I agree that black gay men need to take more responsibility for their sexual health, but there are also many structural issues involved that keep HIV infection rates high.

kevjack

I want to reiterate one thing on this issue so that we're all dealing with the same facts. We know for a fact that black men are more likely to use condoms with their sex partners. The problem is that HIV rates are higher among black men and black men, when they have HIV, are less likely to be taking an effective treatment for the disease. This means that our "slipups" or "mistakes" or whatever you want to call them are more likely to result in a seroconversion than for whites. When we do slip up we're more likely to be with a partner who is HIV positive and with a partner who has a higher viral load because the are not being treated for their HIV infection.

I agree that there are issues of personal responsibility involved, there always there. But it is also true that if our rates of *treatment* were similar to those of other communities (and that is more about economics and access than personal responsibility) we'd have lower rates of HIV infection because we, on average, have *safer* sexual practices.

Jewels

WE have very limited resources to get the word out and talk to black men. Very few, if any, black gay magazines and very few black gay websites (like this one). The drug companies are under the impression that the gay community is monolithic thanks to white marketing companies who tell them they can reach us (and they can't and don't) and we are not getting the message. We should really discuss the incredible amount of racism in the gay community.

elg

Phill Wilson faults the "black community" (i.e, straight black people) and gay rights groups/affluent gays (i.e., white gay male elites) for the high HIV infection rates among black gay men. My question is why should either of these groups give a rat's behind about HIV infections in black gay men? They have their own concerns as Mr. Wilson acknowledges.

The blueprint for HIV/AIDS prevention was established several decades ago by white gay activists and it hasn't changed over time. And spare me the
"cultural differences" between black gay men and white gay men
excuse. What do "cultural differences" have to do with using a condom? You either use protection EVERYTIME you have sex unless or until you meet someone you trust 100% (or you don't).

Straight black people (who mostly HATE us) and white gay male elites (who are mostly INDIFFERENT to us unless they want some of that BBC) do not "care" about HIV infections in black gay men.

Every black gay men has his life in his own two hands. The choice is yours, gentlemen. Actually, the choice was always yours.

Allen

Its crazy that we think that people that are infected are out here living wild crazy lives when a lot of people are getting it in relationships where partners are cheating. We need to learn to be content with wrapping it up and YESSSS oral sex is considered unprotected sex. Don't believe the myth that its impossible to get HIV from oral because the risk is STILL there. I really wish people would stop thinking with their penis and get educated about the topic. I've seen it effect people in such crazy ways and that's one of the reasons I don't want sex

Sebaspace

The HIV battle is already lost in the black gay community. The only solution is finding a cure. The sooner this reality is accepted, the better for all concerned. Not even taking Truvada as a preventive option will work; it is too expensive for most black folks.

RIO RIO

Sad but true, I agree with Albert, however I do not think its due to laziness. There are so many raw fck parties and jumpoff groups on the internet that stress raw fcks that nowadays i am not surpirsed at this article or its stats. It seems that due to the modern medicine that has been supplied to combat the disease its easier to fck and then pop a pill and wish for the best. Its great that as a community we have access to this medicine but we should still adhere to safe practices to protect others and ourselves.

Colin William

Sadly misplaced trust and lack of self-confidence are the most common reasons why black males are becoming infected with HIV

John

I hope that this "news" wont be used by Black gay males' enemies as yet another reason to see Black gay males (and Black males in general) as undesirables. I remember a report made in the last two or three years that many white gay males in San Francisco saw Blacks as the least sought after relationship partners because of this stigma of the "majority" of them being Hiv positive.

Kevin Perez

You're also forgetting this could further be used as ammunition by the religious Right to continue to scapegoat and demonize LGBTs, specifically minsters in the using these findings as "evidence" about how perverted we are. You know some will never stop scapegoating gay men for sport.

From my experience, lack of education or outreach isn't the problem. Some our so-called communities simply don't care or lack any apathy. We're either just commodities or simply whipping boys.

AJ

Allen, you are so correct. You can get HIV from oral sex, I should know, that's how I got it. I never participated in anal sex, never was my thing. So imagine my surprise when, at 48 yo I tested positive. I'm on medicaation and my Viral Load is undetecable. At first I thought my life was over, but I plan on living to old age. It is what it is.

Colin William

We as Black Gay men have been stereotyped as the Mandingos of the gay community...we are not featured as loving ourselves in many forms of media expressions especially not with each other. We are viewed as the tops for all the races especially for the white men who want those inches but not the relationship...then we are viewed as the sissy oral bottoms for the masculine black men on the DL. We don't have our images to keep us sane and satisfied. I sincerely hope my message is understood here

Now, my personally story is that I have tried to date black men but the men that I did date it was like a clash of the titans. I am afraid to be versatile but most wanted unprotected sex after a few dates or sometimes on the first encounter. This is not a statement of the ENTIRE black gay community but rather my experience. I am a college educated man with two Masters. I know the risk so my response was "hell no".

I don't have the negativity of the church influencing my self-worth as I am a devout atheist and this is not to assume that those who attend church are any less self-aware of their choices. Talk with a friend or counselor if you are riddled with shame because this can lead to bad choices.

Most major cities have free testing centers but I remember the anxiety and self-doubt that comes when you are tested, "the little mind games of what if and what did I do and did I really know him" but alas I do believe that it has to be done.

We need to talk with our partners and demand to SEE that they have been tested within a responsible time period before getting down to the deed and keep condoms on. My personal strength and self-awareness at 44 years old has kept me together mentally and physically.

Lastly, get offline and out the parks and bathhouses looking for sex; yes it is a need that each and everyone has but it needs to talked about and approached less like a game of conquest and with more compassion and understanding of what you are truly after.

Chitown Kev

My views on this are pretty much in line with kevjack's, although I am a bit more of a hardliner on the personal responsibility end...

Structural issues? Yes, by al means; for example, Rod posted the report on the racism and homophobia that greeted HIV+ black gay men at Stroger Hospital here in Chicago...you had better believe there are more cases like that.

But ultimately, I'm with elg, the prevention and testing info is out there.

Screen Name Here

@Colin: Your remarks caught my attention. Thanks for sharing them. You said: "We don't have our images to keep us sane and satisfied." This is so true and I totally get what you are talking about. We have NO support; NO positive images; NO shoulder to lean on. It's even worse considering that so many of us HATE each other. I'm sorry that your relationships with other Black men have not been successful. Please don't give up! There are quality Black men out there. There are!!! Also, it's ok to be afraid of being versatile. Continue to protect yourself. A good Black man will want you to be versatile, continue to protect yourself, and protect him as well.

Finally, your Mandingo statement is correct. Now, here's the problem. White guys (and other races) buy into that stereotype because so many Black men out there are anxious to fulfill it. Trust me...I see it all the time. Black men will jump over oceans and seas for the opportunity to Top the fattest, stankiest, ugliest, oldest man simply because of his White skin.

Colin William

Screen Name...THANK YOU!!

Get tested, take a friend or family member with you and say, " I am nervous and need some support"...be upfront with your feelings...check with your insurance company or local HIV clinic about medications because if you are HIV+ you want to make sure that you have a good support base. While HIV disclosure is a tricky thing with friends and family....YOU SHOULD ALWAYS KNOW IF YOU THE VIRUS!!

The Mandingo stereotype is something that many black gay men ascribe to because it deludes them and shields them from their "real self"...being that empty vessel of fantasy instead of that man of substance...

Many black gay men have been made broken by a system that ignores them and therefore they cheapen themselves into believing something that is not true

I love being versatile and it keeps me sane and satisfied...Yes, I do agree that there will be a man out there that will love me as much as I love myself!!


Kevin Perez

Well to be honest, a lot of the aspirations of being the Mandigo and Big Black Buck have more to do with the pathological heterosexual, ethnocentric, obsession of what "Brothas" should emulate. Let's face it, some Black gay youth and even those who are not gay, simply cannot meet such ludicrous standards and are condemned for not living up to those ideals masculinity, manhood, and what being "Black" is.

There are those who essentially do not fit the norm that have folks trying to revoke their ethnic membership card by insisting they're not "real Black men" unless they are MANDINGO or the BIG BLACK BUCK, the rap star or the athlete, and yes, a even the criminals or the thug and that is a damn shame. What really gets to me sometimes is you'll have a group of people complaining about said stereotypes but at the same time, expect others to perpetuate them in the first place. If you don't, you'll be accused of not being "real" or not Black enough. Why the condemnation in the first place? These are the types of folks that get more respect than any on else, the very stereotypes people claim to condemn.

Michael

@ Colin and Kevin. You have both taken the words out of my mouth! People expect "Real Black Men" to be the stereotype/myth and if you don't match up to it then you're "Not a Real Black Man" in their eyes.

I have a lot of friends black and white who say the same about myself especially as I have been to university and they think "Real Black Men" don't need any further education????


I want to scream sometimes lol!

Chitown Kev

I think that some of the "Mandingo complex" talk here is fine, even though it veers away from the subject matter a bit but I really do feel that it's generalizing "what black men think" and how they act waaaaaaaaaay too much for me.

(Nothing turns me off more than a fat, stankin-ass, ugly man of ANY race...now older....I can work with that)

Colin William

What are black gay men afraid of?

1. Is there lack of testing options in certain areas?

2. Revealing to partners past and future of HIV status?

3. No longer being desirable if found HIV+?

What is it???

Also the hyper masculinity is it keeping you from being the real you??

Also whatever websites do Black gay men visit to feel empowered and NOT as a victim to see themselves and loved??? Please share them??

I loved this book as it was a good lesson about self-perception and self-destruction but coming out of it with one's head up high

http://www.amazon.com/Day-Stopped-Being-Pretty/dp/1593091230/

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