Since becoming single, I’ve been tested a few times for the wide spectrum of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Seems like a wise thing to do especially since I don’t always use condoms. Which, yes, is dumb. But shockingly common.
So I’m at a clinic in the city and am having a very open conversation with the
nurse. She tells me that while the incidence of HIV in straight people is about 5% (which actually seems high when you start to think about what that means if you’ve slept with 50 people), for men that sleep with other men, it’s closer to 1 in 4-5. Suddenly the hotness factor of those bisexual guys I’ve been talking too is waaaayyyyy diminished.
The nurse and I talk about gay porn and the prevalence of “barebacking” (not exclusive to gay porn at all) and how many young men are testing positive for HIV. They think it’s no big deal because they believe there is a cure.
This leads me to think about my own unsafe sex. What is striking to me is the number of guys who I’ve slept with who essentially say – “don’t worry about using a condom, I get tested regularly”. Well last time I checked, knowing you have herpes or HIV after the fact doesn’t do you much good. But it’s an absolutely pervasive attitude.