For 35 years it has never been a good idea to believe a gay man who tells you “I don’t have HIV.” Instead the message has been to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself. Primarily by using a condom.
Condoms have been highly effective at preventing HIV infection and were so even in the days when HIV+ men were always infectious.
It’s great that so many men who are HIV+ are now “undetectable” for the virus. But nothing has changed. You still can’t rely on any man knowing his exact status or telling you the truth.
Gay men WILL lie to you to get what they want and these days what they want may be unprotected bareback anal sex.
The article states: “people with HIV who are taking meds and have maintained an undetectable viral load for at least six months have a “negligible to non-existent” risk of transmitting the virus sexually.”
Great, but how do YOU know what their circumstances are? How do YOU know they have had an undetectable viral load for “at least six months”? How do YOU know they are taking their meds?
Remember, most are men who couldn’t get it together to use a condom for anal sex every time and who became HIV+ as a result. Why would you now put your own future health in their hands?
And it isn’t just casual partners. On the contrary, many HIV infections occur within gay relationships because condoms are abandoned and a partner is having risky sex outside of the partnership. Numerous gay men have become positive because they trusted too readily.
The message to take away from an article like this one is that there are fewer men around who are infectious for HIV. In general that makes sex with a condom even safer.
Once you start barebacking you fall off a cliff into a swamp of men who are less concerned about their health and who are more likely than average to be HIV+. They will tend to be the men who aren’t taking their meds as directed (so are more likely to be infectious) and who are high risk for all sexually transmitted infections because those spread like wildfire via bareback anal sex.
There is no need to fear any HIV+ gay man who suggests using a condom. It’s a great sign: of a man who cares about his health and maybe even about the health of his partners. And as such he is more likely to be taking his meds regularly, be undetectable and free of other STIs.
With articles like this one from poz.com, always read between the lines and consider what the agenda is.