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The Death of HIV Options
Paul Watson 3
Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2019 3:00:24 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/10/2019
Posts: 14
Neurons: 12,461
Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
I am not sure if many have been following the HIV saga.

A new and improved Drug called Prep ( Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) has been tried and tested on hundreds and thousands of Gay men to stop the transmission of the HIV virus.
I am one of those men.
The HIV issue is very sticky, and contentious. Let you just give you my whole encounter with HIV.
I was 18 when I "came out the closet", I had 3 or four longish term boyfriends and then between them, I was young and totally wild. Yes, it was drummed into us, Wear a Condom, wear a condom or die. And if you got HIV you were dead.
This was so bad, that people like me and many others would create a mental block If I don't think it exists, it doesn't
Ignorance was bliss.

I am no saint, I don't aspire to be, but I will not lie and try and hide the amounts of partners I had. By the age of 43, I could easily and very cautiously say I had around 450 - 500 Partners. And the scary thing was, I did not always use a condom.
At the age of 43, a series of events happened to me, and I was forced to learn, get tested and confront my fear for HIV.
I had forged a relationship with a man and were very wild. On our third encounter, I remember him telling me he was HIV Positive.

We had barebacked, and not been safe in any stretch of the imagination. I was devastated. I was furious. I raged at him, and he said, I thought you were Poz, and since when is it only his responsibility to divulge one's status, it takes two to Tango.

I realized I could not be angry, hadn't I done what he had just done, but I had done it for almost 20 years, I had so scared of HIV that I would not even think about asking a play partner.

My HIV enforcer could have just walked away, but he stood his ground and said, Ok, let's go to the clinic, let's get you tested, and let's take it from there.

So he told me about his HIV , his what he liked to call evolving, he had been HIV for almost 18 years, He was one of the first. He explained to me that he was on Meds and theoretically he should not be able to pass on the virus.

I had to first be an adult, and I remember the Married ( To a woman ) i had been with a few days before. I had to meet this man, and explain to him, that I had been compromised, and so he had also get looked at. I was expected scorn and hatred. But this man, he just hugged me and said. "It's all right, you did the right thing by telling me, I cannot be angry with you as it was also his responsibility to demand protection.

So a day later I went to the clinic and got tested. I had to have caught the bug, there was no way, I could not of. And the nurse said " Negative".

I was like " WHAAAT ?"

Let's do another one, and so we did .. again a negative...

I was in shock, this wasn't how I imagined things .. this was messed up.

When you have decades of people, TV, newspapers telling you that get HIV if you don't use a condom, I honestly think I believed that.

I sat at my desk at work, shell shocked. My Boss noticed my distressed and called me into his office. , I tried to explain things to him, and he sat there quietly, without expression, no emotion.

He asked me if I was finished, I nodded guilty and he said "good"

He opened his drawer and pulled out a number of STD Rapid blood testers.

And so I sat there, blinking, scared all over again, blood dripping off my finger and Syphilis, Gonareah and HIV Kits all just there in front of me.

Negative.

And so my journey began. I went to the clinic and explained things as best I could, I told them how many men I had been with, they never blinked an eye , and said, OK we are going to Get you on PREP.

So I had another battery of Tests, I had to wait a week, and come get my PILLS if I had my Hepatitis blood sample come back negative.
I was asked to refrain from sex for a week.
It was a very long week.
I went back to the clinic and was told about the Pills, what side effects could happen and I need to take some responsibility for my life, it was said in a caring way.
Truvada, or the Generic, whatever, just one pill a day, and it stopped HIV
So I took my pill and almost ran out the door. The nurse held me back and said .." Umm It takes 7 days to build up in your system"
So I had to refrain from sex for another 7 days
It was an even longer week.

I had dodged a bullet, I don't know how, but good damn. So when I saw my playmate who forced me down this path, I excitedly told him about my status and my pills and how I was educating myself. And then I saw it... I saw him flinch. I was been cruel, I was waving my negative status in his face. I shut up. And after a long silence, I asked him, how do I navigate this whole thing, I need his help, his guidance, I needed to learn that people did not talk about HIV, they did not divulge their status to just anyone. This was a minefield.

That night, my HIV alien friend, he asked me if I had faith, Faith in science. I was a bit taken back .. Umm yes .. definitely

He said good, tonight we put your faith to the test, tonight we will have sex, no condoms, and let's see if you believe.

I was terrified all over again, I could not pull away from him, I had to have faith in science, in what they told me. , I lay there awake listening to the chirping birds welcome in the first light, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough.

I got tested the next few hours, That evening, I took another test. I tested myself about 8 times that week.

All the tests were negative.

I have never learnt so much about how fragile men's emotions are, how stigma and fear and repugnance manipulated people into becoming almost the very things that they hate.

On a local Gay Dating website, My name was mentioned by a guy who I had sex with a few weeks earlier. He warned people to watch out for me as I gave him HIV. Ummm, yea, I laughed when I read this, I guess this was my penance for been so irresponsible.
I traced him down, and softly and without any anger or resentment, I explained to him I was HIV negative , and that I will gladly help him get tested and I will support him whatever the outcome is. He said he would think about it. The message disappeared off the Bulletin board and I never saw or heard from him again.

In the months that followed, I was invited by my friend to attend a group sex party. It was strictly by invite only, I had to obey certain rules, and protocols. It wasn't a free for all, but what would turn out to be one of the most amazing encounters of my life. I had to learn a whole new type of language, If I didn't like someone that was into me, one had a way to politely turn this person advances and not be rude.
There were rules about been clean, bad breath, and one my first night, halfway through the party, I was asked about my status. I said "Negative " Proudly ..
There was a silence and this guy said " I think you had better leave"
Umm, what?
He told me, this is an HIV positive party ONLY, we all are on meds, we know and help and support each other with our little "gifts" , we have these parties were we know the risks to each other .. BUT now you come in .. You are Negative and we have to be careful around you..

No, he said, you have not, and you cannot know the resentment, the anger and the hate we have all had to deal with, I needed to leave.

I can only be so nice in one night, and then I dig my heels in, I explained to this guy ... I am on Prep , I am confident enough in this pill to know that I will not get HIV from any of you. Sure I could get an std, but one can cure those STD , HIV you cant.

I know the risks, I might be the first PREP guy, but I bet I won't be the last.

That night I lay with this man, he was almost terrified to touch me, he was so scared of infecting me. I lay there, and I asked him questions, I explained how it was for me , and my emotions and feelings. I explained that I think that this is the start of the change. How we needed to talk about STDS, about HIV, and Meds, ask Status, and not push people away, negative or positive. This was how we were going to not only protect ourselves but not hide in the shadows.

I am 45 years old. I help out at certain parties, I help keep this running smoothly and keep and eye on things. I hardly participate any more, but I cannot explain to all those people out there who want to judge and condemn these lost souls. These guys know what they are doing, they know the risks, and there is only this night where they can and will let all those fears and pretences go. They will drop their social masks, their self-loathing, the embarrassment of their bodies, they will throw away their classism and condemnation over those that they were taught to dislike. They will let go, for one night, and deal with the consequences later. Now that is freedom.

So, ladies and Gentleman, I want to thank you for reading this chapter of my life. I know its difficult, its so hard not to judge and be righteous and proud. I do not ask you to accept these ways as your own or to promote them. I ask, for respect, for empathy and understanding.
I strongly believe we would have had way fewer problems with HIV if we all talked about it, and tried to understand and had empathy.
SO don't drive away your sons and daughters with fear, do not think that you are the only one who is right, and everyone else is wrong.
I ask you to learn , you listen, you feel, and don't judge. Love .. that's all it should have taken, Love.. but instead, we go 20 years of terrifying fear...

Story by Paul Watson

FounDit
Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2019 4:57:40 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 13,732
Neurons: 65,610
I'm glad you are negative for HIV, but you must know that no medicine is 100% effective, even PREP. From what I've learned about it, PREP is only about 92% effective. If you want to remain negative, you must be aware that you run a risk every time you engage with another man who is HIV positive.

You really aren't being fair to youself, or to others you may engage with if you have HIV positive partners. I can understand your wanting compassion and understanding for your personal affections, but you must remember that when HIV first came on the scene, it was almost a universal death sentence. It's no wonder then that people were so frightened of it, and anyone who may have had it.

The only way to be truly safe from HIV in your case is to try to always select honest partners and avoid those with HIV. You are still young and can have many years ahead of you, but you must make wise decisions for that to happen. I wish you the best. Take care of yourself and those you care for by making those wise choices.
Paul Watson 3
Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2019 8:22:47 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/10/2019
Posts: 14
Neurons: 12,461
Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
I am going to strongly disagree with you... How can you say that I must avoid HIV guys, no ways ...

One of the things I have learnt is that guys who are HIV Poz and on Meds are the safest guys to be with, When their viral load is low due to the meds, they can not pass on the virus.

Now you must understand how many of these guys feel. The meds are not like the old days that made them ill, but if they stop their meds they feel it straight away.

Now go onto the scene. I would way rather choose a partner who is HIV poz undetectable because these guys are brutal with their honesty, they have nothing to hide...

It's the guys who were like me, the negative guys, they either do not know that they have the virus, and pass it on, or lie...

The other thing is undetectable guys tend to group together, it's like a club, I found that I would have about 7 or 9 friends, and we would all look out for each other and help each other, once a month we would meet and have fun, and a catch-up.

If I think about it now, I just don't sleep with negative guys if I can help it, I avoid them, Guys who are on Meds, I know are going for regular check-ups, and if they want Meds from the clinic, they get screened. Neg on prep guys as well. If I want to remain on Prep, I get retested and scanned for all STDs.

So Prep, it's making the community so much safer. Men naturally will not go to a doctor for a little bump or sore, their junk usually has to be falling off and then they go to the doctor. So now, been on Meds, means you get checked up, you are aware of STDs and HIV and you are actively doing something about it...

Ohh BTW Condoms are not 100 % effective either .. THAT is the reason why Prep is at 95 %, because of Condoms...

Look its a personal choice, I don't plan to have a baby, soi am not going to use condoms. I hardly sleep with neg guys, so it's not like I can infect them .. Serosorting ..Give me men who are on meds any day. And yes, sometimes, they need someone like me to ask after them and check up on how their meds are going, because sure as heck, no one else is going to.

Prep is way better than a Condom, A condom and Prep is way better than just Prep, Wearing a Hazmat Suit, a Condom and taking Prep and having bad breath, now that is the best safe sex...

There is no way I will avoid an HIV guy, I did that for so long, and I think I owe it to them, not to sleep with them, but be compassionate and understanding about their HIV.

HIV is a part of them
It's not some abstract thing, its something that they deal with every day of their lives


FounDit
Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2019 10:17:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 13,732
Neurons: 65,610
Each of us make choices in our lives and must live with the consequences. I was merely suggesting what seemed to me to be the wisest choice to make if I were in your place. You are free to make your own decisions, of course, and I wish you well in that.
Lotje1000
Posted: Monday, May 6, 2019 8:34:22 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 1,150
Neurons: 647,619
Location: Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
FounDit wrote:
I can understand your wanting compassion and understanding for your personal affections, but you must remember that when HIV first came on the scene, it was almost a universal death sentence.


It's a prime example of 'splaining, if ever I saw one. Especially as Paul_Watson_3 already clearly stated at the start of the post "Yes, it was drummed into us, Wear a Condom, wear a condom or die. And if you got HIV you were dead."
FounDit
Posted: Monday, May 6, 2019 11:41:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 13,732
Neurons: 65,610
Lotje1000 wrote:
FounDit wrote:
I can understand your wanting compassion and understanding for your personal affections, but you must remember that when HIV first came on the scene, it was almost a universal death sentence.


It's a prime example of 'splaining, if ever I saw one. Especially as Paul_Watson_3 already clearly stated at the start of the post "Yes, it was drummed into us, Wear a Condom, wear a condom or die. And if you got HIV you were dead."


Sometimes, it just needs to be done. See: It's a Joke
Dynamina
Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 1:19:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/31/2015
Posts: 161
Neurons: 2,840

BBC today wrote:


FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 4:35:17 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 13,732
Neurons: 65,610
Dynamina wrote:

BBC today wrote:




Thanks for that info, Dynamina. That is really good news and needed information. I learned something I didn't know today.
Paul Watson 3
Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 6:44:02 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/10/2019
Posts: 14
Neurons: 12,461
Location: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
A few weeks ago there was a small gathering of some of my gay friends and other guys who i had not met. It was a pretty diverse group. Ages from 30 . Oldest was 60. 3 diferent racial types and an assortment of body types. We had one thing in comon ,we were all male and openly gay. What i found very intresting was how the conversation included HIv . Prep and help at the clinic. One must understand that 5 years ago . Ot was almost taboo to discuss such topics. We all ignored that elephant in the room yet here we were discussing how to get Prep . Std treatment and sexual health. This is so progresive . So brilliant i cannot explain it to you. 10 years ago to be HIv positive was to be an outcast . Today its been dismantled , understood, and delt withh
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