Go back in time

Show more

Hideous



Two thirds into the writing of my album, having a good idea of what it was about. I realised I’d been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status. I’ve lived with my status since I was 17 and it’s played with how I’ve felt towards myself and how I’ve assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life.
 
So quite impulsively I wrote about it in the song Hideous and thought I could release it into the world and be done with it. Having played the song to my mum, being the protective and wise mum that she is. She gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. She suggested that I spent some time having conversations with people in my life first. Either people I hadn’t told yet or people I had told but hadn’t wanted to talk much further on it. I’ve spent the past 2 years since writing Hideous having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened the relationship with myself and with the people in my life.


Funny how much people don't talk about AIDS or being HIV positive. But it's because the stigma continues to this day. It's still so prevalent that @oliversim (of the XX) felt compelled to disclose it in this music video. I think it's because not a lot of people are aware that having an undetectable load means that a person is not able to transmit the virus. Oh, yes. People still see HIV positive people the way they saw them in 1982.


Oh, you don't believe me? There's science behind the idea of U=U:

How HIV Treatment Makes U=U
With any virus, the likelihood of transmitting it depends on the amount of virus in your body. HIV drugs prevent the HIV virus from reproducing (making copies of itself). When a combination of HIV drugs (your drug regimen) is working, the viral load usually goes down quickly after starting the drugs.

If HIV is not able to reproduce, it will not infect new cells in your body and your viral load remains low. With a low viral load, you are more likely to have a healthy immune system. The lower your viral load, the less likely you are to transmit HIV to others.

HIV drugs cannot cure HIV. Even when your viral load is undetectable, there are still 'resting' or latent HIV cells in areas of your body such as your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract, or gut), brain, or bone marrow; these are called 'reservoirs.' But having an undetectable viral load means there is barely a trace of virus to be found in body fluids that transmit HIV: your blood, vaginal fluids, or semen. 
@thewellproject

I know that for many, many years the mantra has been to promote the use of condoms to stop the spread of HIV and learning that a low viral load is also an undetectable viral load is also a barrier to HIV transmission is kind of difficult to accept and maybe think that by saying that U=U people will stop being careful. But we have to be aware of how research works and how people get to be undetectable. The impulse to stigmatize people who are HIV positive needs to be squashed, especially because it's not always a well known cis gay man. Many times HIV positive are poor, and people of color, without the means and resources to get treated and more often than not victims of discrimination and scorn.

So, the idea that @oliversim decided to come out as HIV positive with this video and song offers me a chance to celebrate World Aids Day. We still have to talk about being positive. We still need to fight the stigma so we can live in a world free of HIV transmissions. Remember, HIV does not define the person.






XOXO

P.S. You may recognize the guest star singing in the song, too...


Comments

  1. no stigma from me. I have had a lot of sex with HIV+ U=U men, also swallowing their delicious cum. Without ever getting sick with any disease. Really, no problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you, Xersex!!
      I have not had any lovers/bfs who were positive, but I did (and do) have friends who are HIV+ and they live full, happy lives.

      XOXO

      Delete
    2. what I can tell you is that I proved several times on my skin and in my flesh that an HIV+ man under treatment, with zero viremia is not dangerous. I've kissed, fucked and swallowed sperm from an HIV+ and no one has ever given me any sexually transmitted disease.

      Delete
  2. Stigma? Among a small group, maybe, especially since we have PrEP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you'd see it more if you were dating right now.
      The apps are full of nasty comments because people are open about their HIV status...

      XOXO

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing this important post, especially on World AIDS Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww
      You just KNEW I had to talk about it!

      XOXO

      Delete
  4. Anonymous12/01/2022

    Big says,
    Yep, U=U --- so long as they can stay on the meds. That's good news, but wouldn't it be nice if HIV could be completely eradicated? XOXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely.
      And that's why programs that cater to HIV+ people are so important. And why talking about the stigma still attached to it needs to be eradicated. I think that maybe during our lifetime there'll be a cure. We already have PrEP, which makes lives so much easier...

      XOXO

      Delete
  5. What cracks me up about gay men.. and of course anyone can get AIDS , gay men in general Act invincible when it comes to unprotected sex once they learn there are prescriptions and drugs to take to help you live. Even though it's still a dangerous disease, once it doesn't come with a death sentence most are right back to having Reckless unprotected sex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      That invincibility has to do with the advent of PrEP, too. Many gay men think the epidemic is over. It's not. And one could not get full-blown AIDS when on PrEP, but there's still many a nasty bug that can be passed on...

      XOXO

      Delete
  6. We just got home from World AIDS at the statehouse, where Carlos played his trumpet to start the ceremony and then spoke of his own experiences in both English and Spanish.
    Proud of my husband, am I.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG that is AMAZING.
      Kudos to Carlos!!!

      XOXO

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the informative post, Sixpence. It is important to remember and educate. I think when I first heard about HIV is when I discovered that the world is really full of stupid people. A lot of bigotry and ignorance about the disease and the people who had it. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous12/01/2022

    HuntleyBiGuy:
    One has to wonder where we would be if there was universal healthcare. If everyone had access to the care they needed, and had there been funds spent at the height of the epidemic, is it possible that HIV would have been eradicated?

    XOXO 👨🏼‍❤️‍đź’‹‍👨🏽

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here here Huntley!!!!!! I suspect, alas, that our healthcare system and the thought of universal healthcare, is only ever going to be that of a dream with this country. And it gives politicians fodder for political promises, yet again to get votes when the next election rolls around.

      Delete
  9. Nice video... reminds me of the first time I saw Shakespears Sisters 'Stay'. Sommerville is an amazing vocalist. I enjoyed seeing this. Thanks for sharing.

    And the beat goes on...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Go ahead, give it to me.

Translate

Followers

Popular Posts

En otra lengua

  • El asesino de la serie - [image: MedellĂ­n con tugurios UC] En 1983 la basura era el principal problema de MedellĂ­n. Una montaña de desperdicios, donde sobrevivĂ­an al menos tr...
    4 days ago
  • ParĂ­s, la malamada - Con perdĂłn de la maestra Flor Romero de Nohra quien, con toda probabilidad, tuvo motivos de sobra para escribir una novela autobiográfica-carta de amor ...
    1 week ago
  • BIRTHDAY AGAIN!!! - ¡Otro cumpleaños más celebrando en la blogosfera! ¿Cuántos llevo ya?... 🙄... ¡la leche, son unos cuantos! Y eso que cada año la supervivencia en este me...
    1 week ago
  • Para ti LucĂ­a. - Siempre me emocionĂł esta canciĂłn, desde la primera vez que la escuchĂ© en aquel viejo LP de Joan Manuel Serrat hasta esta sentida versiĂłn de David Bisbal. ...
    2 months ago
  • - En los dĂ­as que se han convertido en años, en tiempo que transcurre y sin entenderme a mi mismo en mis angustias, en mis silencios, en mis ruidos que no c...
    3 years ago

Restricted to Adults

Restricted to Adults
Under 18? Beat it. Now.