Friday, March 04, 2005

Should Sexually Active HIV positive Gay Men who Bareback intentionally to inflict their Partners be held Financially Responsible for their Actions?

There is a growing debate recently both in the blog world and on various web sites that HIV positive gay men are behaving recklessly by barebacking and having unprotected sex.

I have continued to preach in this blog that it is the responsibility of the Top man to play safely and do so unconditionally.

Dan Savage, who writes, Savage Love, a column found in many weekly papers including the Village Voice, http://www.villagevoice.com has come up with an idea for stopping this practice where it hurts most, in the wallet.

Dan proposes that the HIV positive man who is reported to have practiced unsafe barebacking and is spreading HIV be held financially accountable for his actions. He would pay one half of all treatment costs for the guy he inflicted. These funds would be deposited into an overall account to finance the cost of the cocktail drugs now out there to treat HIV and AIDS.

Dan comes down hard on these irresponsible HIV positive gay men. Quoting him, "If this asshole is smart enough to sue the Internet to line up sex dates, he's smart enough to know that it's wrong to give someone else HIV. " He's suggesting that We as a society, scold and punish people who amliciously and/or negligently infect other people with HIV.

I agree with Dan that maybe this drug support payments would act as a determent, and hopefully, cut down on barebacking for the sake of inflicting others with HIV. A lot of people don't want to continue paying for these drugs with their hard earned tax dollars.

You can see with the declining public interest in AIDS walks and that the focus has now shifted away from compassion. After all HIV has been know for a generation. What we didn't know 20 years ago, we do know now.

I'd like to know your feelings on this controversy. To learn more about this discussion, check out Dan's website, http://www.savagelove.net

7 comments:

Andrew said...

You have to pay for drugs for HIV treatment in the US? Doesn't the country want their citizens all well and healthy and productive?

cola boy said...

Damn right they should be made to pay for treament to the men they so irresponsibly infected!

I played around with two guys once and they never once told me they had AIDS...not HIV...but AIDS. And I didn't even know that until my friend told me. Those two never said anything to me. Not only did it scare the hell out of me, but it made me so angry. I chewed out my friend for not telling me before I played with them. Needless to say, I never held him int he same esteem ever again.

Chris said...

I had this discussion with another blogger shortly after this article appeared online.

What it boils down to is that it takes two to tango. If you didn't ask about your sex partner's status before you had sex, then you're just as responsible for anything that happens as he is. You're even MORE responsible for your health than anyone else, so trying to pin responsibility for something that goes wrong on someone else seems a little ludicrous to me. You see, I'm in this little rowboat too, so I speak from experience on this one.

What frightens me most about this plan to make HIV+ individuals pay, is that it will further stigmatize the poz population. The stigma of HIV is still not gone, nor do I think it ever will be. Even from our own community I see that poz guys as evil, irresponsible assholes and lump them all together with the *real* inconsiderate ones, just because we're all poz. I've even experienced this with someone I know closely. It bothered me so much that I no longer associate with this person.

What I think needs to happen is we need to return to the hyper-awareness of HIV like in the 80's-90's and find new ways to address and communicate the issue loudly. Do we need to hold die-in's in the streets again? Do we need to have vigils in the cemetaries for those who've died of AIDS?

ROBOCUB said...

I have to say that it's pretty fucked up if a poz guy fucks around raw without asking his partner if that's cool, but it's EQUALLY as irresponsible for a neg guy (top or bottom) to fuck around raw and now ask his partner's status.

Chris said...

Robocub,

I've always said, "It's not the ones who say they're poz you have to worry about, it's the ones who say they're Negative that you have to watch out for."

Danny said...

The owness for "protected" or "unprotected" sex should be shared equally.
Besides, If you're talking about "playing around" with a couple guys at once, it's probably a safe bet you're...um...sexually generous. If you did become infected how would you ever track back to the one out of who knows how many people you had sex with over the past 6 months to 1 year. And even if you did manage to track them down, they may have thought they were negative at the time, but had been infected by someone who lied to them.

Bottom line boys...if you play bareback with anyone YOU ARE AT RISK!!

Rather than further stigmatize a group of people for having a disease as lepers, take responsibility for your own actions and for those who you LET act upon you.
Wear or insist your partner wears a fucking condom!!

buff said...

All very good and very wise comments. You guys are extremely responsible, which I never, ever doubted. Why risk being infected, just strap on a condom. It only takes a few seconds and what pleasure it gives. WOOOF.