Friday, June 1, 2018

Hate Mail - Là-bas Encore

I get a lot of hate mail which you never see (well, since I took down my e-mail for this blog, it comes by way of comments held in moderation).  And I get a lot of hits on old posts, I suspect when someone reads something I wrote a while back and posts a link to it someplace.  I have seldom been able to figure out where that traffic comes from and I generally choose not to deal with what they say.

I do get a surprising number of hateful comments from people who object to me pointing out the health consequences of anal sex, either anal genital or anal oral contact.  Apparently lots of people have bought into the wide-spread notion that there is something anti-LGBT in telling the hard truth on that subject, that anal sex carries a lot of health risks, only one of the reasons that lots of gay men never engage in anal sex and why it is a really bad thing that so many are coerced into participating in anal sex.

I never did practice anal sex because, having taken quite a number of biology courses in high school and college and having a parent who spent a number of years as a health care worker, I knew that it was dangerous well more than a decade before the start of the AIDS epidemic.  As previously mentioned, one of my first encounters with the lunacy on that count was when someone more or less said that getting hepatitis was a rite of passage for a gay man, something I knew was just nuts.

Later, as so many of us became familiar with all kinds of health consequences associated with AIDS-HIV which we had never encountered before, I became quite radical on the topic.  I mean, if you never have, do a google search for Karposi sarcoma lesions

in all their horror.  I would include one which, seeing it in a friend before he died, something that all my previous experience had never introduced me to,  lymphangiectatic Kaposi's sarcoma  This form it takes looks all too familiar.

Image result for lymphangiectatic Kaposi's sarcoma
and that's only one of the things many of us became familiar with in the 1980s even up till today when so many stupidly believe "AIDS is over" or reliably manageable and a minor concern for those who engage in whatever stylish sexual practice makes them into a group at risk.   I saw people I knew whose brains were eaten away with tuberculosis, all manner of other secondary infections and knew several who committed suicide as soon as they started showing symptoms.

Straight people are as at risk as gay men are, worldwide it is largely a disease of straight sex and drug use.  Given the question he asked Bill Gates, I wonder if Donald Trump has ever been tested for HIV infection or other STDs.  It would certainly explain why his cover up of his medical status has been so frantic.

The number of people in the United States who become infected every year is horrific.  Anyone who knows people who engage in sex with more than one person knows someone who is in an at-risk group, many of them in the groups which are at high-risk of contracting HIV and will always be involved with trying to keep their drug regime just ahead of the incredibly resourceful virus which exists in tremendous numbers in the world population and which mutates to overcome drugs at an amazing rate.

When there are so many other means of having sex other than those which risk transmission, it is sheer and criminal insanity that the pop culture promotes promiscuity like it was promoted among urban gay men in the 1970s.   It is 35 years ago, last month, that HIV was first identified as the cause of HIV and it's clear, at least in the United States and some other places, that band that Randy Shilts wrote about is still playing on.  I looked it up, in 2007 they published a 20th anniversary edition of it.  It doesn't look like they did a 30th anniversary one last year.  I suspect at this rate they'll be able to do a 50th anniversary one and lots of what Shilts said then will still be relevant, probably about new STDs that rise up in the hook-up culture that's as irresponsible as it ever was.

When I first heard the comment about hepatitis mentioned above back in the 1960s, I was amazed that someone with college credentials (the person who said it had a PhD in English lit) could be so ignorant and clueless.  I'm not amazed anymore that so many so credentialed are so vacuous, today.  Not even with the hard school that experience keeps.  I'm not going along with that pretense.

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