To get there, we need to do more to encourage HIV-positive and HIV-negative gay men to openly discuss their status and risk online and to create a dialogue that supports both HIV-positive and HIV-negative people who are working through the difficult challenge of being in relationships with each other.For Those Who Are HIV-Negative (or Think They Are) We need to address our own fears and shame around HIV and do it in concert with other people, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative.We need to inform ourselves about the risks of HIV in 2012 and understand what it means to have the infection today.And we need to understand, and incorporate into our sex lives, the fact that a risk of transmission is higher with someone who doesn't know his status and/or is not on medication than with someone who is being treated.But the fact is that if you're a sexually active, HIV-negative gay man, chances are you are already sleeping with HIV-positive men. You certainly would not know through a casual read of profiles on many dating sites and apps; you might get the opposite impression and be fooled into thinking the infection has gone on some extended holiday, like an aging Hollywood starlet.But sadly, many positive men are just not made to feel comfortable disclosing their HIV status openly on dating sites and apps.
It would also go far toward removing some of the shame we have toward the disease.
On the Mister app and on Daddy Hunt.com, we discourage users to use the term and ask our users to report people who do.
After all, we don't tolerate racist profiles or verbal harassment.
Only by being honest with ourselves about our fears and our demons can we begin to overcome our own prejudices.
We must ask ourselves how we are perpetuating ignorance and shame in our community, regardless of our HIV status, through the actions we take and the decisions we make around dating and sex.