HIV patient fears rejection, infects others

Ricky Cavazo, Daily reader

Recently, a man in Missouri told police he may have exposed more than 300 sexual partners that he met online or in parks to HIV via unprotected sex over the past 10 years. The man claims a “fear of rejection” as the reason he did not inform his sexual partners
of his status.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in the gay male community. Many HIV-positive gay men are dishonest or lie about their status. They do not put their correct status on websites or apps that gay men use to meet each other. They fear getting rejected. As long as “safe sex” is practiced, then everything will be okay and there will be nothing to be concerned about.

This man just happened to get caught. Some of you may know someone or know of someone who was infected by someone that didn’t disclose their HIV status. Maybe that someone was you.

According to John Guidry, the director of Community Health and Research at Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City, HIV is no longer thought of as an urgent problem as people increasingly fail to disclose their HIV status to
sexual partners.

I completely agree. Many of us feel that because HIV is no longer a death sentence, we no longer have to worry or have a sense of urgency. 

I see disturbing trends in the gay male community of men wanting to practice unsafe sex with strangers they meet off Scruff or Grindr.

We, as a community, have not been responsible when it comes to HIV. We continue to practice unsafe sex and we refuse to get HIV tested. We get caught up in the moment, and it stops us from taking steps to protect ourselves. If you are a sexually active gay male, it is your responsibility to get tested — not only for yourself, but for your sexual partners as well.

Your health is not something you bargain with.