How very sad that so many young gay men and too many of their older peers have such little respect for their bodies and their lives. Recent research conducted by scientists in Belgium indicate that young white gay men continue to fuel the HIV epidemic.
As outlined today in the UK Guardian, all of the money, time, and effort spent on public informational campaigns directed at gay men, warning them of the risks of unsafe sexual practices, have been of little use. The rate of HIV infections, along with other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and chlamydia, continue to climb alarmingly, despite targeted efforts to inform gay males of the physical hazards.
Those infected are almost all white, male, gay and young. These men also tend to have other sexual diseases, such as syphilis, which suggests that they are involved in unsafe sexual behaviour and are not using condoms…We clearly demonstrate that despite the existence of prevention programmes, easily available testing facilities and a supposedly broad public awareness of the infection and its possible routes of transmission, MSM (men who have sex with men) still account for the majority of local onward transmissions.
Of course, the health gurus in the UK and Europe seem to think that the next tactic in the battle against bestial bingeing is to do more of the same. More targeted campaigns, more special programs, more testing facilities. Their reasoning seems to be that if it didn’t work the first time, or the second time, or the third time, hey, what the heck, try it time and time again.
Not to sound callous or uncaring here, but who, pray tell, is picking up the tab for all of these campy campaigns? Who is paying for the informational outreach, for the testing facilities, for the doctors’ visits, for the medications, for the hospitalizations? Who is paying the financial price for a gay man’s ‘right’ to be as outrageously irresponsible as he bloody well pleases?
It’s pretty darn obvious that many gay boys don’t give a rat’s derriere about sexually transmitted diseases. And as the gay community continues to sputter along in puzzlement and perplexity, the gay cultural curiosity of getting and giving diseases romps on. Our dirty, not so secret, sexually acceptable gay version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.