Despite comprising only 13 percent of the U.S. population — only 9 percent in Los Angeles — African-Americans account for 44 percent of new HIV infection nationwide.
Starkly stated, black gay men are three times as likely to become infected as white gay men.
Why, HIV must be a racist virus, then!
How had Maldonado been infected? “I was involved with someone who … ” he says, struggling to find the words, “was not as health-conscious, and did not take the proper safety measures with their life as I did and was not aware of their status. Someone that I trusted. And it just happened.”
Let me be as blunt as I can here: This “victim” is a college-educated holder of an advanced degree who worked in the field of HIV prevention and was, presumably, expert on the subject.
And yet he had unprotected sex with “somebody he trusted.” This is the epitome of suicidal idiocy. I know we are supposed to feel sorry for him, but you know what? I can’t. I won’t. And I won’t seek excuses for him. He made the single biggest sexual mistake a gay man can make, and now he’s paying the price.
Are there gay men who don’t know about HIV, or understand that unprotected homosexual sex vastly increases their risk of acquiring HIV?
I just can’t make myself believe that is a huge problem, even in the black gay community. They know. But they are stupidly ignoring what they know, and running into the brick wall on which is written “Stupidity is often painful, and even fatal.”
What repulses me most about narratives like this is the naked attempt to avoid all personal responsibility and blame somebody – anybody – else for your own bad choices.
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