This article was published on September 4th, 2013
The HIV/AIDs crisis of the 1980’s put a huge focus on the important of practicing safer sex, especially in the gay community. Governments poured millions of dollars into education programs to raise the awareness of safer sex and how to protect yourself. There were even programs developed to distribute condom packages throughout the gay community.
Today, HIV/AIDs awareness is high, particularly in the gay community. Most gay men are aware of the risks associated with unprotected (bareback sex). Gay men have been trained so well that is it essentially a requirement to ask someone their STI and HIV status, and how recent their last tests were, before initiating sexual activity. While it is up to each person to disclose their correct health status, the conversations are happening and gay men are able to make a choice based on the information they are told.
This is not the case in the heterosexual community, where asking a partner for their STI and HIV status is considered suspicious or inappropriate. This attitude is putting hetrosexual men and women in a dangerous position, where it’s at a point people aren’t asking questions for fear of the negative reactions they could receive. Rather than making informed choices, they are essentially putting their health at risk.
More education needs to take place. Sexual health should be an open topic no matter your sexual orientation.
Do you ask your partner what their STI and HIV status is? Sound off! Leave your comments on this blog post.