I was watching an old gay movie called The 24th day. If you haven’t seen the movie it’s very interesting in what it tries to put forth about personal safety, responsibility and safe sex. Here is just a rundown of the plot.
Tom (Scott Speedman, from TV’s “Felicity”) has just found out that he’s HIV-positive. A married man who’s been living the “straight” life, Tom had sex once, years earlier, with a man named Dan (James Marsden), and now he’s on a mission to find him. His plan: kidnap Dan, take a blood sample and see if it comes back positive; if so, he’ll kill him.
Last week in one of my Facebook groups the topic came up would you date someone who was HIV-positive. I was shocked in this day and age the amount of people who said no based off of fear and misinformation. If you are negative and the other person is negative, yes that is the safer option. If one is positive and the other is negative, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself and with the medication that is out there, your risk is lowered to less than a two percent chance depending on the health of the positive person. There isn’t much difference between protected sex with a negative or positive person except the risk if the condom breaks and the fact that all sex has a risk. The only sure fire way to avoid transmission is to abstain. I get it for those who don’t want to risk it. That was my preach but back to the topic of the movie.
When you engage in sex you put yourself at risk. You can ask the other person their status and they could honestly not know they are positive. Maybe they do know and lie. You both make the decision to engage in unprotected sex. Can you really take your positive result out on the one who gave it to you? In my opinion you can’t. As an adult you have to realize your part in all decision YOU make. Yes he might have lied to you and you have every right to hate what has happened to you and even him but there is some hate that can be shared. The flip side also to me is how now, positive people can manage their health more than ever before. Some would contend it is more manageable than diabetes. Does that mean you have to be happy about your condition, no, but your life isn’t over.
The movie touched on a lot of things, like drunken sex, one night stands, trust, being closeted, and even labels like gay and straight. I don’t like how it played on the fears of being positive. I did like it at least mentioned that HIV can be transmitted from female to male as well so not to completely through the gay community under the bus.
I recommend the movie and I recommend each person do some research for themselves. You’re status is in your own hands. It only takes a second to decided to be unsafe and a lifetime to remember that moment. Yes that lifetime doesn’t have to be that much different now and can even get better as research and medications improve.
Knowledge is key to life. I’m POSITIVE of it.