Sunday, June 05, 2011

Yet Another AIDS Anniversary [Anthony McCarthy]

Yet another AIDS anniversary, yet another year when there are no condom ads on American TV as they explicitly talk about geezers' erections and how they can have more of them eight times an hour.

I started counting up the people I knew who died of AIDS, got depressed in the forties and decided not to go that way. Most of those people I knew were gay men who almost certainly got it from unprotected anal sex, though some of them were straight too. Two were straight women who got it from sex with men who identified as straight.

I've written here about how horrified I am that straight anal sex has become more common and has become seen as trendy even as HIV infection rates rise among young gay men who practice unprotected anal sex. As the frat boys at Yale clearly said it, anal sex is seen as a culmination of male privilege so it's no surprise that the major vector of patriarchal propagation, secular commercial pop culture, has promoted it as cool*. About the only thing I can think is that most straight people either didn't know gay men who died of AIDS or who are kept alive only by extremely complex drug therapies which have major health consequences as well.

So, I'm asking you to testify. Have you watched a loved one die of AIDS? More than one loved one? What do you think of the straight anal sex fashion? Please, share your experience and ideas.

* I won't again go into the dominance politics and internalized hatred expressed through anal sex among gay men since the 1970s at this time.