Ten Things HIV-Positive Guys Want Negative Guys To Know

PicturesOriginally published on queerty.com

When Donald Sterling dissed Magic Johnson for being promiscuous and unworthy, it was nothing new for people living with HIV. They’ve heard it all over the years. A lot of those misconceptions persist today, even (or maybe especially) among gay men. Our attitudes can be hurtful, stigmatizing, and even contradictory.

Let’s give HIV-positive gay men the chance to set the record straight, and break down ten things they would like the rest of us to know, based on research by Queerty writer Mark S. King. This list may not represent the views of every positive guy, but they definitely echo many of their most common frustrations.

1. All positive guys are not barebacking drug addicts

It’s probably human nature to try and find fault in the actions of those becoming infected. If we see them as extremists, it helps the rest of us feel more secure in our own choices.

And yet the truth is that the majority of new infections occur within “primary relationships,” such as a lover or boyfriend, and usually because one partner did not know he was infected and then transmitted HIV to his partner. That’s why there’s such intense focus on getting tested and doing it regularly. New infections are typically not the result of some insane night at a meth-fueled sex party or a boozy night at the baths. It happens, sure, but that doesn’t make good ‘ol fashioned sex any safer. Leather or lace, it’s all the same to HIV. Continue reading

EYES WIDE OPEN

Mans eyes openIt was a normal Monday evening for me. I was making my way to the bank to deposit into the mother’s account the sum of fifty thousand naira I had carefully concealed in my wallet and carried around all day, the same money that had made me give a wide berth to anyone who mistakenly came a tad too close for comfort. The money was the proceeds from a small transaction I had carried out on my mother’s behalf and I knew she would not be too pleased if it went unaccounted for.

The journey to the bank saw me cross the ever-busy main road and walk into the bank closest to my residence. However, on getting there, I was greeted with the notice that the state government had ordered a closure of every organisation to enable people collect their permanent voters’ card.

Oh no, I groaned. The government just knew exactly how to put a wrench on things. I really at this point had no choice but to make the journey back home. I had barely taken a few steps, when my phone vibrated. It was Stanley calling, an old flame that never did work out. From time to time though, we hooked up for no-strings-attached sex. It had been almost six months since we were last in touch though.

I picked the call, and with the traces of annoyance still etched in my voice, I bellowed into the phone, “Hello.” Continue reading