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13 November 2006



I'm a new reader and just wanted to thank you for staying on top of HIV news. So many of us are hurting, infected and scared ... yet don't talk about it.


25 years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic, I'm not sure why men don't know their status, don't get tested or revela their status. Now some men want to play with each other unprotected as long as they have the same status ... i dunno, they could be infected since the last test and not know about it.

Andy in Seattle

As a guy who came out as gay the same year HIV was identified, I've watched this epidemic evolve--and remain an epidemic. The reasons HIV has continued to spread are complex, I'm sure, but I've noticed a marked change in recent years over the issue of disclosure. I feel, as a responsible member of the gay community, and as a single and sexually active gay man, it is my responsibility to myself, as well to my partners, to get tested for HIV and STDs, and to disclose my status. I'm still negative, and I test every three months. Interestingly, I find that when I disclose or ask a potential partner's status, I get a variety of responses. Interestingly, I've found that the West Coast queer communities seem to be pro-disclosure, whereas most men I've met from the Eastern US, or at least the Northeast to be specific, bristle or are outright offended if I ask. (Most, but not all.)"You should just assume everyone is positive and proceed that way!" I've been screamed at by poz boys who maintain that the possibility of offending HIV positive men is more important that the possible infection of HIV negative men. I am curious if this is truly a geographic phenomenon or if I've just had bad rude luck. Anyone else encounter this schism?


Andy, interesting story. I'm out east in NYC and the mantra is, a syou said, assume everyone is positive. I'm not sure why, but there is less emphasis on disclosure and more on prevention. Not that the two ae mutually exclusive.

ANYWAY ... very good point, thanks!

j. brotherlove

I've also held the position of assuming every sexual partner is HIV Positive and proceed accordingly (Chicago-raised, BTW).

I dunno, I get the campaign on one level. But the truth is, men are not telling the truth about their status, for a variety of reasons.

To advocate this method and act as if men will always get an honest answer is unrealistic.

Samuel I

Good point, brotherlove. Everyone shoyld get tested, learn their status, reveal their status and act like they know. But everyone doesn'tr. Can't say this is the best approach but at least it responds to what some men are doing.

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