antiprincess on the real "sex pox."
...whatever side of the porn/sexwork/bdsm fence you sit on, what about AIDS, y'all?
I'm not HIV+, nor am I an AIDS activist. But I know people who work long and hard to purge the idea from the human consciousness that there is some consensual sexual behavior that deserves PUNISHMENT. Not just any punishment, but The Biggest, Baddest, Most Punishing Punishment - long, slow, conspicuously Capital Punishment in the form of a wasting disease, with clearly visible physical benchmarks of its progress as it slowly kills its victims.
so, when I see the word "sexpox", I don't think of cute hawtt titjobbed bisexee suckfuckers who giggle and simper on their spindly heels and tilt their empty heads and smile while cooing "ooh! I'm so empowerful! aren't I, Nigel?"
(and even if I did get that mental picture, it wouldn't match any of the individuals I know who identify as "sex-positive." the gulf of understanding here is unbridgeable, apparently, when it comes to that.)
when I see the word "sexpox", I think of a fatal disease that happens to people who fuck the wrong way, and need to be punished before they can die as a consequence for their behavior.
I mean, I guess, if you think there's a type of consenting adult sexual behavior that NEEDS to be punished by a fatal disease, because that behavior is THAT SINFUL that people who do it need years and years of suffering until they've repented enough to die in misery, then by all means continue slinging around "sexpox" like it's no more harmful than "tranny" or "faggot". (eyeroll)
but if you really think that there's a type of consenting adult sexual behavior that deserves the death penalty, may I humbly suggest you examine what that really means...
and yes, belatedly, World AIDS day was a week ago.
Some bloggers that covered it:
When December 1st rolled around, otherwise known as World AIDS Day, I didn’t think too much about it. Granted that I’ve been involved in one shape or form in HIV/AIDS prevention among the queer Asian men’s community for over 10 years, first in LA doing some work with APAIT or Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team and in SF doing research for APIWC or Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, and have done some collaborative work with APICHA or Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS in New York, but I’ve been out of that loop for some time, and so I do what I usually do–stopped for a moment, reflected on my friends who’ve become HIV+ and friends who’ve passed on, then moved on with my life.
I bring this up because tonight, a friend of mine from Singapore told me he just tested HIV+ and was contemplating suicide. Part of me put on my unofficial HIV counselor cap and encouraged him to seek services within Singapore, like Action for AIDS. Part of me, on the other hand, after I had done everything I could and got him on the phone with a counselor, had to stop, think, and sigh, “Goddamn, another one of my friends.”...
December 1st is World AIDS Day. According the the Centers for Disease Control, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Women of color are especially affected by HIV and AIDS. But what about lesbians? Where do they they rank in rates of HIV infection?
Well, there is some good news and some bad news on that front. On the one hand, there seems to be very few documented cases of female to female sexual transmission of the disease. On the other hand, the way the CDC tracks AIDS makes it very difficult to document female to female transmission.
But no matter if lesbians are or are not contracting HIV via sex with women, lesbians and bisexual women are just as likely to contract AIDS through other means: sex with men, IV drug use, rape and even artificial insemination. As a matter of fact, in some of these groups, lesbians are even more likely to contract HIV. Shouldn't you be informed? Here are the facts about lesbians and HIV/AIDS.
Let's talk about SAFE sex! AIDS has made its way into a variety of communities-gay men, heterosexual men and women, blood transfusions, and injectable drug users, and now migrant workers and truckers who move across regions and countries. However the majority of people living with AIDS are heterosexuals and increasingly women, many of whom lack the knowledge and power to insist on safe sex with their partners.
For example, in many cultures, men visit sex workers and then the men refuse to wear condoms. Some sex workers have made organizations and compaigns to insist on condom usage, such as in Thailand or India. At the same time, if the sex workers are unorganized in such a campaign, "No Glove, No Love", then they face economic pressures to insist that their customers wear a condom because the customer can move on to the next sex worker.
Or women trafficked and/or migrated to India or the Middle East and in sex work may have the same problems and can return HIV positive and face the social stigma from their previous activities and HIV infection.
Migrant workers--men and women--become HIV positive during their construction and domestic-sex-care work(s) and are deported back to their country of origin, for example, Nepali women or Bangladeshi male -female migrant workers, who in turn infect their wives-husbands...
The specificity of women and girls has only recently been highlighted in HIV/AIDS policy, research, programmes and resource allocation. Women make up nearly half of the 40 million people living with HIV worldwide, and the rate of infection in women are increasing. Women, especially young women and grrls, are vulnerable due to gender inequality, social and cultural norms, poverty, biology, and in particular, violence against women.
Women living in situations of domestic violence are much more likely to become infected by HIV than women who live in non-violent households. It is also difficult for women and young grrls to negotiate condom use and safer sex with their partners, a recognised method to reduce the likelihood of HIV infection.
Female sexuality is often constructed in as passive and lacking. Men and boys on the other hand, are understood to possess active sexual agency, and are expected to initiate the first move in sexual interaction. As such, women who take control of their sexuality fall outside of what is ‘normal’, and are easily hailed as being ‘over eager’ or ‘shameless’.
The majority of sexually explicit content available on the internet supports this construction of female/male sexuality. At the same time, the internet has also become a critical space for the expression of women’s desires and sexual rights, especially women of diverse sexualities. We need to be able to control our own bodies, and articulate our own sexual desires and rights, according to our own terms. Not only is this crucial to help mitigate the rate of HIV infections amongst women and girls, it is part of our fundamental human rights.
Homo Homo Sapien
Last night I attended the launch of the Victoria Midwinter Pitt documentary, Rampant: How a City Stopped a Plague and next Monday (3 December) all Australians will have the opportunity to see this brilliant piece of television as the ABC will be showing it at 8.30pm.
The film tells the story from the perspective of a handful of people who instinctively stepped forward and took on the challenge that Australia faced. It is because of their foresight and that of many others, that Australia has managed to limit the number of deaths from AIDS to over 6,500 people.
There were many scenes in the film that stood out for me but one was a scene where one of the Sisters of Charity made this point:
"WE made a decision to become an AIDS hospital."
...orking across multiple layers of law, human rights, social justice, discrimination and stigma were the hallmarks of our early response to HIV/AIDS and underpinned our successes, our empathy and supported us through our loss and grieving.
We all have our own story to tell – some will do it more publicly than others. My responsibility is to tell my own story which is both personal and political as well, and as truthfully as I can and shame or judgement is not part of it. I may have come out with all barrels blazing but this has been an almost 30 year work in progress and I have done so in this documentary in the knowledge that I was in the safe and ethical hands of a production company (Penny Chapman Productions and staff and director Victoria Midwinter Pitt whose desire it was to document our unique approach to the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
But seriously I have internalised enough whore stigma and have endured enough of other people's social values to last me another lifetime.
Coming out of the scarlet closet so to speak has been a confronting but liberating experience, it's not for all but for those who can it is exhilarating freeing yourself from the prejudice, stereotyping and stigma that often shames sex workers into silence not to mention the harms that can and do befall our nearest and dearest by association. My children have grown up and are able to fight their own battles and in fact would fight anybody who dared to discredit me and my life’s work including my sex work. Thank you Jesse.
This documentary has also given me the opportunity to highlight the intrinsic role sex workers played in the fight against HIV/AIDS - educating men and providing practical 'hands on' experience in the use of condoms and safe sex while fighting for better conditions and law reform to support these initiatives – they are unsung heroes of the epidemic but amazingly continue to be vilified, shamed and discriminated against in the eyes of the law and in society. SEX WORK and sex work ACTIVISM HAS BEEN A LARGE PART OF MY LIFE and this documentary has given me the opportunity to promote sex worker rights and banish some of the shame of silence which hopefully enables more sex workers to speak out particularly important today in this conservative climate WHERE our hard one (law) reforms and in jeopardy where even our sisters in the right wing faction of post-feminist brigade are calling for criminalisation of our clients and maintaining and even strengthening the criminal sanctions on our industry...
What Black Men Think (Keith Boykin)
We can’t stop the AIDS epidemic until we stop the lies that fuel the epidemic. That’s why today I’m featuring the video (above) about black men...It deconstructs some of the most popular myths about black men in America. One of those myths — that there are more black men in prison than in college — was actually repeated last year by the President of Harvard University. Is it any wonder, then, that so many others buy into the myths?
Another popular myth is that black men on the down low are responsible for the AIDS epidemic. The video discounts that assumption, and now new research by the CDC’s Dr. Greg Millett helps to disprove this theory. The research, reported in this week’s Gay City News, indicates that men on the down low are not the cause of the AIDS epidemic in black America.
New Research on Black Men and HIV
“Among the dozen explanations studied, three leading theories were ruled out by Millett’s work. Significantly, the assumption of higher risk behavior among black MSM-as measured by unprotected anal intercourse, total number of sex partners, and commercial sex work-was not found to explain the differential in infection rates relative to non-black gay and bi men. This conclusion was based on a review of more than 25 separate studies,” GCN reported.
Also important, self-identity does not determine risk for HIV. “Black [men who have sex with men] who don’t disclose their sexual behavior compared to black MSM who do disclose their sexual behavior are less likely to be HIV-positive, they’re less likely to engage in unprotected sex with more than five male partners lifetime, and they engage in less unprotected sex generally,” according to Millett...
Meanwhile, Black Amazon has a pointed reminder that AIDS isn't the only "sex pox" out there:
Of course STD's shouldn't be stigmatized, and no people aren't " bad people" for having them.
But sorry y'all it's still
A BIG FUCKING DEAL.
and I'll curb my observation that social stigma tends to work in specific rarefied airs.
But the constant and unrelenting message of Fuck it , it's not serious, no big deal?
Sex is a big deal, having an std BIG DAMN deal, (especially when for all the hair tossing bullshit that std is only actually manageable if you have health care)
YES Y'ALL BIG DAMN DEAL
KNOW WHAT WE"RE ALL WORTH A BIG DAMN DEAL.
If you got it through sexual contact something went WRONG. You're n ot a horrible person, you still should have a fulfilling sex life, and the ability to have sex only with caring willing understanding partners
BUT NO IT'S NOT FUCKING BENIGN.
Petit explain this to me, what the heck is with everyone ratcheting DOWN the stakes. Self care sexual care big fucking deal
and you know what we'll make mistakes.
and they'll be serious one.
Isn't it bad and wrong to be convincing people that being healthy and RESPONSIBLE is no big damn deal.
As if self care isn't hard?...
...and a bit of news:
News release from Immigration Equality:
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued proposed regulations which purport to offer a "streamlined," "categorical" waiver for HIV-positive visitors from other countries. Under current immigration law, any foreign national who tests positive for HIV is "inadmissible," meaning he is barred from permanent residence and even short term travel in the United States. There are waivers available to this rule, but obtaining them has always been difficult.
On World AIDS Day last year, President Bush announced his intention to create a streamlined process for foreign travelers with HIV to enter the United States more easily. Currently the United States is one of only 13 countries in the world, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, which ban travel for individuals who are HIV-positive. Now, almost a year later, DHS has proposed regulations which would make it even harder to get a short-term waiver.
"Unfortunately, despite using the terms 'streamlined' and 'categorical,' in reality these regulations are neither," said Victoria Neilson, Legal Director of Immigration Equality. Under the new rules, a visitor would need to travel with all the medication he would need during his stay in the U.S., prove that he has medical insurance that is accepted in the U.S. and would cover any medical contingency, and prove that he won't engage in behavior that might put the American public at risk. The maximum term of the waiver would be 30 days.
"More than two decades into this epidemic, the United States continues to stigmatize people with HIV and treat this illness unlike any other virus," Neilson continued. "Creating insurmountable hurdles to travel does nothing to protect the American public from HIV."