Hepatitis C and why HIV+ gay men should be using condoms

By | 27th January 2019

When was the last time you heard someone in the gay (ill)health sector explicitly advising HIV+ men that they should use condoms? Quite possibly never.

Nearly all HIV+ gay men contracted the virus because they didn’t use a condom. And what is rarely mentioned is that, after their diagnosis, a large percentage of them seem determined never to use the hated rubber ever again if they can get away with it.

At the top, the gay (ill)health industry is dominated by gay men who are personally HIV+. Some got into these positions due to political correctness and cronyism. No surprise at all then that over the last 15-20 years the “safer sex” message has, wherever possible, moved away from advice to use a condom in favour of unhinged “bareback friendly” strategies such as “trust an undetectable poz guy” and of course PrEP.

In reality there’s every reason why positive gay men should use condoms just like the rest of us. In fact they’re at greater risk if they don’t and they will then pose a risk to others.

Anal sex without a condom is a prime route for all sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). Some of these can impact on the effectiveness of HIV treatment. Affecting general health and making positive guys infectious again temporarily.

About 10% of HIV+ people in the UK also have hepatitis C. While prevalence in the general UK population is estimated to be just 0.44%.

84% of HIV+ injecting drugs users have hep C and 7% of HIV+ gay men have it. Cross over in terms of gay men who inject drugs is unclear [source].

As this article explains “there’s enough hep C in rectal fluid to transmit through anal sex and HIV causes changes in the lining of the rectum that make hep C infection more likely.”

It adds that “men with HIV and hep C have higher levels of hep C in their semen.”

Hepatitis is much more easily passed on than HIV.

To sum up: anal sex without a condom is a great route for hep C infection. HIV+ men who bottom are more likely to contract it than negative men. Before YOU bottom to an HIV+ top without a condom remember there’s a 7% chance he will have hep C. And if he does he will have higher levels of hep C in his semen than a negative man so you are more likely to be infected with it.

So as you’re having “condomless” “sex without fear” on PrEP, remember that it provides no protection against hep C or any other STI except HIV. However condoms WILL provide protection.

As the article admits, less condom use, U=U (Undetectable equals Uninfectious) and more unprotected sex between positive and negative gay men has led to more cases of hep C. Proof that the policies of the (ill)health unprofessionals are putting all of us at greater risk from STIs. What a great success!

Interestingly in the Boyz article the doctor writes that hep c “probably isn’t very infectious sexually.” However, according to the Terrence Higgins Trust hep c “is very infectious and is easily passed on through group sex – it can even be passed from one person to another on fingers.”

There is no reason to shun all HIV+ gay men. 7% having hep C is a huge percentage. But the figure alone doesn’t tell the whole story or indicate the real risk to you.

The (ill)health sector loves to pretend that everyone is the same. That we shouldn’t discriminate or stigmatise.

On the contrary we say that taking a hard look at anyone who you plan to have sex with and the situation is a legitimate way to keep yourself safe and healthy. In the past we have written about how you should avoid the “car crash” gays.

The positive man who always suggests and uses a condom is far less likely to be one who has hep c. On the other hand men who frequent saunas, sex clubs and parties and have bareback sex at those and who use drugs, abuse alcohol and are generally out of control with a chaotic life will pose a MUCH higher risk to you.

Unscrupulous gay men who have STIs, and no qualms about passing them on if they’re horny, just love anonymous “no questions asked” scenarios. If you’re unlucky enough to meet one of these predators, in his twisted mind it will be your fault for not protecting yourself. Who knows what percentage of HIV+ men in some of the above situations also have hep c. It could be 50% or more.

Unfortunately within the gay male community it seems that “uninhibited” sex and “liberation” have somehow become associated with bareback, drugs and being HIV+. Sleazy hook up sites such as BBRT even have a profile field so members can show whether they’re hep c poz or neg. This is how sick and depraved some of these individuals are. Any decent person would think it is perhaps time to take a break from sex and hooking up if they currently have hepatitis.

Luckily there is a very good and easy way to avoid them. They hate condoms. So make clear that sex will NEVER happen with you without a rubber (and make sure it is really the case). They will be off like a shot. Problem solved.

We understand that the current treatment for hep c costs the NHS £50,000 for a 12 week course of treatment. For that reason, currently, people are treated once. If they continue to be irresponsible and get reinfected they are refused further treatment. In a study at one UK hospital, over a two year period, 1 in 4 hiv+ gay men were reinfected.

It’s disgusting and anti-social to make yourself a burden on society and the NHS in this way. Yes people make mistakes and become HIV+. But not only is the NHS funding HIV treatment for these individuals at a cost of perhaps £10,000 a year, but they then cost the Health Service another £50,000 because they still refuse to stop having bareback sex.

The (ill)health unprofessionals in the gay organisations won’t condemn this of course because some of them socialise in the same sleazy circles. So the message is “don’t judge”, “don’t discriminate” just shut up and fund all this treatment. Plus we want PrEP and you barebacking with “U=U” HIV+ gay men indiscriminately.

Source (from 2011): AIDSMap.

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