Re-educating the gay ill health sector on safe sex and condom use will be uncomfortable but it needs to happen

By | 27th October 2018

It’s not unfair to say that the gay ill health sector has over the past 15 years failed in their remit to keep gay men safe from HIV and STIs with a strong message of consistent condom use. Championing the reliable condom as the gold standard in HIV prevention along with healthy lifestyles all but disappeared from anything they produced.

Silly “toolbox” strategies of communication, constantly testing and trust have never been viable safe sex practices and the steady increases in HIV infections from 2000 prove the “risk reduction” strategy to be an utter failure. Now the situation is even worse.

It’s as though mentioning condoms is a hate crime within the gay ill health sector and so called “experts” continually undermine their effectiveness and resort to mentioning them vaguely as “other tools”. Only to be used when a HIV positive man has just been diagnosed and hasn’t reached an undetectable viral load and after that they can be ditched.

PrEP, in the eyes of the gay ill health sector is the replacement to the condom. Condoms, to them, play little part in HIV prevention or sexual health, consigned to history, as they believe taking PrEP and getting regular check ups and taking antibiotics when infected with STIs will be the standard practice for gay men. They wish to normalise unprotected sex. They believe this is the future.

Their bareback post-condom fantasy world of gay liberation is one where the gay population is mass medicated: on PrEP if HIV negative or on ARV medication if positive. They are on a drive to “educate” the gay population with supposed new facts (where you trust a partner – madness) to get you having unprotected sex, abandon condom use, and be liberated. Having bareback “condomless” sex without shame or fear.

They will drag up the AIDS epidemic of the 80s and 90s and bang on about the “fear” and “trauma” of those times to push their bareback agenda onto the gay community. They want you to feel guilty that you want to wear a condom, claim that this needs to be “unlearned” and there is no need to “fear” unprotected sex in the times of undetectable and PrEP. Wearing a condom YOU are still traumatised by the AIDS epidemic, they say. Yet we can learn from the past AIDS epidemic, but not in the way the Prepsters want you to.

At the time many gay publications said “don’t panic!”. How many gay men listened to that message and carried on having unprotected sex and were infected with HIV and died?

How many believed that HIV wouldn’t happen to them? That condoms were some kind of societal control from the “heteronormative” patriarchy and therefore unprotected sex was a defiant act of gay liberation? Being a cumdump slut was “liberating” and HIV nothing to be “feared”? The very message the Prepsters are pushing today.

Being a “fabulous slut” taking PrEP and having unprotected sex with multiple male partners should be “slut shamed”. Slut shamers do have the moral high ground. What is responsible about spreading diseases around your community? Being a slut is a mental health issue it’s not a sign of liberation. If you self identify as a “slut” you need help and counselling to get a more balanced view on what a sex life is all about and life in general.

Condemning barebacking cumdump sluts as disease spreaders, antisocial and contributing to antibiotic resistant STIs and multi-drug resistant HIV, is valid. They should be shamed and stigmatised. Why? Because it is a public health issue that affects the whole gay community.

So next time a Prep “hero” tells you to “shut the fuck up!”, that gay men can have “choices” and are “responsible” for their own individual  sexual practices and it’s nothing to do with you, tell them being a barebacking cum slut is nothing to be “celebrated” and that they need to be “educated”.

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