Second Class Citzen!


Torontoist has a great article about the current legal state of HIV disclosure, marginalization of those who are HIV+ and the possibility of more strident persecution for non-disclosure.

The article does shine some hope that more education is needed but in the same sentence, the hope is ripped out by the mere mention of economic/political deflation.

Enter the site, here to help promote the politically correct way of cruising online. Okay I’m simplifying it but it does offer a broad range of opinion, experience and instruction for both positive and negative folks alike. Brian (from my blogroll speaks plainly and directly about how many HIV positive people are isolated (and possibly fall victim to non-disclosure) with common Craigslist personal ad terminology like “drug and disease free” or “I’m clean – I expect UB2”. The other testimonial videos are great and insightful, tied to blogs with open discussion. The site seems to be going in the right direction towards education and discourse.

The site isn’t all highly intelligent nuggets of discussion, of course. The interstitial intro video comes with a Madonna joke within seconds of it’s start and has that edgy editing that makes me cringe. This jumpy video (blurry at any resolution over 1024×786) does nothing but detract from the message. Thankfully a cookie removes second viewings. Meanwhile, someone involved with the site’s development decided that injecting raw sexuality into this education tool was needed, because of course, if you’re gay you need a hairless guy gyrating to a disco loop to learn. For a laugh, try the game “Explicit Truth” that quizzes players on social/morality questions of transmission, best practices and disclosure. Choose the muscle guy in the ill-fitting chaps with the red jogging short underneath and sandals for the sheer cheese of it. Methinks the leather community wasn’t invited to the board room where this game was created.

Regardless of the site’s effectiveness, the legality issue seems to be escalating as life expectancy is being extended. And I got to thinking that this escalation might lead to the removal of an age old gay cornerstone: bath houses. Much like bars are responsible for the well being of their patrons, it isn’t much of a stretch to see the baths legally becoming responsible for the “safety” of their guests. I worked in a popular Church Street bar that after an unfortunate arm wrestling contest accident, no insurance company would touch us because of the “practices” that went on inside the bar, even after our written promise that contests like that would never take place again. What is to stop insurance companies to withdraw their business operating policies for baths based on the possibility that transmission happens within their doors?

2 thoughts on “Second Class Citzen!

  1. andrew

    it’s interesting to note one glaring omission from the torontoist article: personal responsibility. without the time (or inclination to use your space for another of my long-winded rants) to explore every aspect of the criminalisation debate, i wonder why this article is unable to state a very simple matter that each of us considers when we fuck someone, namely “am i going to put myself at risk here?” whether it be from HIV or any other sexually transmitted infection, crabs or having our pockets picked, we’re each of us personally responsible for our own protection.

    by assuming that each and every potential sex partner we have is POZ or a risk for some other contagion, we protect ourselves and the potential partner as well (in case we have some undiagnosed illness). does that make sex less fun? that sentiment is expressed throughout educational literature which encourages condom use and has always had difficulty battling safer sex fatigue, and there is merit in discussing it. in the end, we all determine our personal levels of comfort with risk in different aspects of life, and we’re all well aware that other people are misinformed and lie for good reasons, bad reasons and for no reason whatsoever.

    don’t want to risk HIV infection? simple – don’t put yourself at risk, ever. but, if you want to criminalise deceit, good fucking luck. also, margaret wente’s opinions should be disregarded as spiteful, miserable crank-distillate. she is a creepy, unctuous bigot, full of loathing covered with the thinnest veneer of professionalism provided solely by her inexplicable tenure at the globe and mail. sadly the blog critiquing her columns has not been updating for some time, but for backstory on her, please read wentewatch.

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