LGBT Let's Talk About Sex!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by marxwa99, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. marxwa99

    marxwa99 Boom Squad

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    The post below contains some of the some tidbits and facts I display on the online outreach i do with my work in HIV Prevention and Education.

    I'll try to update this periodically with some new tidbits as the facts come in. Some of these tidbits are debateable and i encourage dialogue and discussion amongst us all for those ones in particular.

    Feel free to ask for clarification for any of them. Just please quote them SPECIFICALLY in the response. And if you want any additional information added, please let me know and i will try to incorporate them in the post below!

    Thanks!

    EDIT: AND RIGHT NOW, I KNOW SOME OF THE GENERAL HIV/AIDS STATS ARE SHABBY AND ONLY INCLUDE WHERE I RESIDE, BUT I'LL ADD THOSE IN TIME TO COME
     
  2. marxwa99

    marxwa99 Boom Squad

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    HIV/AIDS STATS
    - 2,521 individuals are living with HIV/AIDS in Franklin County. In 2004, there were 237 new infections in Franklin County, 70-80% of which were men who have sex with men. 1 in 4 new infections in the state of Ohio were from Franklin County

    - Although the levels of AIDS-related deaths have plummeted thanks to HIV meds, the number of people with HIV/AIDS increases. In Franklin County, there has been a 40% increase in new infection rates between 2000 and 2004.

    - The number of newly diagnosed HIV infections among guys who have sex with guys has INCREASED 60% since 1999.


    HIV STATUS
    - Research has found that negative men tend to think men who don't disclose are negative. But HIV positive men tend to think they are positive! The same researchers also found that more HIV negative men think men who want to have raw sex are also negative, while HIV positive men tend to think the other guy is positive, too!

    - Many guys have a hard time bringing up HIV STATUS--it makes a lot of people UNCOMFORTABLE. Some guys find it easier to OFFER their HIV STATUS FIRST (e.g. "I'm negative, what about you?).

    - It is YOUR responsibility to find out your sex partners' HIV statuses. Many guys get REJECTED by their partners when they tell them they are POZ. This PREVENTS some guys from bringing up their status. Some DON’T even know they have HIV. Bottom line, if you want the discussion to take place, you've got to ask.


    SAFER SEX
    - It only takes ONCE for unprotected sex to lead to HIV TRANSMISSION. Some say not using a condom may feel better, but is the RISK WORTH the HUGE CHANGE in LIFESTYLE?

    - Taking note of the FEELINGS, PEOPLE, PLACES, and SUBSTANCES that make it HARDER for you to be SAFE is a START to your own PERSONAL HIV PREVENTION PLAN? When you go some place, or meet someone you know will put you at risk, see if you can CHANGE the situation and PLAN AHEAD what you will do to MINIMIZE risk.

    - For many guys, it is hard to know what to say or do to bring up safer sex with someone they plan to have sex with. Thinking about it BEFOREHAND can help. NON-VERBAL CUES also help (i.e. having condoms in plain view on your nightstand).

    - It can be tricky to respond to someone who DOESN’T want to use condoms. However, there are ways to be ASSERTIVE about your own HEALTH and SAFETY. For example, you can say, "I believe that you're negative, but either of us could have an STD that doesn't show symptoms..."

    - A great reason for practicing SAFER SEX is LOWERING the RISK of contracting HIV and PASSING it on before you know you're infected. Even if you feel that the risk of you getting HIV doesn't warrant staying safe, are you prepared to make that decision for the guys you sleep with?

    - While unprotected ORAL SEX puts you at lower risk for HIV than unprotected anal/vaginal sex, you are still high at risk for GONORRHEA, CHLAMYDIA, and SYPHILIS?

    - Having an STD can INCREASE your risk for CONTRACTING or SPREADING HIV. Open sores and irritated skin serve as entry and exit points for HIV. Also, having an STD can lower your body's ability to FIGHT HIV. Many men don't know they have an STD, since some DON’T have symptoms. One way to keep yourself safe is to get tested regularly.


    CONDOMS
    - Storing condoms in your WALLET, BACK POCKET, or in HOT SUNNY PLACES (such as a glove compartment or near a window) can cause DAMAGE to the condom and REDUCE its effectiveness in protecting you and your partner. Opening the condoms with SCISSORS or your TEETH can also accidentally BREAK the condom as well.

    - Using OIL-BASED products (Vaseline, baby oil, Crisco) with condoms contribute to condom BREAKAGE. WATER- and SILICONE-based lubes help to REDUCE the FRICTION that can cause a condom to break. You can NEVER use too much lube. I was once asked if using a condom with oil-based lube would still be better than no condom at all. The answer is NO. Usually, I’ll then take a condom and put it on my fist and arm (B.S. TO ANYONE WHO COMPLAINS CONDOMS ARE TOO SMALL – There are also size XXL condoms available as well). Then I rub chap stick, which is oil-based, on it and it immediately breaks into pieces! Imagine having not only unprotected sex, but condom pieces in your butt!


    METH AND OTHER DRUGS
    - Using METH puts you at THREE TIMES MORE RISK for HIV INFECTION and INCREASES the spread of HIV if you are HIV+?

    - METH is made from things such as Sinus Meds, Drain Cleaner, Antifreeze, and Paint Thinner? Is the high worth having that in your body?

    - Meth use can trigger CD4 cells to self-destruct. CD4 cells direct other cells in the immune system to keep oneself healthy. Meth can also eliminate HIV meds from the bloodstream too quickly. Email for more info.

    - Combining protease inhibitors with meth can lead to meth overdoses, especially with Norvir and Rescriptor. Email for more info.

    - There are LOCAL groups available specifically for guys who have sex with guys who are interested in finding RECOVERY/SUPPORT services for METH and other DRUGS.

    - Compared to heterosexual youth, GLBT youth are twice as likely to use alcohol, three times more likely to use marijuana, and eight times more likely to use cocaine. Drug or alcohol use may make negotiating safer sex more difficult and increase the likelihood of unprotected sex


    HIV+ ISSUES
    - Saying you’re CLEAN (HIV- and without STDs) might imply that people living with HIV are DIRTY?

    - 30% of people infected with HIV are also co-infected with Hep C. Using condoms, even when HIV+, is one method of reducing your risk.

    - The assumption that an HIV positive person with an UNDETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD can't give anyone HIV is FALSE. VIRAL LOAD can be very DIFFERENT in the BLOOD than in bodily fluids that transmit HIV like SEMEN. Someone may have an undetectable viral load in their blood, and still be able to give someone HIV.

    - Alcohol INCREASES susceptibility to some INFECTIONS that can occur as complications of AIDS such as TUBERCULOSIS, PNEUMONIA, and HEPATITIS C.


    HIV MEDS
    - Although living with HIV is not a death sentence, taking MEDICATION for HIV IS NOT EASY. Drug regimens can be complicated – some meds require food while others need to be taken on an empty stomach. Side effects can include vomiting, bone loss, skin rashes, and abnormal fat distribution.

    - Consistently taking HIV meds have been shown to greatly aid people living with HIV/AIDS. When one skips doses, the virus quickly starts making copies of itself again. The new copies may be "resistant" to the medicines, which means the medicines will not be able to fight the virus as well.

    - There are DRUG-RESISTANT strains of HIV for which certain meds CANNOT be used.

    - Although HIV meds help lower viral load, it does not prevent HIV transmission. Plus, undetectable viral loads in BLOOD does not always mean undetectable viral loads in SEMEN as well!


    HIV TESTING
    - A person who tests HIV- today can still be HIV+? Email for more info regarding the WINDOW PERIOD. The HIV Test is looking for HIV antibodies. For the average human being, it takes about 3-6 MONTHS for a sufficient number of antibodies to be available to create a POSITIVE result. So a person who was infected 10 days ago that is tested today might come back NEGATIVE because there is an insufficient number of antibodies produced.

    - KNOWING your HIV status has its benefits. If you’re NEGATIVE, this may motivate you to stay that way. If you test POSITIVE, you can work with your doctor to STAY HEALTHY and start taking meds when necessary. Testing positive may also motivated you to END THE CYCLE and not give it to others. Email for more info regarding HIV TESTING


    CDC NATIONAL AIDS HOTLINE

    For all your questions about HIV/AIDS, testing locations in your area
    1-800-342-2437

    NATIONAL STD HOTLINE
    1-800-227-8922

    NATIONAL HIV/AIDS TREATMENT HOTLINE

    For people living with HIV/AIDS
    1-866-HIV-INFO
    Weekdays 9am-5pm
    Weekends 10am-4pm


    10 EASY STEPS TO BEING A RESOURCE FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND AN ADVOCATE AGAINST HIV/AIDS

    As someone who works in HIV/AIDS Prevention and Education, I realize that sometimes our messages get overlooked by many individuals, because for a lot of people, they personally feel like they are not at risk. At the same time, sometimes the messages we send out are just not tailored to some of these people, which is a difficult task on our part because we as a community as so diverse internally. However, while you may not be at risk, what about your friends? Furthermore, for most people, if trouble arises, they’re gonna call their best friends up and seek advice from them. With that said, here are 10 steps that will help you understand how you can be a resource for your friends when the discussion of HIV/AIDS and safer sex arises:

    1) KNOW WHAT’S AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA – A simple check through Google or Yahoo! does wonders! Know where to go to get tested for HIV and/or STDs. Some places do them both. Also know about other GLBT organizations that might provide referrals to gay-friendly businesses or practitioners. So when your promiscuous friend starts complaining about how much it stings when he pees, you’ll be ready to inform him about the STD clinic down the street. And lastly, know about how HIV testing works. If he fucked someone he thinks might be HIV+ and wants to get tested, tell him that although it’s great that he wants to get checked out, for accurate results, he should wait 3-6 months after the fuck session to get the window period out of the way.

    2) YOUR WORDS – We all hear the safer sex messages, but if you just repeat what they say, not only are your friends going to say, “Where the hell did that come from?” but they are also gonna feel less persuaded by the message. Using your owns, your own style goes a long way. It can be as easy as saying “You’re more at risk if you’re being fucked” opposed to “when he places his penis inside of your rectum.” You can also be colorful stating “giving someone the alligator eyes” as opposed to “placing your lips on his penis.” BTW, alligator eyes are when you are giving head to someone, who is lying on their back with their legs lifted, and all they can see are your eyes sticking out over their legs, like an alligator’s eyes out of the water.

    3) AIDS=SERIOUS – Okay, the number of AIDS-related deaths has dropped, but HIV infections are on the rise, as much as 40% since 2000. Yes, meds are available, but they are expensive! And yes, you can get financial support, but you have to make sure you take the damn pills every single day at the right times or the virus might not be able to be suppressed as effectively! Imagine this: Do you take a multivitamin daily? If so, do you ALWAYS remember to take it everyday? And if so to that, do you ALWAYS take it the same time daily? Welcome to the world of someone living with HIV/AIDs and who is on meds. And yes, it may just be poppin’ pills still, but all my HIV+ friends always tell me each pill is a reminder they are living with it. To them, it is serious issue, and it should be to everyone else, regardless of HIV status

    4) STOP – Yes, AIDS is a serious issue! But we do have the power to stop it! Even with no cure available, something as small as using a condom can have powerful benefits for your future! Tell your friends that AIDS is not inevitable in gay men, or anyone! Simple steps can be taken to protect themselves and others.

    5) POSITIVE – We have been raised in a culture to perceive an AIDS (and even an HIV) diagnosis is synonymous with a death sentence. However, being a Debbie Downer when you talk to your friends about HIV/AIDS and safer sex is not gonna make them feel good about themselves. Focus on the positive! You can say “When I use condoms, I can relax and not worry about getting HIV.” Or let’s take the example that your friend comes to you saying he fucked up and didn’t use a condom once. Yet, you know that he is normally quite good at wrappin’ it up. Point that out! Point out that they have been regularly doing things to lower their risk. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but when people are freaking out, they want to hear things that will make them feel like they have made more good decisions than bad decisions.

    6) CONDOMS – Wrap it up! Condoms greatly lower the risk of HIV/STD transmission. If you are out at the gay club and you see your friend feeling up some lil’ shirtless tweaker dancing like Ciara with his hands over his head to the dance mix of “My Humps,” feel free to slip him a condom or two (one for him and one for the mess he is with) and remind him to be safe. It can be quick, yet highly effective. And of course, focus on the positive. Tell him to have fun, but to be safe!

    7) ADVICE – For some people, sometimes you have to slap some sense into them and push them to do something. For most others, if you do that, they’d flash you the finger, followed by a fierce Z-Snap, and walk away. So give advice, rather than bossing them around. For example, if your friend who danced with the mess has some red bumps on his balls a week later, don’t tell him, “GIRL, YOU NEED TO GET TESTED NOW OR ELSE THEY’RE GONNA SHRIVEL UP AND FALL OFF!” Be a little bit more classy. Give him what we in public health call a “buffet of options.” He can go to his private doctor, or maybe one of the STD clinics that you learned about from doing your homework from Step 1.

    8) TEACH, NOT PREACH – Again, this goes with Step 7. Don’t be a Preachy Patty. Have you ever seen the crazy guy in the middle of a college campus spouting off rhetoric related to the Apocalypse and how all gays and liberals will burn in hell? No one listens to him because naturally, most people think he is talking a full load of horse shit. But more importantly, it is because he is talking down to everyone around him passing by. Yes, it could be he is just overly zealous and passionate, but you can still be that, yet a bit more passive in your mannerisms. Long story short, talk WITH your friends, not AT your friends. Listen attentively to their concerns and their follow-up questions! They are your friends! You know what works well to get them to talk with you. If they are egotistical, compliment them! If they are analytical, provide some stats, which you will know from Step 1.

    9) SAFE SPACE - This works in two ways. First, if the friend approaches you to talk, check cues, verbal and non-verbal, that he or she is comfortable talking with you about the subject at hand where you both are. It is assumed since they are approaching you, they are fine talking about it right then and there, but a simple check of their comfort level never hurts. You can always ask anyways! And if it is a bit risqué, you can always talk in “quiet” voices. Second, if you feel the need to follow-up with a friend after he/she perhaps gets tested for HIV, find the right moment to ask it. Perhaps, in the car where it is only you two, as opposed to the urinals at the gay bar. We know how close they put those damn things to each other. And if gays hear words related to STDs, chances are all ears are now fine-tuned to eavesdrop on the rest of the conversation.

    10) “I” – For some people, like your egotistical friends, it might be better to talk more about them. But for most others, talk about yourself, your experiences. Talk about how you practice safer sex to feel better about protecting yourself and others. Talk about how your testing experiences have gone. Why? Ever see those “Men’s Hair Club” Commercials? “Not only am I president of Get Some Hair, Inc., but I am also a satisfied customer”? As corny as that sounds, the shit works! And you are doing the same thing! Your friends realize these bits of advice are personally endorsed by you, which is the key to a successful sell. The only disclaimer I should state is that if you aren’t actually using condoms all the time or getting tested, DON’T LIE. You can instead, note how you are changing your decisions to be safer or plan to start doing so when you find Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now. For example, “I may have not been so good with wrapping it up in the past, but nowadays, I use condoms with everyone!”

    So this was a long post, but I wanted to emphasize that we can make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS just through how we talk and what we talk about with our friends.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  3. GeekDrew

    GeekDrew aka DataDrew

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    Thanks for posting that. I'm kinda surprised about the number of HIV cases in Franklin County... but then again, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Doesn't Franklin have a far higher number of gays than Cuyahoga and Hamilton? After going to some of the bars in the area, and seeing how much promiscuity there is, I guess it's not terribly surprising. </rambling>
     
  4. marxwa99

    marxwa99 Boom Squad

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    supposedly columbus has one of the highest gay per capita in the nation (and the highest lesbian per capita in the nation)

    Yes, and some of the bars don't help...there are a few in particular that have told me that AIDS is a downer and they dont want any note of it in their bars because it'd kill the vibe.

    If tobacco and alcohol companies are now being sued for deaths, i could almost imagine in a few years, gay bars being sued for standing idly by while illegal drug use mixed with unsafe sex lead to an HIV infection and death. Very hypothetical, but 30 years ago, would have people imagined tobacco and alcohol companies being sued for something like they are now?

    But in reality, guys are guys, you get gay guys + alcohol + the idea crammed in their heads that bars are where you go to "meet" people, it is almost sure to lead to something!
     
  5. disgusting

    disgusting is this a girl or a guy? b/c i got a hard on OT Supporter

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    omg so many gays in columbus

    either jocks or gays, well, ok, or stoners
     

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