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Author Topic: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"  (Read 1262 times)

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Offline lydgate

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Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« on: February 05, 2007, 02:05:48 AM »
All this talk of serosorting made me remember the phrase. And it's also used, of course, in the new POZ magazine article, "Status Seekers."

I've been known to use the term, rather judgmentally, through the 90s. Well, duh Jay, it's a pejorative judgmental term!

Now I'm not so sure. (I'm not sure of many things anymore. I miss the the certainty of youth.)

When I was negative, I slept with guys who told me they were poz. I also made it a point to "block" anyone who had the egregious phrase "HIV neg UB2" in his profile.

The neg guys who shunned all poz guys had to listen to my harangues, many times, whether in Boston or Bombay. And this is hard for me to admit (honestly): I felt so goddamn morally superior to them!

I don't go in for moral one-upmanship. One does the best that one can. One fucks up from time to time. One tries to do one's best, always. And can one ask for more? (Not a rhetorical question.)

I have met several poz men who told me that when they were negative, they refused to sleep with poz guys. Some said that they regretted this poz-phobic attitude, some said they did not.

Is the jury still out?

I'd like to start a civil, non-judgmental discussion about attitudes towards poz sex partners -- or potentially poz sex partners -- when you were negative. (Yes, I now we're supposed to treat every new partner as though he were poz, but that advice is, as Hamlet said, observed more in the breach than the observance.)

PLEASE no flame wars.

And heteros, I use "he" because I'm a he and I'm a homo, but please do respond.

Jay



Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2007, 02:28:59 AM »
It's been almost 15 year since I was negative, and as I was in my mid-20's at the time I never actually ran into this issue. 
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Ann

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Re: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 09:10:38 AM »
Hi Jay,

As much as I hate to admit it, the subject never really came up when I was negative. The man from whom I acquired my infection worked in Sudan as an aide worker for much of our relationship and he was tested regularly (every three months), as part of his employment contract. He became infected after he left that job. I knew he was seeing other women and while I thought him bringing chlamydia home to me was a real possibility, I never gave hiv another thought. (silly me)

This attitude is all too common in the heterosexual community and it is something I strive to change. As someone mentioned in another thread, we straights think we can bareback with impunity.

As for serosorting before my diagnosis, I'd like to think that it wouldn't have made a difference to me if a person was hiv positive or not. I do know that if I had the information about my ex (he didn't know his status either) I would have stayed with him regardless, because I loved/love him that much it wouldn't have mattered. I would have made sure we used condoms. As for a one night stand or similar (who disclosed being hiv positive), I can't be sure. I know an awful lot more about transmission now than I did before my diagnosis, but I've always known that kissing etc is not a risk. I'm not sure, however, if I would have risked a broken condom for a one night stand.

Of course, back in the days of one night stands, I wouldn't have given hiv a thought, because I wasn't a gay man and I didn't think I was at risk. I didn't think I was at risk because according to the media I wasn't. The media portrays hiv as something only gay men or people in Africa end up with. This is what I strive to change by being open, for the most part, about my status. (I don't shout it from the rooftops, yet, but I don't hide it either)

I don't go in for moral one-upmanship either. I'm hiv positive today because of my own mistakes. To err is human...

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline lydgate

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Re: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 02:01:49 AM »
I'll put it bluntly because I'm really interested.

When you were negative would you have slept with someone if he/she had said he/she was poz?

Oh, there are dull academic studies on this question. But I want to hear from YOU.

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline JohnOso

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Re: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 03:00:40 AM »
I did sleep with someone who was very upfront about his poz status (at an HIV volunteer organization).  This was in 1995.

So it actually didn't have any bearing on our relationship (which turned out to be incredibly hot, but no lasting power unfortunately.....).

As a matter of fact, I thought it made him more interesting in his outlook on life.

John

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2007, 11:38:43 AM »
I'll put it bluntly because I'm really interested.

When you were negative would you have slept with someone if he/she had said he/she was poz?

Oh, there are dull academic studies on this question. But I want to hear from YOU.

Jay

Um, OK Jay, I'll be a bit more blunt this time myself because a) I waffled on a bit in my first response and b) because I'm also interested in hearing what people have to say and this will serve as a bump.

If it was someone I cared deeply about (such as my ex) then I wouldn't have had a problem - I would have made sure I was protected with condoms, but I would have still slept with the person. (I'm sure about that where my ex is concerned, despite what I say at the bottom of this post)

If it was a one night stand, I'm not so sure I'd chance it, even with a condom, as the receptive partner is at a far greater risk of infection resulting from a condom break.

If it were someone I was actively dating and interested in, I think I would have no problem here either as long as condoms were used.

So I guess I'd have to say NO to a positive one night stand, but yes otherwise.

Really speaking though, I couldn't be absolutely 100% sure about my response. I never had someone disclose their positive status to me before I was positive myself. Not anyone I was even remotely sexually connected to anyway.

Shoot... I waffled again, didn't I? Sorry!  :-X

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline shepsmom

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Re: Ah, that old phrase "viral apartheid"
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 11:45:48 AM »
I was the poz part of the relationship with my husband. I used to feel a tremendous amount of guilt and worry over whether he would get the disease from me. He never did. In 20 years.

 


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