Condom promotion has always been the bedrock of HIV prevention and sexual good health for gay men. However something very strange, if not sinister, is happening within the gay health charity sector. Condoms are no longer mentioned in articles.
The principle behind any health campaign is to give information, advice and guidance to the general population to ensure people are well informed and make the right choices to stay healthy. This message is extremely important in regards to HIV prevention for the gay population and condoms should be front and centre in any article regarding safe sex for gay men. Incredibly the message of “protect yourself and wear a condom” has disappeared!
What are the possible reasons for condoms no longer being mentioned by the gay health sector (un)professionals?
Over the past two decades the simply message of “limit your partners and wear a condom every time” has slowly been replaced with a complex “toolbox” approach. This approach is where supposedly you can avoid HIV with a variety of “strategies”. You will see countless “7 ways to avoid HIV” and “there’s more to HIV prevention than condoms”. All these lists were designed to undermine using condoms every time you had anal sex.
The toolbox of deception – undermining condoms as the gold standard of HIV prevention
However the “toolbox” approach is highly flawed, giving a false sense of security and has been a misleading strategy and a disservice to the gay community. Naive concepts such as you can “communicate” with another gay man to establish his “status” and have condomless sex with an “honest discussion”. You will find some guys on hook up sites using this strategy and they get burnt. This is why we call it the “toolbox of deception”.
The combination approach – reimagining gay sex and removing condoms from the picture
The gay health (un)professionals now believe we live in a post condom world where condoms are an inconvenient component, hindering sexual pleasure and intimacy. A message they strongly push as “sex positivity” and “sex without shame”. The toolbox has itself been replaced by a “combination” approach. They believe we can only “end HIV” (a ridiculous concept in itself) with HIV positive gay men taking ARV meds and becoming undetectable and HIV negative men taking PrEP on a daily basis or on an “event” based dosing before sex (condomless of course). Along with constant testing for HIV and STIs. Condoms don’t come into the equation, so why mention them?
Destroying the effectiveness of condoms – telling lies and misleading the gay population
They also believe condoms are not effective for preventing HIV or STIs and sell the lie that they only work 70% of the time, citing a survey in the late 80s which was never recognised as accurate. You will now see the term “oral” gonorrhea being mentioned so barebacking cannot be stigmatised as transmitting sexually transmitted diseases, even though it is a highly transmittable route. Condoms work almost 100%, gay men who have had lots of sex in the 80s and 90s and consistently used condoms are HIV negative and had very few STIs in that period as condom use drove down infections across the board.
They hate condoms
Many in the gay sexual health sector are HIV positive, some for 20 years or more. Back then you had to really hate condoms to put yourself at risk of a potentially killer disease constantly. At that time, men who behaved in this way were looked on as reckless, possibly a bit unhinged and best avoided. Due to political correctness, as HIV+ gay men they were able to move into jobs in the gay health sector and now they’re in charge of telling the 93% of gay and bi men who are negative how to stay safe! You couldn’t make it up.
They see condoms as an evil, a social control and you can only be a liberated gay man with a fulfilling sex life if you go bareback. Their goal is to normalise condomless sex, so as to “destigmatise” it within the gay community. To achieve that goal what better way than to never mention condoms again as part of sexual health promotion for gay men? Condoms don’t exist because for them in their “toolbox” – they never did.