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View Diary: Serophobia, or, Giving in to "Temptation" (166 comments)

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  •  One Million Imaginary Recs for this: (10+ / 0-)
    Often when prevention work considers this, they think about it backwards -- that condom sex is the norm and they look for the reasons why people "fail" to use condoms, and not think about it as the reasons people would choose to use them as an adaptive, learned behavior.   Typically the "failures to comply" are reduced to judgements about intelligence "you are too smart to do that," or morality, "you fucked up and did a bad thing."
    EXACTLY!  All men, whether they are straight or gay, have trouble adhering to condom use.  This has been true since condoms were invented.  Rather than recognizing this, though, prevention work tries to tell us things that contradict ordinary experience.  Condoms are supposed to be "fun" or "sexy."  Almost entirely missing is the fact that most guys don't experience them that way.  Condom use requires a conscious, non-spontaneous decision that is made during the middle of a sex act, and the condom will reduce physical sensation, to say nothing of the psychological messages it sends.

    Not surprisingly, guys who don't like condoms get the message that there must be something wrong with them for not liking them.  This can lead them to go underground with their behavior, because they don't want to deal with the disapproval they'll get if they admit to difficulty with condom use.  

    We'd do a lot better if we owned up to the facts about condoms and then tried to find better ways to get guys to adhere to this adaptive behavior.  Fear-based messages just aren't cutting it.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:13:53 PM PDT

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    •  Yes, beacuse while putting a condom on a bananna (6+ / 0-)

      using your mouth is good for some giggles, it's not likely to do much to counter act several million years of evolution that has favored and necessitated the exchange of body fluids.

      We use sex, after all, as means to experience our own humanity and it can be one of the most pleasurable ways to enjoy being human.  I'll speak for myself, doing it with a rubber was not as enjoyable.  I know I am supposed to say that it is just as good, but that does not reflect the truth of my own experience, and I am guessing I'm not alone in that.  

      Yes, that has been the source of a tremendous amount of shame, and back in my early 20's I made terrible choices in regards to drugs and bad lifestyle.  It wasn't until after sero-converting and learning how to be openly Poz and comfortable with that fact that I got my act together with no more recreational drugs, eating healthy, and staying up with my Doctor visits.  A large part of how I got to be OK with being Poz was being able to have enjoyable (non condom) sex with other Poz guys -- enjoying sex without the shame, guilt, or fear of HIV infection was liberating, and it was not possible for me while I was negative.

      I wish they had made PREP available 10 years ago, that might have worked for me.  I'm hopeful though.  I'm told to expect to live my full life span and to plan for retirement, so I'm going to keep eating healthy, taking care of myself, and look forward to my non-sequestered Social Security one day ; )  

      We have the elite, smart people on our side.

      by fearisthemindkiller on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:31:58 PM PDT

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      •  They tell me that on average (8+ / 0-)

        we can expect to live 45 years or so after beginning meds. So I'll be going until I reach my 90's.

        By the way I appreciate your candor regarding, well, lots of things obviously but particularly when it comes to condomless sex with other positive guys. Some things are difficult to have reasonable conversations about.

        •  Thanks (9+ / 0-)

          Those of us on borrowed time get to be candid ;)

          Kidding aside, that's 45 years in which the possibility of real and significant improvement in treatment, including gene therapy and other "functional cures" have a high likelihood.

          There's already an improved one a day medication, like Atripla, but with less side effects.  I know someone who started on it and went to undetectable in two weeks.

          The biggest threat to my health right now is Republicans and their fucking Austerity.

          We have the elite, smart people on our side.

          by fearisthemindkiller on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:43:44 PM PDT

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          •  There is that possibility (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FogCityJohn, corvo, Cassandra Waites

            Though I've seen mixed reviews on the newest multiple treatment; I believe it's called Stribild. It includes Viread which I am no longer able to tolerate; apparently the latest study (there was a diary here about it a couple of weeks ago) noted a fairly high potential for kidney damage which is precisely why I went off of Viread.

            •  And it's expensive too. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, Cassandra Waites

              I've heard different things, but Stribild costs somewhere between $28,000 and $34,000 for a year's supply.  

              OT:  I may have to go off of Truvada because of kidney problems.  Do you mind telling me what drug you were switched to?  I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow.

              "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

              by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 02:08:40 PM PDT

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              •  Currently... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FogCityJohn

                I'm only on Sustiva and Isentress. This is somewhat atypical I know (my doctor is famous for her unusual treatment regimens). I'll get new numbers in a few weeks; we've talked about possibly adding Maraviroc.

                •  My doc is talking about Epzicom. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo

                  I'm a little nervous about switching regimens.  I've been doing really well on this one, with the exception of this kidney issue.  Guess I'll find out tomorrow how serious it is and whether Epzicom is even an option.  Some people have bad reactions to it.

                  "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                  by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 03:03:04 PM PDT

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                  •  A combo of Ziagen and Epivir (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FogCityJohn, corvo

                    Epivir is a very old medication, originally called 3TC. I was taken off of Ziagen simultaneously with Viread. I'm not entirely sure why my doctor did that but then again I'd been taking it for quite some time (though not as long as I've been on Sustiva). It may not be compatible with Isentress.

                    Here is some info about Epzicom.

      •  You're certainly not alone. (4+ / 0-)

        I wish more people felt comfortable saying this out loud:

        We use sex, after all, as means to experience our own humanity and it can be one of the most pleasurable ways to enjoy being human.  I'll speak for myself, doing it with a rubber was not as enjoyable.  I know I am supposed to say that it is just as good, but that does not reflect the truth of my own experience, and I am guessing I'm not alone in that.
        Admitting the sex with a condom isn't as good does not mean you can't advocate condom use as a means of prevention.  It also doesn't mean that you don't use condoms.  I don't like them, but on those (unfortunately rather rare) occasions that I have sex, I always use them.  We'd be a lot better off just admitting the fact that there are a lot of perfectly understandable reasons why men don't particularly care for condoms and then designing condom use strategies around those facts.  Making guys feel abnormal or inadequate for preferring condom-free sex isn't helping anyone.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:50:40 PM PDT

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        •  Also, speaking of condoms, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FogCityJohn, commonmass

          there are better and worse ones.  Latex just isn't a very good option, actually.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 12:58:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I prefer it to the others. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, commonmass

            The other ones are made out of some kind of substance that's not as flexible and so they're less comfortable.  But as you said elsewhere, de gustibus, etc.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 01:02:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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