Fear is the worst reason to make a decision. To be celibate because of Fear of HIV is the wrong way to go. It is Death in Life. I know, i have lived both. This in a way is worse than becoming HIV+ So In being Celibate there is a prohibitive Risk of a Miserable Lonely Passionless Hell
So first deal with your fear of HIV. Get to really know folks who are HIV+. You will find that they are no different than you. Two Of my Lovers are HIV+ and doing well. They are very dear to me.
I use my feelings as a guide for level of risk of intimate activity.
Kissing, I consider negligible risk. If I Become Hiv + from Kissing then to hell with worrying about it! It's just my fate Get over it!
Oral Sex, More risk. Some would say never unprotected. There is probably some instance of transmission. I don't think it's high. For me it's a risk I can live with. I also drive on highways and body surf which also carry risks. I'm not staying away from the ocean for fear of sharks or Portguese Man o' war either
Anal sex with Condoms as a Top: Some risk. I think rate of transmission is low. Most don't consider prohibitive
Anal sex with condom as a Bottom. More risk. Again most don't consider prohibtive.
And now the underground, The decisions that speaking of is taboo, yet happen every day
Anal sex without condom as a top: More risk yet. Probably Not as high as being a bottom, A large number, if not the majority consider this to be prohibitively risky. some estimate rate of transmission 10% if practiced regularly
Anal Sex without a condom as a bottom. Most risky of all. This is probably the mode of infection for 95+% in Men. Nearly every guy claims he never does it. Nearly all have actually done it.
Anal sex without a condom with someone who is HIV+ but viral load undetectable: Theoretically less risky than with someone untreated brimming with virus, but not very reliable margin of safety. You are playing with fire. If you participate don't be surprised if your next screening comes up poz
Sero selection: POZ boys Barebacking with POZ boys. Again if your viral load is undetectable, THeortically are you protected? Maybe, There is preliminary data suggesting you might be, but then again you may theoretically get a strain that is resistant to your antiviral Cocktail and upset the delicate balance that took a year or two to achieve.....
So where do I draw the line?
I have in the past, crossed all the lines.
The difference now is that I care more about myself and don't balance fear with fatalism like I used to. So I am more selective and less careless. I Top bareback. I bottom bareback with my Poz but undetectible lover who is meticulous about his regimen and viral load. I have tested negative for the past three years of this practice. I don't bottom bareback for fellas I don't know and discuss HIV status with a new partner before getting involved. My situation is somewhat different in that I am very ambivalent about surviving more than 25 years
The age factor: At 20 becoming HIV+ probably shortens life. 25 years only brings you to age 45, which in many ways is a golden age for a gay man. If you keep in shape your love life can be full of fun while and you have grown out of bothering with concerns of fear, guilt, and couldn't give a flying fruitbat about what other people think. At 70...One might say what the hell! How long do I have anyway? For me at 45, well it's a little of both, frankly. I personally don't want to live past 75 so risk to me is not entirely a huge loss of quality living...again theoretically.
But none of these addresses Accountability for possibly infecting others. Weighing that risk against Desire for intimacy by you and the other fella who is just like you, in this imperfect world is very often ignored by both. If you care about someone and share more than rutting sex, I think it is more likely you will look out for your buddy. However I have seen both parties mutually act otherwise with regularity. I believe that if you cultivate compassion for yourself, you will reduce potential for harm.
Love and affirmation,
Forrester Tongpa Nyi (formerly Ash Phoenix, faeries evolve! )
When you come to know that your entitlement to joy is a given, All that remains is the exploration of the many different ways to let it in
Last edited by scott snedeker; 10-15-2009 at 08:31 AM.