Using condoms is the most effective way to prevent you from becoming HIV+ if you have anal sex. They also prevent many STIs, which are more easily transmitted through unprotected anal. So why during a high profile campaign such as HIV testing week don’t the gay (ill)health charities promote condoms in conjunction with testing? They seem to have no problem promoting U=U on their websites with videos.
To us here at GMAP it seems bizarre that condoms aren’t included in the message. In the past it used to be “test and protect” which meant test for HIV and protect yourself by wearing a condom. However now condoms have been erased from the message. Why is that? What are the reasons behind removing condoms from HIV prevention?
We’re in a very peculiar period in gay men’s health. Vague messages suggest that testing “protects” you from HIV. We’ve heard younger gay men say “I won’t get HIV because I test regularly” and “I ask my partners when they had their last HIV test”.
Neither of these will “protect” you from being infected with HIV, yet the gay ill health organisations push the agenda that testing and communication are effective prevention strategies for the individual. A test for HIV and positive result will mean you can be put on treatment and that will lower the chances of you spreading the disease to your future partners. But a test does nothing to protect YOU from HIV.
Testing won’t “save” you from HIV. Communicating that you had a HIV test 3 months ago and your partner saying the same doesn’t mean you are “safe” from HIV and therefore you can have unprotected “condomless” sex without “fear”. Its a ludicrous strategy. However this seems to be how many young gay men are interpreting the message the gay (ill)health sector spew out while not including condoms into the equation.
Not mentioning condoms is putting young gay men at risk from HIV. Why do the gay (ill)health organisations do this? They seem quite content banging on about PrEP and U=U as prevention strategies, but have erased condoms from the message entirely, sidelined them or only mention them in a negative way. They claim they are hard to use, fiddly, rip all the time (a lie) and hinder (cue the magic buzzwords) “intimacy” and “pleasure”.
Is mentioning condoms politically incorrect? Some kind of offensive hate speech in the post-condom “game changing” world in which they want us all barebacking for Britain? Condoms don’t fit the bareback agenda of certain sections of the gay community, so will never be mentioned, promoted or be visible in anything they do, say or print.
What are the possible reasons for condoms no longer being mentioned by the gay health sector during HIV testing week?
Over the past two decades the simple message of “limit your partners and wear a condom every time” has slowly been replaced with a complex “toolbox” approach. This approach suggest you can supposedly avoid HIV by using a variety of “strategies”. You will see countless headlines such as “7 ways to avoid HIV” and “there’s more to HIV prevention than condoms”. These lists were designed to undermine the longstanding and effective advice that we should use a condom every time we have anal sex.
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 in which condoms are an inconvenient component and hinder sexual pleasure and intimacy. A message they push as “sex positivity” and “sex without shame”. 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, even though it is a highly transmittable route for sexually transmitted diseases.
Condoms work almost 100% if used properly. Gay men who 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 these loons are 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 from the straight male patriarchy. They believe 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.
That must be the reason they don’t mention condoms anymore in HIV testing week, they are now politically incorrect and triggering for HIV+ gay men. A vivid reminder of their past failure to protect themselves.
However good sexual health relies on condom use for gay men, not us all taking toxic ARV medication and living in a post condom world. The gay ill health unprofessionals do young gay men a disservice. It’s particularly dangerous for any who are naive and just coming out. These organisations are partly responsible for any positive diagnoses, due to their ineptitude, bareback ideology and failure to promote condoms.