“Self stigma” Why the gay ill health sector won’t promote condoms

By | 16th October 2020

You will have seen over the past few years several campaigns from the gay ill health sector. Focusing on testing, U=U and of course PrEP. As always “HIV stigma” is thrown into the mix. However don’t you find it odd in the fight to “prevent” and “tackle” HIV that condoms are never mentioned or if they are it’s in a derogatory negative way? Why has this happened? What are the reasons? We have come to the conclusion here at GMAP that those HIV positive gay men who lead gay mens health are suffering from, as they call it themselves, “self stigma”. And for that reason condoms cannot be promoted in a positive empowering manner.

So what is “self stigma”?

The background to “self stigma” is the gay ill health ideology that “nothing can be stigmatised”. Any sexual activity, however extreme or damaging to your health cannot be “stigmatised”, condemned or even you to be told, it’s not a great idea. The idea that no one should be “told what to do” and we should not be “judgmental” of others and be more “inclusive” of other peoples “choices” with regard to their sexual health.

The gay ill health sector love to harp back to the 1980s and portray the tombstone and iceberg ads as horrifically stigmatising gay sex as bad, wrong and associated with disease and death. They then link this to prejudice and homophobia of the Thatcher government, section 28, age of consent etc. However they miss out the one piece of information that went along with the tombstone ads, the condom messaging which meant you could protect yourself from HIV very simply and easily. That you could enjoy gay sex without fear of disease, infection and death. The message from gay health organisations at the time was to be responsible, limit your partners, wear a condom and test annually for HIV and other STIs. A condom would protect you and you should not discriminate against having sex with someone who is HIV positive. That messaging worked and HIV infections plummeted in the 90s along with STIs.

However the gay ill health sector now don’t see that as “gay liberation”. The freedom from anxiety and fear of HIV can only be achieved if we relearn, re-educate ourselves on the new realities of HIV. What they mean is ditch the condom messaging we gave you and trust what we are saying now on the different strategies for HIV prevention. Times change, however times may change again so the gay ill health sector reserve the right to give you new contradictory messaging in the future, if we fuck things up with this combination strategy.

The “self stigma” the gay ill health unprofessionals mention is based on their own sexual behaviour in the past. They didn’t wear condoms, probably many many times and were eventually infected with HIV. They are now fighting the bareback stigma so they don’t want to “self stigmatise” their past behaviour as wrong, sick and disordered. They cannot handle the fact they messed up and didn’t take personal responsibility. And now therefore they want you to ditch the condoms, to normalise bareback sex in the gay community to ease the pain, shame and guilt of their past. That’s their “self stigma”. Condoms to them are a visible sign of their failure and must be erased from all messaging on HIV prevention as its triggering for them. Note how many times they mention condoms in their articles, video clips and tweets barely ever.

Now they have PrEP free on the NHS and a “roll out” (its not really they have a grant of £11.2 million allocated to various councils). They feel they can really go for “the sex you want and be honest about it”. They are quite forthright that you should ditch the condoms if you are negative and get on PrEP. They even say PrEP should not be “sanitised” and it’s about being a dirty, sleazy bareback “cumwhore” getting fucked raw in the sauna and darkrooms by multiple strangers over a weekend. Taking as many loads up the arse as you can take. It’s what we have all really wanted to do for 20 years, the gay ill health expert claims. They talk about “cum love”. Woke doctors (positive of course) even “like” tweets on the subject.

Ultimately the decision is yours. Whether you take their narrative and messaging onboard and become a barebacking fabulous cumslut, which the gay ill health unprofessional wants you to do to ease their “self stigma”. You could stick with the reliable condom and remain HIV negative. It’s worked for us here at GMAP for over 3o years. Remember the gay ill health sector want you to “relearn” everything you know about HIV prevention from their past campaigns. In the future they may want you to relearn again. However at that point it may be too late for you, you could have a hard to treat strain of HIV, untreatable STIs and anal cancer. The choice is yours.


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