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Irresponsible HIVers?
Mar 8, 2005

Some gay men, notably sex columnist Dan Savage, are claiming that too many HIV educators and advocates refuse to assign responsibility for preventing HIV transmission to poz guys and instead put all the onus for preventing transmission on HIV negative men. Savage and those who agree with him argue that the gay community needs to develop a norm that unequivocally rejects unprotected anal sex and calls to account poz guys who behave irresponsibly. Savage and others claim that ongoing transmission of HIV, including the new three drug class resistant strain identified in New York, as well as the reported cases of LGV, demand that the gay male community stop make excuses for poz guys who won't practice safer sex. What are your thoughts on this?

thanks, Giorgio in NYC

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Giorgio in NYC,

I don't know any HIV educators or advocates that "refuse to assign responsibility for preventing HIV transmission to poz guys!" In fact there are many campaigns, such as "AIDS Stops with Me," that are designed to remind the poz community of their critical role in preventing any additional infections. However, it's equally important for each and every person to realize it's primarily their personal responsibility to protect their negative status. It really does take two to do an unsafe (or safe) mattress mambo. Right??? It's also worth remembering that at least 25% of the HIV-positive folks in the US today don't even know they are positive!

Safer sex education (and behavior) is equally essential for both pozitoids and neggies. To try to blame or place the responsibility on one group or the other is irresponsible and immoral.

Stay safe, Giorgio!

Dr. Bob



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