Matthew Hodson, the Chief Executive of GMFA, writes on the continued stigmatisation of HIV-positive people, and argues that avoiding sex or a relationship with someone HIV-positive is actually a bad strategy. Originally published on Pink News, he writes:
I’ve been living with diagnosed HIV for many years. In that time, I’ve had my share of sexual and romantic rejections on the basis of my HIV status. While these don’t make up any of my happiest memories, I’ve tried to take it on the chin. I’ve always been a firm believer that individuals have a right to work out the sexual strategy that is right for them – and that included rejecting people on the basis of their HIV status. But, you know what – I’ve had a change of heart. It’s bullshit.
Firstly, as a safer sex strategy, it just doesn’t work. We’ve known for some years now that someone on treatment is very unlikely to pass on the virus. How unlikely? Well you’re more likely to be infected from sex using a condom with someone who isn’t on treatment than you are to be infected from sex without a condom with someone who is on treatment. So when someone says that they’re going to avoid John because he has HIV (and is on treatment), and then runs off with Jonah, whose status is unknown, they’re taking a far bigger sexual risk. Continue reading