Originally 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