Stop, or My HIV Will Shoot

I say neither. The morality argument ignores the reality of decimated gay communities in the 1980s and the ethical minefield of hiding one's HIV status. Furthermore, the medical argument is incomplete. It is true that living with HIV is not what it was in 1985. For one thing, "living with HIV" was a rare and wonderful gift back then. Today, it is a much more common (yet still wonderful) reality. But as long as there is no cure and as long as daily medications will be necessary, an HIV-positive diagnosis is not something to take lightly. It can still kill you.

But, let's not toss the medical argument away entirely. While it may not save all HIV-positive defendants in this situation, there is no reason why every HIV-positive defendant accused of having unprotected sex with an unwitting partner should be treated the same. Here is where the medical advancement argument makes sense today.

We have new and better tests, some of which measure an individual's viral load, which can determine the likelihood that HIV will become AIDS or be transmitted to another person.

The viral load test has allowed us to distinguish one HIV-positive individual from another with even greater specificity. During treatment and monitoring, a high viral load can be anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 copies/mL, indicated progression of the disease and a high likelihood of transmission. A low viral load is usually between 40 to 500 copies/mL. This result indicates that HIV is not actively reproducing and that the risk of disease progression is low. A viral load result that reads "undetectable" does not mean that you are cured, but it may mean that either the HIV RNA is not present in your blood at the time of testing.

Remember what an aggravated assault was? Attacking someone with the means likely to cause grievous bodily harm or death. It's pretty darn likely that Itchy is going to chop up Scratchy into little pieces when he attacks him with his 1,000 kitchen knives. In fact, Scratchy is going to be really harmed 100% of the time, something the prosecution would be able to prove at trial. (Can you imagine ever bringing Itchy to trial for what he's done to Scratchy?). But, the likelihood that HIV will transmit from one person to another depends on the viral load. A high viral load results in a greater likelihood of transmission; an undetectable viral load means a significantly lower likelihood of transmission. That is important evidence when determining if the prosecution has proven every element of the aggravated assault offense. And, yet, that type of so-called "newfangled science" has not yet been accepted as determinitive of the likelihood element of the aggravated assault offense.

And what about the cause element?  Here, defense attornies should be allowed to admit the medical advancement evidence discussed above. HIV is manageable and even if transmitted, it is no longer a death sentence.

Yet, in case after case out of various jurisdictions — including Michigan, Alabama, the United States military and others — proof that the defendant is HIV-positive is evidence enough. As far as the law is concerned, HIV is always active, always transmitting and also deadly. The scientific community knows that is not the case, the thriving HIV-positive community knows that is not the case, and we know that is not the case. And, soon enough, the law will too.

(For those in the biz or just interested in this stuff, watch out for a law review article I will publish on this very topic in the coming months. More info forthcoming.)

Comments

  1. G says

    I don’t think the availability of medical treatment for the victim is relevant. That assumes the victim has the means to access said treatment, and having to undergo treatment for the rest of your life still is ‘harm’ to me. However I also think the victims attempt to learn his/her partner’s status should also play into the equation.

  2. says

    Gay men need to stop pretending HIV and AIDS are simply “manageable illnesses”. Anyone who knows someone who is HIV+ or has AIDS knows the regimen of pills they have to take, the illnesses they have to deal with, the drug side effects, etc. We’ve done such a good job not marginalizing people who are positive that we have marginalized the reality of the virus. –from Mark

    The reality is if I test you on any given Tuesday and you are negative that means NOTHING…I would have to put you in solitary confinement, come back in 3-6 months and test again as so to ensure that there are no antibodies present but the essential point is that you have NOT had sexual contact with anyone.

    It is sad that this key point has not been touted, practiced and exclaimed by the larger gay community and gay media when considering HIV status.

    Too many gay men are completely clueless in regards to their status and it is EASIER to say or click the box negative or avoid it ALL together…than have the conversations that need to go on.

    OK I will say it bareback sex feels GREAT however consider the following: that 20 minutes of bareback could place you on 20 years of medication. There is no denying these realities; while the medication is helpful there is a backlash in the gay community because of the perception of being HIV+.

    Those gay men online with Grindr, Manhunt, Adam4Adam, RealJock, Gay.com, Friendster, and other venues to meet up from bars to bathhouses see how HIV+ men are treated and/or talked about. With this knowledge of possible isolation and denial of sex some gay men will not get tested.

    Also these laws are pushing more gay men from testing. If I do not know then I do not know and therefore I am not responsible for this.

    Many in the gay community see HIV as preventable and IT IS but please remember we are all having SAFER SEX; condom usage is VITAL to this.

    Here are some of my thoughts:

    1. I think EVERY gay man should have an answer regarding whether or not they will have sex or date a HIV+ person. I would never try to convince someone as it is your decision but you should have a solid answer. When you ignore or someone discloses they are HIV+ you should have the ability to talk about your viewpoints and whether or not you want to proceed. This is a powerful piece of yourself that you share with someone else. It is odd that many gay men know ALL of their sexual fetishes but this little consideration has been ignored.

    2. Consider changing the language like I am clean UB2; some HIV+ men are caused to further hide their status or simply not get tested. You can NO longer tell if someone is HIV+ and many gay men do not tell even their closest friends about their health status because too many gay men are not discreet. Also there are portions of the gay community that do not test as it is easier to state that they are negative. Sure their last test was negative but it was 9 months ago or maybe even 3 years.

    3. The #1 reason most men are HIV+ is TRUST sure it is misplaced TRUST but there it is. You say I am negative and then it is happy trails down the unsafe sex lane. It just should not be that easy to be convinced about someone’s status.

    4. Bareback videos whether people want to acknowledge them or not cause many HIV- and HIV+ men to formulate an opinion about bareback sex.

    a. HIV- men may see HIV+ men as “slutty”

    b. HIV+ men may see these actions as a measuring stick on how to behave sexually.

    Of course this does not apply to all men but there needs to me more talk about this.

  3. Dave says

    All good arguments for your defense in a court of law. Protect yourselves people. BB is not wise and if you play that way you can get a hell of a lot of disease, not the least HIV.

  4. Nick says

    Well put, G and True Words. We aren’t all middle- to upper-middle-class folks with tons of disposable income and access to big-city resources. HIV diagnosis may not be an immediate death sentence anymore, but living with it requires a lot of work–and a lot of drugs with a lot of side effects. Having unprotected sex when you know you’re positive is irresponsible and, I think, has to have something of an intent to do harm (the “someone gave this to me, so I’m going to hurt someone else” motive).

    That said, while I by no means think positive people should be forced to disclose, it’s negative folks’ responsibility to have protected sex, too. So it’s certainly not a single-sided coin. I don’t believe for a second that pointing the finger at barebackers who contract HIV is victim-blaming (though sex with a minor or someone with impaired judgment brings up a whole bunch of other issues).

  5. Ugh says

    Well, as much as everybody needs to protect themselves, it is still not ok to bareback someone without telling them you are HIV+. I have known more than one positive guy who made a relative habit of it, and I always made it a point to not go out with him and tell everyone in his sight about it. Maybe that makes me an asshole, but whatever. Don’t be an asshole and I won’t.

    I have always wondered if there was some some kind of HIV ‘paternity’ test you could take to verify it was a certain somebody who infected you. At least then in these cases perhaps the infecter, assuming he knew he was positive, could perhaps be legally induced to pay for his meds. Something tells me a lot of slutty poz guys would be a lot less reckless if it meant large fractions of their wage being garnished for their ho alimony. Less money for drugs, drinks, and poppers after all. Ugh.

    (Not all positive guys are like that, but the ones here in NYC certainly seem to be. And I imagine in other urban areas as well. Stereotypes exist for a reason.)

  6. pete says

    So how does this play out in cases of food poisoning? It is known that vaccinating hens for salmonella has cut the transmission of that disease in the UK by 97%. Yet the US doesn’t require it. About half of the egg farms do it on their own. Should the other half be held liable and even criminally negligent since they willingly forgo an action which they know will help protect consumers from a possibly life threatening disease? Given the SCOTUS’s ruling that Corporations have all the rights of individuals… Now that we all have stopped laughing about Corporations being held criminally liable. I do think the question of whether the person lied about their status when asked is salient. If the victim did not ask or try to have protected sex then they should have no case.

  7. Royy says

    The people who advance the first two arguments (i.e., that HIV isn’t “deadly”), are usually HIV+ people who are trying to promote this idea that HIV is no big deal. They do this because they don’t want to feel like a diseased, damaged, infected being.

    Unfortunately for them, HIV is still extremely damaging and no amount of wishful thinking is going to convince the public or the medical community that HIV is “no big deal.”

    We should prosecute EVERY one of these cases.

  8. Royy says

    Robber shoots man with gun.

    Robber is arrested and charged with attempted murder.

    Robber says in court, “What’s the big deal? There was a trauma center nearby! With the latest ER technology, gun shot wounds aren’t nearly as deadly as they used to be.”

    Think he’s going to be acquitted?

  9. Bill says

    It should be a crime to openly lie about your HIV status to a sex partner, especially if that lie induces the person to engage in risky behavior. But when someome remains silent, while I disagree with that as well, I do think you need to also look at the partner and his level of responsibility. HIV has been around for almost 30 years now, and it is a known risk of having unprotected sex. When you meet someone and have sex (especially unprotected anal) with them without being overly concerned about their HIV status (“he looks healthy enough to me”), you can’t really complain if the risk turns out to become a reality. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but just as it is wrong not to disclose what you know, it is wrong to totally blame someone else when you didn’t even ask the question or worry enough about the risks.

  10. Brian says

    The viral load argument sounds akin to an unloaded weapon, or a shoddy shooter at a far distance. In many states, an unloaded gun is still considered a deadly weapon.

    There’s also the fact that only a minority of gunshot wounds (not even counting missed shots) are fatal. http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2000/09.28/firearms.html Out of about 65,000 gunshot wounds each year, 30,000 are fatal. That includes intentional suicides, which likely have a higher percentage of fatality. Thus, it’s probably more like 30% of gunshots wounds that prove fatal.

  11. Billy says

    Good points, guys. Treating HIV like it’s “no big deal” is one of the reasons that HIV is on the rise again. And not disclosing your status absolutely is intent to harm — premeditated, sometimes.

  12. Randy says

    The one thing that makes me think that aggravated assault is the incorrect sentence is that unless it’s a rape case the person on the receiving end is willingly and knowingly putting themselves at risk.

    I think that a different category somewhere between assault and aggravated assault is in order for people who lie about or don’t disclose their status.

  13. Tyler says

    The difference between MS/Crohns Disease and HIV is that you don’t get MS and Crohns Disease from a lying sexual partner who is aware he is transmitting a potentially fatal disease to you.

    If you did, I’d say their manageability is no less persuasive for an aggravated assault charge under that fact pattern. There is no requirement under assault that the action will certainly result in death (though many would argue being infected with HIV is still a death sentence, though one that lasts a lot longer). So I can’t see how having the ability to manage HIV infections makes it any less of an effective death sentence. People with HIV are generally not living to 90 and dying of non HIV-related disease.

    While I agree with the comments that those who are having unprotected sex need to have more responsibility for their health, that does not mean that those knowingly infected individuals shouldn’t likewise be punished. I’d say those who get infected are paying plenty.

    If it were me, I’d probably take care of this myself. If I found out a partner knowingly infected me, they’d find him floating in a river. Maybe if there were more dire consequences for spreading HIV, people would think twice before barebacking someone and lying about their status while doing it.

  14. James says

    I had a guy try and trick me into barebacking with him, when my guard was down and had way too much to drink. I had to pull the bare cock out just as it was about to slip in a number of times. Even though I was a millimetre away from doing it I found the wherewithal to stop the train and try and get a rubber on, despite his protestation, begging and then feigned insult and anger. No sex happened because of the eventual drama but a few days later I found out he is positive.

    I felt like I had almost been hit by a train, the guy was intentionally trying to infect me! Had I had a little more to drink, a little less willpower with the insistent prick, I might well have been infected. I am sorry but I don’t give a shit about his viral load or that it’s treatable – that to me was attempted murder.

    It certainly felt like someone tried to kill me and there is no other way of putting it. It was calculating and it was premeditated. It scared the crap out of me that another human being would intentionally inflict a lifetime of isolation, disease and medical treatment not to mention the possibility of dying on another for a quick rubberless fuck.

    So gist of this article doesn’t sit all that well with me – it seems to want to enable this kind of psychopathic behaviour.

    The question is – why if you know that you are HIV positive would you infect someone knowingly? I don’t see any other reason other than the one that is plain as day before me – you wanted to harm them.

  15. Fenrox says

    Thanks for this, I used to be hot and bothered about HIV when I was 20 because so many people in Seattle were dealing with it poorly. There was a sharp spike in HIV infections and some people were attributing it to lazy infected people not disclosing their status out of fear of rejection.

    While I do feel better about HIV now, I always like to pretend I have it to see how I feel about it. If I got HIV right now I don’t know how it would affect my life. I haven’t been keeping up with the costs associated with living with HIV for a long time now. Right now I have a terrific job and exceptional health insurance so I would imagine that I could deal with it if I got it now. But 4 years ago? I might not have had the ability to treat it at all.

    I think that the financial burden and the social stigma is still a huge part of getting this disease, Even if you can live a regular lifespan with it. I don’t think it should be considered aggravated assault but it does need something because it will alter your life for the worse at any level.

    As for stopping the disease, just use condoms and grow up and tell your partners when you sleep around. People get HIV these days from lies and shame. If you want to avoid HIV don’t date childish losers (And don’t be one).

  16. booka says

    It is the responsibility of both partners to protect themselves. The reprehensable habit of ignoring a HIV+ status is not helped by the hypocritical attitudes of most gay men; if your Poz you are a pariah, if you aren’t ‘Party On’. Lets face it, alot of gay men are not always emotionally formed so well, and such a conflict “should I do the easy thing, or the really difficult thing and be honest”. Guess which one wins in that debate. That problem is never going away, as it is the nature of the conflict “infected or Normal”. All the more reason to stress PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.Poz on Poz is a whole differant debate, and situation.

  17. DR says

    First a small correction to the author of the post…Your Simpsons example of using physical force or threats thereof to get Bart’s lunch money constitutes felony robbery in most jurisdictions, not misdemeanor assault.

    Now to address the naive apologetics…

    Treating AIDS like it’s just some other “manageable illness” takes away from the fact that this is an incurable condition which will most likely result in death at some point. It may take 5, 10 or 15 years, but it’s gonna kill you.

    Treating it as another “manageable illness” ignores the cost of meds, doctor visits, side effects, lost time from work, and all the other issues which come with having an incurable disease.

    Treating it as another “manageable disease” ignores the fact that your insurance company will do everything it can to leave you high and dry.

    Treating it like another “manageable disease” completely ignore the fact that you’re always going to be treated as a pariah by most folks. Especially if you got it from sexual activity.

    Royy, got it better than this attorney did; his example is spot on regarding why we need to continue this fight and not simply brush aside this idea that intentionally transmitting HIV ought not to be punishable; all the medical advancements in the world are meaningless UNTIL THERE’S A CURE.

    As far as I’m concerned, the law needs to be extended to include men who deliberately refuse to get tested because they know or have reason to know they’d come up positive but would rather lie to themselves and others about it.

  18. Ty says

    James- sooo sorry but if you are bottoming and don’t want to get infected you had better insist on a rubber or don’t bottom, period. No one wants to wear a rubber it is uncomfortable and is not 100%. Also people have latex allergies and rubbers can cause rectal bleeding, so what’s worse?
    My suggestion? A committed relationship with a negative person, or a dildo.

  19. says

    I find this egregiously dismissive. IMO, a man who knowingly attempts to infect another with AIDS is assaulting that man. Referring to AIDS as Manageable seems either callous or ignorant or both. A prosthetic leg or living in a wheelchair are also “manageable” and possible outcomes/effects of assault.

  20. Randy says

    What about the situation where one person knows they’re hiv+ and the other just doesn’t ask? Is that aggravated assault?

    I don’t think that this is as cut and dry as it could be, but I also think that people with hiv aren’t likely to get pity from the courts. Even us gay men seem to look at them as if it’s their fault and therefor there responsibility (but not ours).

  21. Polyboy says

    Even since retrovirals have been on the market, with a single exception most of the people who I’ve know who had HIV died of AIDS and one had his virus evolve on him and his most of his meds stop working and he almost died.

    In my limited experience, HIV=Death. For those people in my life the cocktails either did not work or caused life threatening complications, or they came into play too late, or they did not know until too late.

    It affects my perception of the disease and for me knowingly spreading the disease is attempted fucking murder.

  22. TANK says

    Oh, aids! *jazz hands*…

    Hmmmm, a decreased viral load does decrease your chance of getting AIDS in unprotected sex (*jazz hands*), but it doesn’t eliminate it, and further, if someone knew their viral load and still deceived someone else (yeah, yeah, it takes two to the tango, but one can AIDS! *jazz hands*…which changes things…as AIDS is a horrible, horrible disease that takes a lifetime of costly medication to manage and will eventually kill you in a painful, undignified way…and the other participant’s getting an orgasm…so…let’s address that in law), then it seems that plays into intent. If someone intends to give someone else aids or hiv (*jazz hands*), then that should be taken into account at trial, regardless of the viral load (because that can always change…). Hard to prove that, though. But the fact that it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of getting HIV/AIDS (*jazz hands*) is something else to take into account, too…but not too much, as background is important.

    HIV/ AIDS! sure is manageable (*jazz hands*)…if you are of a certain demographic…But who wants aids? Only crazies…’cause who wants a deadly disease that’s manageable? So I say no to aids and no to hiv!

    Now if only people would keep their HIV/AIDs to themselves, this wouldn’t be a problem. Of course, a lot of them don’t even know their status…so buckle up, kids! Sure, it’s not as fun, but there are so many other things you can do besides have fun.

  23. MENDEL says

    Be sure and check out the resources at aidslaw.ca (especially the legal briefs for your next piece). It’s the website of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
    Canada is a country that has a LOT of non-disclosure criminal cases. There have been a lot of interesting decisions by judges which actually take into account the VL, STI status,position,etc.
    I would put forward that using the criminal law (vs. existing public health laws) in the vast majority of cases is an inappropriate use of the law. I have personally seen multiple prosecutions of people living with HIV that were malicious in nature (the “victim” knew of the person’s HIV status and only put forward a claim after the relationship soured. It comes down to being able to PROVE you disclosed to every partner. Signed and witnessed statements? Bringing your partner to a medical appt where it get logged in their medical records? What about if there only going to perform oral sex (There have been no known cases of HIV transmission from the performer of oral sex….another reason why the likelihood of each exposure MUST be examined with the every tool available in our science/medical arsenal and then taken into account)

    There are darker sides to the abuse of the criminal law that honestly scare me. And I don’t feel these issues get much attention.
    (“attempted” assault cases — where no transmission occurred; reliance on laws to keep us safe and what that does to our thinking around unsafe sex; how the current dialogue around the issue of transmission drives up the stigma surrounding the lives of people living with HIV and how that can make people less likely/able to disclose.

    Science must be a part in any case involving transmission that is brought before a court. In a recent case in Canada, the judge did just that and her decision is beautifully thought out and fair. (details can be found here: http://www.aidslaw.ca/EN/lawyers-kit/index.htm)

    Another missing piece to the puzzle is getting good prosecutorial guidelines in place so that people living with with HIV aren’t the victim of inappropriate/malicious/unscientific cass and so that people living with HIV are treated fairly across the board and not on the whim of the (possibly/likely) uneducated prosecutors in their community.

    Great post by the way.

  24. P says

    I’m sorry, there are so many holes in Ari’s argument.

    What if the HIV- partner in this situation has an underlying condition that causes them to have an already compromised immune system? They may not even know that themselves. HIV could be much more lethal to that person then.

    What if the HIV+ partner does show a low viral load on tests before the time of the incident… people forget to take their medications all the time, and usually think they are fully compliant. They’re viral load could have risen without them knowing it.

    Knowingly lying to partners about HIV+ status is still messing with other people’s lives, and still seems like aggravated assault to me.

  25. jm says

    Hey Ari, you go have unprotected sex with someone with HIV/AIDS who hasn’t told you they have it, get diagnosed with HIV, then get back to us. As to your “manageable illness,” you have no idea what you are talking about. I lost over 35 friends to this vile disease over the years, and am now witnessing, first-hand, your “manageable illness” in three of my friends. Let me tell you that a life sentence, is a life sentence. No matter what the medication, the impact on their lives is HUGE and FOREVER. No offence, be you’re talking out of your ass. You aren’t helping things at all. Write about what you know, not what you think you know.

  26. VInce in WeHo says

    This is complicated issue.

    If you’re going to have unprotected sex, you have to deal with the consequences.

    If you’re HIV+, are aware of your status and lie about it to an inquiring potential partner, and sex occurs, then, yes, that is the same thing as pointing a gun at someone with a partially loaded gun and firing it.

    But, what percentage is the grey area in between?

    The fact that the disease is now more manageable doesn’t change my sexual practices. Pro-condom here.

  27. James says

    Did you seriously just compare HIV+ status to MS or Crohn’s? Aside from the fact that MS and Crohn’s aren’t communicable diseases, neither prognosis comes with a host of difficulties in the future that can come out of left field the primary physician, patient or researchers. The complications and comorbidities that can arise simply from aging and HIV notwithstanding, the constant influx of drugs and the half-life of those drugs means that long term toxicities arise and can cause problems in the form of hypertension, insulin resistence or dyslipidemia to name a few.

    While I’ll thank you on behalf of my entire field for putting some faith in us, unlike some patients I’ve had the displeasure of seeing, this doesn’t mean that HIV isn’t a death sentence. While people are living longer lives in this era of expensive HAART therapy, the quality of life for more than half of my patients decreases significantly in the late 40s and early 50s. And more than a handful of long term HIV patients are finding themselves suffering from geriatric disorders in their mid-50s instead of late 70s – cardiovascular diseases, osteoperosis, arthritis, diabetes and renal disorders.

  28. TANK says

    Hmmmm, I think most MSM are unconcerned with aids or refer to it as a manageable illness is that they don’t think they’ll live beyond forty, or fifty… That we’re, ultimately, in perpetual youth, and suffer the delusion of invincibility that attends it. So not talk how awful it is for aids people past fifty’s gonna make a difference to the seroconversion rate. Too bad, I say…hiv/aids are icky.

  29. Matt says

    I believe that anyone HIV+ who willingly barebacks anyone else, + or not, should be charged with assault. If the “victim” is +, then simple assault. If -, then aggravated assault.

    Just because both participants are + does not make them less at risk. They can cross infect each other with different “strains” of drug resistance. Assault is harm, or grievous harm. Spreading HIV definitely fits the definition of grievous harm, being mitigated by pre-existing infection.

  30. TANK says

    and if that were in english, I just might have a point. But it is an empirical posit…well, it would be an empirical posit if it WERE phrased coherently. But it’s not, so it isn’t. And, quite frankly, I don’t care to repeat cliches.

  31. MarkDC says

    1. HIV POSITIVE people have a responsibility to PROTECT THEMSELVES (from other HIV positive people who could re-infect them AND from HIV negative people with STDs and other infections that can seriously compromise their immune systems).

    2. HIV NEGATIVE people have a responsibility to PROTECT THEMSELVES.

    FACT: NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING.
    People, regardless of HIV status, DO NOT have any responsibility to disclose serostatus, STD infections, sexual history, etc. to anyone…especially casual sexual partners.

    FACT: PEOPLE LIE.
    The very question and disclosure discussion itself is useless. Don’t even ask, just be safe. Safer Sex every time is the only and best precaution and protection.

    .

    If we were ALL out there PROTECTING OURSELVES like responsible adults this ridiculous issue would not be an issue.

  32. MarkDC says

    How can one argue HIV positive people are at “fault” when HIV negative partners have AN EQUAL REPSONSIBILITY to protect themselves with a condom?

    Exactly who is at “fault” here…and why?

    Men always put their personal sexual pleasure above health and welfare. Got a problem with that? Look in the mirror.

    You gonna try and argue straight guys don’t think they’re immune from HIV? That they don’t believe it’s a disease of The Gays and IV drug users only? That straight guys have special rights and protections under the law and should always be protected by their casual sexual partners? That straight guys do NOT have to use Safer Sex?

  33. MarkDC says

    Do you drive through red stoplights into moving traffic expecting others to stop their vehicles and protect you from a fatal accident?

    NO, because it is safer to obey the traffic light. You have a personal responsibility to protect yourself and other drivers.

    Why would you make an equally egregious mistake by carelessly refusing any personal responsibility for Safer Sex and, instead, expect all sexual partners to protect you? Are you ALL that helpless and gullible? Are you ALL so selfish and short-sighted that you place sexual pleasure above your own health and welfare?

    It is obvious the only sane and intelligent thing practice Safer Sex yourself. Always insist upon safer sex yourself.

    If we can prevent HIV transmission (by insisting on Safer Sex every time) this entire discussion is moot.

    Expecting everyone else on earth to PROTECT YOU FROM YOURSELF is lazy and betrays a Titanic sense of entitlement. You remember the Titanic? The “unsinkable” ship that sank and killed most everyone on board?

  34. MarkDC says

    AGAIN if someone is having unprotected sex 22 years afters AIDS first appeared in this country that person has accepted the risk.

    Stop arguing for the right TO KILL YOURSELF.

    AGAIN peole place selfish pleasure above health and welfare. That is why no one wants to use a condom: it doesn’t feel as good.

    How can anyone argue one should ask a casual sexual partner their status and expect the truth? Condoms protect you better than someone’s “word”.

  35. MarkDC says

    Having sex without a condom is “entering at your own risk”. In other words CONSENT.

    If you pull out a condom and a partner objects are you gonna keep going? Really? Are you not going to be the least bit concerned?

    If you ask a sexual partner if they’re HIV positive and they say “no” one of three things could be true:

    1. They’re telling the truth
    2. They’re lying
    3. They’ve contracted HIV unknowingly and have not (or do not intend) to get tested, and therefore do not yet know they have HIV.

    Given that reality it is best to forget the HIV conversation altogether and simply use protection EVERY TIME with every partner. Ignorance and deception is no defense against STDs, HIV, unwanted pregancies, etc.

  36. POZ IN SFO & PISSED! says

    @Markdc!!!!

    Nothing more disturbing than stepping forward with such an ignorant and stupid statement:

    “FACT: NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING.
    People, regardless of HIV status, DO NOT have any responsibility to disclose serostatus, STD infections, sexual history, etc. to anyone…especially casual sexual partners.”

    The bottom line, if you test HIV+ and are having sex of ANY type, with ANYONE, it is YOUR FULL LEGAL AND MORAL RESPONSIBILTY to inform the other person! You can be prosecuted in a court of law for knowing non-disclosure upon having sex with someone, safe or otherwise, if they become infected. Your medical records, are, under court order, subpoenable.

    Even when practicing safe sex and using a condom, people have become infected. Condoms ARE NOT 100% foolproof, ESPECIALLY from fools like you!

    What you are implying here is that you are positive and not divulging your serostatus when you fuck, especially if it’s what you described as “casual sex”, or in “let’s get real folks” words, tricking. You keep your mouth shut, slip on a condom and hope for the best?

    If you ever infected someone would you even give a shit? Maybe you have infected someone and don’t even fucking know it because it was never discussed!

    IF SOMEONE ASKED YOU BEFORE HAVING SEX, POINT BLANK, “WHAT IS YOUR SEROSTATUS?” WOULD YOU LIE JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A RUBBR ON? YOU ARE SO FUCKED UP!

    I detest your way of thinking “Someone lied to me or didn’t tell me or they didn’t know they were poz when they infected me, so why should I owe anyone else the benefit of being honest?” That’s called criminal negligence!

    If I knew you, I would make a point of telling ANYONE that got close to you, your status.

    I tell EVERYONE I get involved with, up front, that I am HIV+ and it is always met with appreciation and establishes an honesty that sets the stage for discussion on how to or not to proceed.

  37. Trog says

    Ari overlooks many issues that complicate criminalizing HIV transmission. For one thing, positive people are often sentenced for cases in which they had unsafe-sex but NO transmission occurred (that is, their partner didn’t get HIV).

    Also, other factors beyond viral load will raise or lower the risk of transmitting HIV, such as the presence of other sexually transmitted infections and whether the positive person is the top or bottom (though negative tops can get HIV too, especially if they’re uncut).

    Keep in mind that one out of five positive Americans doesn’t know that he or she is living with HIV. Studies show the vast majority of those who do know they are positive go out of their way to not spread the virus to others. But no one’s perfect all the time–especially if desire, sex, booze, drugs and love are involved.

    Respect yourself, your partners and your future. Stay educated, aware and safe.

  38. MAP says

    don’t know what the jazz hands bullshit was about, but a lot of you queens need to get back to your Log Cabin cocktail hour and stop talking about shit you know nothing about–

    AIDS is merely a medical tag, and doesn’t kill anyone. Technically, the possession of advanced HIV disease allows opportunistic disease pathogenesis which would be abnormal in a typically functioning immune system.

    You lynch mob homos should go further, though, in your self-righteousness and burn the faggots that give you HPV (uncurable)–that’s a singularly good gateway to a number of cancers, and frankly, I bet it costs less to buy anti-retrovirals for a lifetime than to treat aggressive prostate cancer for 5 years. Way less.

    No one should hid relevant information from a partner–but I have a feeling a lot of you ballsacks post Craigslist ads talking about how “clean” you are–as if your mouth wasn’t a gonorrhea swimming hole and your mangina wasn’t itching with that special sort of syphillis that a special god has reserved just for you clean boys.

    Now that you’ve had your little pussy tantrums from behind your mocha cunt lattes in Cuntbucks, or wherever your juice is leaking these days, go look up the basic information on the likelihood of transmission from suppressed viral load partners in either anal or oral sex and please tell anyone who’s tard enough to listen how anyone deserves to go to jail in such a scenario.

    You people would sell your cockheads for a shot of morality that tasted like the cum of most guys who routinely reject you. They must smell the stink of high and mighty like a streetwalker stank for miles before you ho’s show up.

    Namaste, bitches.

  39. Peter says

    I got HIV the first time I had unprotected sex at a bathhouse 20 years ago.Since then I haven’t had sex again with anyone, I am suicidal, depressed and stay at home as I don’t want to have to tell people I have it.It has ruined my life and my outlook on life.I am healthy but I don’t date or have sex.

  40. MarkDC says

    @ MAP

    Dude you are a rock star.

    Sadly Gaytards are immune to intelligence and logic. You might as well debate human evolution with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists. In many ways Official Gay Culture feels no different than any of those cults.

  41. MarkDC says

    @ POZ IN SF0 & PISSED

    Projection is an arch faggot move. I hate it when creepy faggots personalize intellectual arguments.

    Hurling accusations of Postive status as an insult? Stop projecting sero-status as a weapon you self-loathing douchetard.

    ___________________________________

    “I detest your way of thinking “Someone lied to me or didn’t tell me or they didn’t know they were poz when they infected me, so why should I owe anyone else the benefit of being honest?” That’s called criminal negligence!”

    It’s not about “honesty” it’s about protection. You just don’t get it. PEOPLE LIE. Makes no difference if you’re honest or not. HIV infects everyone. Condoms work a whole lot better than trust.

    SAFER SEX HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DISCLOSURE. USING A CONDOM AND DISCUSSING HIV STATUS ARE TWO SEPARATE ISSUES ENTIRELY.

    ______________________________________

    “Even when practicing safe sex and using a condom, people have become infected. Condoms ARE NOT 100% foolproof, ESPECIALLY from fools like you!”

    I guess you’d be happy if you did not use a condom and got HIV? That would somehow be ok?

    ____________________________________

    “I detest your way of thinking “Someone lied to me or didn’t tell me or they didn’t know they were poz when they infected me, so why should I owe anyone else the benefit of being honest?” That’s called criminal negligence!”

    No. The lesson to learn from having UNPROTECTED SEX WITH A PARTNER WHO LIED is to henceforth protect yourself and your partners. Creepy how you project dishonesty, confusing logic for malicious intent. I guess I threaten you.

    AGAIN, SAFER SEX HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH DISCLOSURE. THEY ARE TWO SEPARATE ISSUES ENTIRELY.

    _______________________________________

    AGAIN…

    If someone is having unprotected sex 22 years AFTER the scourge of AIDS first appeared in this country that person has ACCEPTED the risk.

    THAT IS CONSENT.

    Stop arguing for the right TO KILL YOURSELF.

    Like I’ve already said people selfishly place pleasure above health and welfare. That is why no one wants to use a condom: it doesn’t feel as good.

    How can anyone argue you should ask a casual sexual partner their status and expect the truth? Condoms protect you better than someone’s “word”.

  42. rich says

    Whenever there are posts on this subject I find gay men’s comments to be the most reactionary, draconian and fear based. The idea of somebody INTENTIONALY giving someone HIV is a matter of he said he said. Also, the vast majority of us who are responsible POZ folk don’t need anymore stigma especially from the gay community. We come to this virus for many different reasons yet so many presently negative gay men out of fear lash out at us with a zealousness of a fire and brimstone preacher.

    Stop criminalizing me and mine, I am a human being not a deadly weapon, if I liked tattoos I’d get that tattooed over my entire body.

    And for the record, most of the comments here are woefully ignorant of present day treatments and you know what you can do with your death counts for us, “yo may live 5, 10 years” That’s some stat, too bad it’s not at all true.

    For any POZ folk reading some of these hateful little screeds about how we should be put in prison or tossed in a river, you are worthy good people no matter how you came to the virus, take care of yourselves and spread the love not the virus!!

    OH BTW, Great Post, FINALY intelligent conversation on the subject.
    s

  43. Nate says

    So much ignorance and bigotry on this thread. I’m poz, and yet very healthy. Absolutely no side effects, undetectable viral load, and a CD4 higher than many negative people ( quadruple digits). My recently poz friends all have similar experiences.

    That said, it’s true that there can be any number of complications that would make HiV more or less dangerous for any given individual. But the law is not too concerned with managing all risk. Unforeseen consequences are generally not punished, and the law should not guard against the worst-case scenario for activities that are generally harmless and ubiquitous.

    I also find it troubling that a negative bottom can bareback all across town, and then pin the conversion on a poz person who failed to disclose. What if this person acquired the virus before encountering the named assailant? And what if this person spread it to others because his last test was negative even though he had barebacked with muliple partners in the interim? The problem with these laws is that they do not address risk properly. The most risky sexual partner is a positive person who does not know their status and convinces others to bareback because their last test was negative. And yet, under these laws, this person is not culpable. Seems like the law discourages frequent testing for those who regularly engage in risky behavior.

  44. B-rod says

    MAP – You ROCK! Keep up that fighting spirit.

    And for the rest of you fear-mongering, “clean UB2″ cocksuckers, get your dirty cunts into the nearest STD clinic b/c something tells me you all are as dirty as the last cum load you just swallowed. Oh right, b/c swallowing is “safe”….

  45. MAP says

    Rich, I’m not single–married 14 years…but the bf likes that I post intemperate shit on the ‘net every once in awhile–

    And nothing makes me more angry than queers piling bullshit on queers–and they deserve every bit I pile back on them.

    Gay men have gone out of their way to estrange positive people from the mainstream of queer life–to belittle them, to cast aspersions on their sexual habits, and now to claim that they are maniacal fiends bent on fucking them up their precious chutes and seeding them with AIDS freak babies.

    All the while we all do know that they’re out there with their ankles in the air saying “wait, you’re clean right?” “I’m clean, I got tested 3/6/9 months ago” –it’s no accident that young fags are fixated on getting fucked up the ass, usually bare–this is the hypocrisy that’s been modeled for them as typical behavior.

    Had those young men been allowed to encounter the poz men and women who have screamed, cried and tried to educate, tried to be heard, tried to be treated like human beings the past 25 years, things, decisions, realities would be different.

    But no, big city neo-closet queen assfucks have won the battle–and they continue to lift martini glasses and sneer when the next guy tests positive. “Oh her” (can’t you just hear it?) “she was such a slut”

    Takes one to know one.

  46. Miles says

    I think it’s important to take care of one’s self when it comes to sex. If not contracting HIV is a high priority for you, you don’t have unprotected sex. That’s such a harsh and unfortunate conclusion but it’s the reality we live in today. I’ve seen guys online only looking for bareback sex with other HIV- guys and I’m baffled. There has to be a part of them that knows it’s not always going to work out like that. I’m not saying that an HIV+ person who intentionally infects another is without any blame but we really need to treat everyone as if they are positive (again, if that’s a high priority for you).

  47. MAP says

    it’s good, MarkDC, I thought that was the case.

    And yes, Miles–we should be clear: intentional infection with HIV, HPV, gonorrhea, syphillis, herpes, the flu, scabies, the common cold, and so forth, is immoral. Let’s also be clear that intentionality is difficult to judge–and any situation where the bearer of a condition is automatically assumed guilty is just as immoral.

    Sometimes judgment isn’t ours–and you don’t get to wait on the street corner until the Karma bus comes and dispatches “justice” to your satisfaction. You have to live well and do right YOURSELF…the universe has the job of cleaning up the rest.

  48. TANK says

    AIDS is no laughing matter, people! Stop making all those horrible, hurtful jokes about it…admittedly, they’re not unfunny, but they’re awful, hateful, and dispiriting. Stop laughing at hiv/aids! And get tested, everybody! Because, it’s hiv/aids! And you don’t want it…kinda sucks…lot worse than the sniffles…kill ya and all that…expensive to keep it from killing ya and all that in short order…kinda sucks, ya know? I mean, I don’t, but hey, there seems to be some people here who do.

  49. theboywholived says

    Have you hugged a diseased pariah today?

    Thought not.

    When, at age 20, you have experienced a man sitting across a desk from you telling you you have HIV and a year to live so get your affairs in order,
    When, at age 25, you see Barbara Walters on TV holding an HIV infected baby, asking if this is safe to do because the baby is sweating, and the news reports are telling you that people with HIV can expect to live five years,
    When, at age 30, your friends are dying around you and you keep waiting for your turn, and the scientific community are sure that 10 years is the life expectancy of a person with HIV,
    When, at age 35, your friends are mostly dead and the world arena wants to start prosecuting HIV+ people for having sex and calling it attempted murder, and your life is supposed to end after 15 years of infection,
    When, at the age of 40, you start finding out that what was killing your friends 10 years ago were the toxic chemicals being fed to them in mass quantities in the hopes that they might survive and it doesn’t matter anyway because they were, after all, just a bunch of fags and dope fiends, and you should be dead already or should die in the next year or two because the life span of an infected person has gone up to 20 years,
    When, at 44, you decide that you have been dying for way too long, that living a life from day to day with no hope for a future is a sad and sorry state and no life at all, and so, at last, you let someone love you and let yourself love him back, but whoah, he’s NEG,

    When all these things have happened to you, please tell me how simple it all is for you to come to a conclusion about another persons life.

    After all the discussion, the sharing of histories, the fears and hopes talked about, my wonderful man is not just knowledgeable, but willing to take on the responsibility of engaging in safe sex for the entirety of our lives. Along with that are all the wonderful experimental things that can be done sexually that don’t involve an exchange of fluids. That is possible, you know.

    There are those that feel he has accepted the risk with full knowledge, much like a sky diver, or flame eater.

    There are those that have said we are not compatible and should “stick to our own kind”.

    My favorite, “What if you’re both in an accident and you bleed all over him and he gets infected?”
    I guess my culpability would be lessened by legal standards, though I’m sure some hot shot would figure some way of making headlines out of the situation.

    All these legal arguments have been around for a long time now. I’ve heard them all. If you think there is an easy answer to any of it, lock yourself indoors and save the world from your fatal stupidity.

    And by the way, I’m now 46, still madly in love, he just proposed marriage, and I heard on the radio the other day that people with HIV can live as long as 25 years.

    Ya think?

  50. Dan4444 says

    How does this fit into assault at all? Isn’t there a lack of apprehension on the plaintiff’s part? You don’t know until after the fact. It’s like brandishing a gun at a blind man.

  51. POZ & pissed in SFO says

    @markdc

    You can’t even get honest with yourself and your own POZ status in a morally upstanding way. How can you claim intellectual basis for any discussion when you’re living in denial and lying?

  52. P & P in SFO says

    @markdc, Your DADT excuse for recklessly concealing your POZ status from your sex partners amounts to nothing more than morally reprehensible sophistry.

    In the next breath you’ll be saying the German’s didn’t know their Jewish neighbors who were disappearing in the middle of the night were being sent to concentration camps. The fact is they never asked!

    You state “people lie about their status” and here you are doing just that, LYING to justify your own ignorantly selfish behavior. Through condom use and not discussing your POZ status, you’re only covering your own ass. It’s sociopathic.

    You also fail to address any of the pertinent questions posed here:

    1. Condoms slip off, break, or can be improperly put on, especially when drugs and alcohol are involved(as so often they are). Infection can still occur. Do you consider this when you are out PNP’ing?

    2. An HIV positive man such as yourself barebacking other HIV positive men and having full ejaculatory sex can re-infect and transmit drug resistant strains of the virus. How do you explain your behavior on this point?

    3. Do your sex partners swallow your semen through oral sex or do you require them to use a dental dam? Infection can occur here as well.

    Idiotic theories such as yours only foster increasing ignorance and spread of STD’s!

Leave A Reply