Truvada and The Loss of Sexual Victimhood

Sister Iona Dubble-Wyde

By Sister Iona Dubble-Wyde

I’m not a slut; I’m sexually generous.  I think for too long in our discussion of sexuality, sexual health, HIV, and marriage equality we’ve lost touch with the power of being masters of our own sexual choices.

If we run far and fast enough from what grosses straight people out about gay men (dirty butt sex), we can escape the gravity of reality and have that marriage to our knight in shining armor. We can have the house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, pets, and the collection of dollies or teapots that all leather daddies have in their living rooms avoiding the topic of HIV entirely.

The way we talk about HIV is part of this escapism.  “Do you know who gave it to you?” is one prevalent question on the topic of being POZ.  The common response is “this guy lied” or “my ex cheated.”  This call and response gives credence to the lack of power over our own sexual choices and reinforces victimhood, shame, and stigma.

The real answer is I am the reason I have HIV.  Though it would make a great TIM video, nobody forced me to do meth and nobody lied to me.  I decided to have bareback sex.

When I was 19, before Grindr but after AOL, I chose to bareback. It felt better but I knew the risk and I was also a bit out of my head… drugs. But it was my choice and I was going to have to live with the outcome.

Recently a guy on Facebook, where everyone is an expert, told me he wasn’t at risk for HIV because he wasn’t a slut.  I asked him to define a slut for me.  His response was “someone who has more sex than he does”. However, If he barebacks like he claims he is bound to have sex with one guy who is a “slut”.  He may be one of the 25% of people with HIV who don’t know they have it, flat out lies, or most commonly does not bring it up because the other guy would if he was concerned or was POZ.

That’s why I love the advances in medication that led to Truvada being approved as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP if you’re nasty.  There is shame and people trash PrEP because it gives us back the power over our sexual choices. Taken correctly, PrEP is 92% effective.  You can take PrEP and use a condom or you can take PrEP and not use a condom and the effectiveness doesn’t change.  Science is impressive, isn’t it?

PrEP lets you to be in control and not be a victim.  All of the scenarios that people use to blame their HIV on no longer matter because you took a pill with all your protein powders and vitamins during your morning/evening ritual.  The power to prevent you having to live with HIV is yours and yours alone with PrEP.  No more depending on a trick from scruff to be honest with you and you can be sexually generous without fear guilt or shame.

1 comment
  1. Amen! And to the anti PrEP crowd I say this some additional protection even if only against HIV since they commonly bring up that it won’t protect against others STD’s, is better than nothing.

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