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Pages: Whiteside: Talking about AIDS – or not [1]
Author Topic: Whiteside: Talking about AIDS – or not

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2011-02-08 14-22-33

Whiteside: Talking about AIDS – or not Whiteside: Talking about AIDS – or not Chase Whiteside By Chase Whiteside, New Left Media 12.03.2010 7:00am EST In the last months, three friends of mine tested positive for HIV. All of them are younger than me; I’m 22. Some weeks ago, John Corvino posed the question in his column, “Why aren’t we talking more about HIV?” and went on to tell about his fortysomething friend who had several unprotected hookups with twentysomethings. With HIV infection rates on the rise, particularly among younger gay men, the question is an important to ask: Why aren’t older gays who remember the horror of the AIDS epidemic talking with younger gays about safe sex? Moreover, why aren’t they talking at all? I received only rudimentary (and entirely heterosexual) sex education in high school. My understanding of HIV and other STDs was limited, and it scares me to remember that my sexual activity reflected this naivety. Likewise, my knowledge of gay history was practiy non-existent. AIDS was intangible and distant; that homosexuality was ever considered a disease was unfathomable. In college, I was fortunate to have had an older professor who took the time and interest to educate me on these things. He put books like Randy Shilts’ And The Band Played On in my hands, insisted that I screen documentaries like the Times of Harvey Milk, and imparted sometimes painful stories from his own experience of living as a gay man. It was a life-changing education that gave me an appreciation for the struggles of earlier activists on whose shoulders I now stand, and it strengthened my determination to continue the fight for full equality. Not unimportantly, such an education also instilled in me the necessity of practicing safe sex. I’m worried that such wisdom is no longer being communicated to younger generations, who have no memory of AIDS. FULL STORY:
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2011-02-09 3-12-15-

Because to an extent most of the older gay guys today were in the closet until rather late in life or are still married and on the down low. There’s just not big collective memory in the community of the bad old days. All those guys are dead.
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2011-02-09 7-36-02-

I am sure as gay men, we all have recollection (as caretakers) of the pain and misery associated with the LOSS to AIDS. Both for the victims & caregivers. Why is that NOT enough a lesson for us to want it NOT be the experience for others. jus sayin
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  • fenner

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    2011-02-10 0-19-15-

    So what do you think of these role models?
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    2011-02-10 14-11-34

    It's being controversal to make money? Maybe the "owner" of Treasure Island has his own "issues" as it relates to HIV. I can see no rational reason for anyone to be THAT EXTREMELY irresponsible/STUPID. Both as porn actors and as a porn production company. Oh well. And life goes on, I guess.
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  • schwahn

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    2011-02-10 20-26-44

    Because Guess I'm just an old queen. Old at 31, if that aint a quintisential aspect of our puddle shallow sub-culture I don't know what is!? The newest generation of gay guys are in their 20's now. HIV can't "kill" them. They will just take the cocktail and tra la-la-la-la-la-la back to the bath-house for more random sex. Damn the side effects, those won't happen until later. The hunch-back, the severe acne, stomach cramps, constant nausea, pre-mature balding, just to mention a few of the party-favors the HIV cocktail has to offer. And, let's not forget the grand prize of death by athletes foot: struggling for every last breath while that cottage cheese fungus spews from our lungs. Guys in their 20's are immortal, or didn't you get the MEMO? Guys like us are invisible to them. We are those guys they wouldn't fuck with someone else's dick. Let alone talk to them. And, we know nothing. We are behind the times with our cell-phones that are just...phones. Our conservative managerial hair-cuts. Our sedans and mortgages. What do we know? Those of us who have found love are off living our lives. Very often watching our diets from the early-onset diabetes we enjoy from a decade of binge drinking. We are monogamous so HIV/AIDS isn't our problem and we return the favor of ignoring the young guys. We are a sub-culture! Supposedly we are a part of the mainstream now. If you want to know what that feels like just ask an old black person how great it is to be a marginalized American. AIDS got a lot of coverage and funding when it was a new disease and the general population didn't realize that they were at almost no risk at all until they finally started to screen people donating/selling blood. Now it's just our problem again. If it doesn't effect the Straights it's not a problem America has to deal with. Black people have systematic oppression and poverty. So do the Hispanics come to think of it but they seem to be thriving despite it. We have HIV/AIDS and systematic oppression if we dare to be openly gay. So in sumation: The young guys don't care, we could care less, and the entire idea that we actually have a culture outside random fucking, hair salons, the gay ghettos, and fashion boutiques is laughable. But again, I'm just a bitter old queen. What do I know?
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    2011-02-11 12-23-08

    you not only are right but you write well Excellent post and a valid perspective. I am glad that in the midst of the drivel here that this got read by some that need to hear it.
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