Can you tell me how through the process of elimination folks gay AND straight alike (mostly gay) assume that when a gay man dies, he dies from HIV/AIDS? I ask this question because I was informing a friend of mine about the death of someone who had died and IMMEDIATELY she asked me if he was sick. I smiled because I expected that question, but I am still uncertain as to when did we become the HIV POSTER BOYS? As any HIV poster boy will tell you, there is a lot that comes with the territory. You often find yourself standing unpacking the psyche, slightly battered baggage of your HIV infection, sifting through your mind trying to find how you actually got there; and with self-preservation being the number one priority of our species, why do we continuously give HIV/AIDS a lifeline by putting it on GAY MEN?
We all know how such stigma HURTS the gay community and with the cost being SO high, is there any wonder that many gay men who are not infected shun those who are? The ostracizing AND judgment of such stigma gives this killer the power it had when HIV was called GRID (GAY RELATED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY). This eradicator has managed to stay linked to both being gay and contracting the illness. This disease penetrates me to my core because I know differently now and the turtle-like response we have to it shouldn’t be reflexive on gay men alone. When are we going to get to a place where we are mentally healthy AND embrace instead of condemn each other? When are we going to stop this injustice perpetrated against gay men?
HIV/AIDS has been RAVAGING the world for more than two decades, destroying lives AND crippling societies. Shouldn’t we as homosexual men AND women have a universal yearning to de-stigmatize ourselves from this disease? There are a great many ways in which human beings can die and for all our tenacity, we are VERY fragile creatures who have LONG been killed by HIV/AIDS! The ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL approach we have about gay men and HIV is VERY dangerous and it high time we hold ourselves accountable because I don’t know about you, but I am NOT happy about the FACT that our ENTIRE SEXUAL PERSONA has taken such an ugly turn and I am SURE that countless number of gay men who have passed from this disease or not, do NOT appreciate us stigmatizing each other.