Gay men: stop posting your HIV status on gay dating sites!

HIV negative

Practicing safe sex is easy these days: just put on your bug repellent (a sign around your neck proclaiming your good health), then feel free to (unsafely) fuck and suck all the men you want. That’s what a cultural anthropologist from the future might suggest about the way men behave on gay dating sites.

The evidence would be the endless amount of profiles that claim: “HIV negative (as of a certain date)” or, “on PrEP,” meaning the drug Truvada, which has been shown to prevent transmission of the HIV virus.

The anthropologist might also point how posting one’s HIV status on a dating site or app has never actually protected anyone from anything, except perhaps, enlightenment. 

Declaring to others “neg as of a certain date” is the same as saying, “the doctors certified me as ‘clean’ X number of days ago. That makes me a good catch. Never mind how much of a slut I’ve been in the interim. What are the odds I’ve gone viral since this arbitrary date I’m giving you? Want to fuck around, put your health and life at risk based on what I’m telling you?”

Come on, play the game. It’s like roulette.

Men lie, men make mistakes, men are misinformed. Men say things to get what they want, especially when it’s a nut.

Come on, play the game. Want to fuck around?

Why should anyone believe you? Why should you expect anyone to?

“I’m on PrEP” is another way of saying, “I’ve been certified as ‘responsible or clean or whatever’ and you should take my word for it when I say I posed no threat to your health. We can have raw naked sex without so much as a single concern about hepatitis, other strains of HIV, and other STDs?”

We’ve got a free pass. Come on, play the game. Want to fuck around?

What kind of person thinks a piece of paper with the date on it makes them desirable? What kind of person desires someone with that kind of claim?

Come on, play the game. Want to fuck around?

Keep this in mind: most people who contracted HIV through sex did not set out to have sex with someone who has HIV, yet every single one of them became viral.

Is there a better way to play it safe on gay dating sites?

You bet your life, there is. Practice safe sex with everyone, no matter what day it is. (Then you don’t have to rule out the Poz People!)

Don’t take anybody’s word for what they do or don’t have inside their body. Having unsafe sex with somebody because you assume they are HIV negative is like driving in the dark with your headlights off and assuming you’re safe because you can’t see the presence of danger.

When it’s dark, you drive with your headlights on at all times and you don’t brag about it. It’s just something you do because ultimately, it’s the best way to protect yourself. Even in the daylight, as it turns out!

I’ve been living with the HIV virus for over 30 years now, and if I could chose to do one thing differently, it would be an easy call: treat every single sexual encounter as if I were driving in the dark and protect myself from any and all dangers, seen and unseen.

That means not taking anybody’s word for one single, blessed thing. That means having standards and practices to which one adheres.

Of course, there’s going to be failures, lapses, mistakes — but I would always keep in the forefront of my mind: the more I’m at my best, the greater my odds of success.

And while playing the game of love, sex and emotion, it’s definitely best to be at your best.

Bragging about the success of you driving with your headlights on “as of a certain date” is not you at your best. It’s a statement that has no bearing beyond bragging. It’s a con man’s line.

So, too, I’ve come to realize, is posting any information about one’s personal medical history on any dating site. It’s fool’s gold for low hanging fruit. Much better to hammer out the details through direct interaction where you can tell a lot more about a person than what has become an online cliché.

For goodness sake, why post any of your personal medical information on a dating site?

I used to post my HIV-positive status on such sites, but all it says mostly is, “I’m one of those poor unfortunate souls who isn’t on PrEP or ‘neg as of a certain day,’ so if you’re not like me, or don’t tolerate people like me … you’re welcome.”

I used to play that game, but that was not me at my best. Me at my best is a person with a smile and an open mind but also a person who has his own set of values, a.k.a., standards and practices.