What’s love got to do with it?
. . . or, more specifically, what has same-sex marriage got to do with HIV prevention, yet alone stigma? Read on.
Some advocates for gay marriage - the debate still rages in the US - think that same-sex matrimony will lead to a reduction in HIV transmission. The US-based AIDS mag, POZ, said recently that some gay marriage advocates argue that “marriage would ordain and encourage pure, old fashioned fidelity, giving gays a legally sanctioned reason to swear off the temptation of extracurricular, unprotected sex.” In other words, keep hubby locked up at home - and happy - and that will stop the stop the “problem” of gay promiscuity, and thus lower HIV infection rates.
Read the full article here: http://www.poz.com/articles/gay_marriage_hiv_prevention_2226_15107.shtml
Frankly, this makes me uncomfortable. My concern isn’t about the need to enact same sex marriage legislation, of course, so let’s not go there. (For the record, I’ve been in a twenty-seven year open relationship; we ourselves don’t need, and don’t want, to get married, and we already have a toaster. But others MUST have the right to get married, period.) But bringing HIV in to the mix smells like stigma to me - and, for a change, it’s single negative guys who are being stigmatized as well as us poz guys.
The logic of the advocate’s argument is all wrong too. So-called monogamy, and with it, the abandonment of condoms, leads, I think, to too many scenarios which actually contribute to transmission rather than curb it.
But it’s the unflattering characterization of negative gay men in particular that makes me squirm. It makes it sound like they’re sex-mad risk takers, for whom old-fashioned marriage is a cure. OK, the sex-mad part might be right. ;-) But really, this is stigma, and from within our own community too.
Or is it? Am I being too sensitive here? Talk to me.
And while we’re at it, is there other HIV-related stigma out there that’s directed at neg guys rather than poz guys?