Friday, April 2, 2010

Mixner: What happened to silence = death?

[sing it sister]
Ask yourself: Have I been tested for HIV in the last year? Have I talked about HIV with my partners? Have I reached out to friends that I’m worried about, who may be at risk?

via dcagenda, by David Mixner

If you listen to gay rights discussions these days, you’d think that marriage equality and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are the only issues that matter. And they do matter — for our dignity and our fundamental civil rights. But there is a fire in our house that we are no longer talking about, that we pretend no longer exists: the unchecked spread of HIV.

Not only did HIV never leave the gay community, it’s getting worse. New HIV infections among gay men have doubled in the last 15 years. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reported that gay and bisexual men are more than 44 times as likely as straight men to test positive for HIV. But instead of increasing funding in response, states are slashing their prevention budgets.

Amid this crisis, the silence from our community is deafening. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the protest? Understandably, after decades of coping with AIDS, we’ve been eager to change the subject. But in our impatience to move on, we’ve overshot the mark. Our silence is fueling the spread of HIV.

Read the rest.


  1. Trying to scare people to death didn't work.

  2. Actually, prior to 1996,7 - fear worked very, very well. Fear and condoms. With the advent of HAART, that paradigm changed. But Mixner isn't talking about scaring people - he is asking the gay community to wake up from its stupor. HIV is impacting gay men more than ever - gay black men in some urban areas are experiencing rates worse than sub Saharan Africa - and our collective silence and denial is allowing this to happen.

  3. it worked in the early days because it appeared to be a gay-only disease.

  4. In the U.S. HIV is STILL a disease primarily affecting Gay and Bisexual men; and that a Queerman might believe otherwise proves Mixner's point. Homophobia and heterosexism, enshrined in law via Section 2500 of the Public Health Service Act -- where is its repeal on the Gay Agenda? -- have restricted effective outreach to Queermen and helped foster the notion the HIV is a glaring threat to everyone BUT Queermen, despite the statistical evidence.

    Jim is absolutely right: fear worked very, very well, until Queermen not longer lived amid visibly rampant death and suffering. We acted as if every sex act could be a life-changer, and we talked about the sex we had and encouraged one another to take more healthful choices for ourselves and our communities.

  5. Certain titles of the Code have been enacted into positive law, and pursuant to section 204 of title 1 of the Code, the text of those titles is legal evidence of the law contained in those titles. The other titles of the Code are prima facie evidence of the laws contained in those titles. The following titles of the Code have been enacted into positive law: 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 23, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 44, 46, and 49.


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