Sunday, June 05, 2011

SF AIDS Fdtn HIV at 30:
Gays 'Aren't Afraid ... Which is Scary'

A crystal ball was not needed to see this sort of nasty, stigmatizing way of thinking about the incredible medical advances keeping people with AIDS living longer and with fewer opportunistic infections, would rear its ugly head as San Francisco moved full-swing into marking the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic in America.

Ever since the benefits of the antiretroviral cocktails and reduction of new HIV transmissions were firmly established after a few years of heavily medicating positive individuals, there have been too many AIDS bureaucrats and public health officials bemoaning fewer fag funerals. I'm sorry to see such sentiment expressed today.

No community or tribe should be asked to maintain decades of fear in relation to their love and sexual liaisons, and the control and prevention of infectious diseases. Homosexual males throughout their lives experience plenty of burdensome dread and panic, in coming to accept our same-gender attractions and our emotions, on top of too much societal and religious stigmas. The last damn thing the gays need is any HIV prevention program or behavioral science promulgated with fear as a key factor.

From today's front-page lead story in the SF Chronicle:

"Living with HIV has been kind of a weird roller coaster," said [Michael] Siever, director of behavioral health services for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "So many things, whether it's a vaccine or a cure, have turned out to be more disappointing than initially hoped. But obviously things are way better than they used to be." ...

"People aren't dying left and right anymore, which is lovely. But it also means people aren't afraid anymore, which is scary," Siever said. "People get complacent."

Whenever an AIDS Inc type says the community is complacent, they are talking in code. What they mean is they see a downside (!?) to advances, they want massive protests demanding more government money for their organizations, and fright and doom stalking gay sex clubs and bedrooms and cruising spots.

If Siever and his over-paid colleagues at the SF AIDS Foundation want to know why fewer folks donate to them or engage in any way with them and other AIDS Inc agencies, they only need listen to themselves denying the reality of AIDS today. There is no downside to people with AIDS surviving and thriving. Get used to it!

We gays and PWAs are far from complacent. We are living with HIV as fully as possible. We care deeply about our individual health and that of our entire community. We need to once and for all persuade AIDS Inc that less dying and reduced fear is a good thing.

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