Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dying of ignorance

Aids tombstoneDid any of my UK readers see Stephen Fry's program on TV tonight about Aids in 2007? Some aspects were truly frightening.

For me the most disturbing bit was near the beginning. A young gay guy described how one of his HIV positive friends was involved in giving an HIV negative 19 year old guy "the gift", meaning infecting him with HIV. The 19 year old actually WANTED to be infected, so he got 5 HIV positive guys to fuck him without a condom to "poz him up". At the end they put a butt-plug in his arse to make sure none of the infected semen escaped.

I've always thought the 1980's aids awareness campaign "Don't die of ignorance" that we had in the UK was a hugely impressive and effective campaign. Twenty years later and all the messages seem to have been lost :-(.

12 comments:

Will said...

I'm not sure I have a grasp on the "bug chasing" gay man who wants to be infected and who will go to such lengths to become positive. I hear that in some cases it's a political act, in others that it's a protest against the mainstreaming of gays into society, thereby losing the "edge" that distinguished earlier generations of fierce gay men from more conventional straights.

What I do know is that we have absolutely no sense of history in this contry and that young people growing up in the U.S. have little or no ideal of what went on in the U.S. before about 1997, if even that. The blatant horrors of the first onslaught of the plague are totally unknown to them and many are in complete denial about the continuing, even if reduced, death rate due to AIDS. Since there is, as we all know, a pill for everything, I guess they assume there'll be a pill for them someday soon. The way many of them behave, I sure hope they're right.

harry_d said...

It is just sad. How little some people treasure their lives.

Queerest_Chris said...

Heck...why would people want to be infected? It's not something cool no matter how you see it..or am I wrong?

Brindley Ford said...

I didn't see it, but I think the phenomenon is more than disturbing: it's chilling.

I agree with Will, too. There isn't a cure, just a way to prolong life once you have it.

czechOUT said...

Agree. But the point is that that was 20 years ago. Now the flavour of the month is BB vids showing hot, sexy desirable guys fucking unprotected, and then cumming over an ass and fucking the spunk back in. Not only does it normalise unsafe sex, it drives a need. Hey, it;s fucking hot...

20-teens didn't have the scare our generation lived with those ads. Their impression is the disease is survivable easily. It can be managed, but for us it was death.

Yup Reagan had a lot to answer for.

When I used to use Gaydar I was *shocked* at how many people said safe sex but in the event wanted to push the envelope and do it bare.

And for those who are bug chasers-they just want to get it over with. Then they can fuck without fear.

Finally, if you had AIDS in 80s (there was then no distinction HIV/ AIDS) you were a leper. Now we try our best (rightfully so) to make those who accentuate the positivity suffer no stigma.

Sorry, I offer no solutions...

ahoj

close encounters said...

i wonder if "bug chasers" are just completely screwed up in the head ... and if they weren't bug chasing, they would be trying to die in other ways ?

aurix said...

i recently worked for an organization that does HIV/AIDS prevention work. there are still a lot of misconceptions about HIV/AIDS out there. it's quite sad.

many of the bug chasers, like the above comment says, want to get it over with. some (if not most of them) also have psychological issues usually having to do with self-esteem, which is of course directly connected to gender/sexuality.

Sir Wobin said...

The Husband and I were gobsmacked after seeing the film The Gift at the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. It too explored the strange world of bug chasers and "gift givers". There was a panel discussion afterward that was very interesting.

As Aurix mentions it focused around some of the psychological issues that bug chasers have and the need of gift givers to not feel alone. Glamorising a disease in this way seems utterly preposterous. We don't glamorise broken bones or cancer.

Just as worrying, a Beeb news article mentioned that potentially 1/3 of people living with HIV in the UK don't know they have it!!

Sasha said...

Hey,

i've not had that concept of bug chasing in this part of the world, i find it amazing people would do that for real! I guess its because here the stigma is so big, aint no glamour with being infected.

What we do have though is people going around intentionally passing it around out of vengence!

Anonymous said...

It's always said that kissing is safe but if you have an ulcer or sore in your lips or mouth you should avoid doing it with casual partners and more so if giving unprotected oral sex.

Bug chasers also forget that by getting different strains of HIV the meds they take will become less effective and super strains might develop inside them which they might then pass on. Also HIV weakens the immune system so if they go around having unprotected sex there could be serious complications from both treatable and untreatable sexually transmitted infections (other than HIV) that they might get.

Soul Seared Dreamer said...

Yeah, I did. I blogged about it too. Fucked up guy as far as I'm concerned.

Its amazing how little people treasure their own life... I guess the little brain dead fuck will live to regret it.

Blind-Truth Betold said...

sick