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Many HIV-negative men I know live and love in a seemingly blissful denial, pretending HIV isn't already enmeshed in their dating and sex lives.
Below is an exchange between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men. We weren’t using condoms anymore and my boyfriend cheated on me. But who’s going to get tested every three months when you’re in a relationship...
We can see here that trust was an important factor in calculating risk, in addition to the biomedical information that they had to consider. In discussing the dating profiles, many of the gay men made reference to (dis)honesty in the ads.
The infection is far from a death sentence, at least for those with access to life-saving medications.
And for many people, like my parents, a fear of gay people and HIV has been replaced with love and acceptance.
Some of the gay men had the impression that online dating sites and apps were not conducive to honesty among potential sexual partners.
This theme was also evident among service providers, as well as a generally pronounced sense of distrust. Service providers discussed whether or not they felt gay men should trust other gay men, particularly what they said around sexual encounters (e.g., negative or undetectable serostatus, testing frequency and test results, use of condoms, being monogamous).
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This is difficult for me to write and maybe for you to read. The next worst will be the day we bury you from AIDS." Much has changed since then.
But when it comes to undetectable and negative, it’s not as clear. Some of the gay men described encounters in which they questioned whether or not the sexual partner was keeping the condom on (or even if he had tampered with the condom).
However, as we see in the next quotes, even condom use raised questions of trust.
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