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AN OPENING THOUGHT! …for most men, sex is not primarily a rational activity, created through conscious decision-making processes. Eric Rofes. 1998. Dry.

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Presentation on theme: "AN OPENING THOUGHT! …for most men, sex is not primarily a rational activity, created through conscious decision-making processes. Eric Rofes. 1998. Dry."— Presentation transcript:

1 AN OPENING THOUGHT! …for most men, sex is not primarily a rational activity, created through conscious decision-making processes. Eric Rofes Dry Bones Breathe.

2 GAY COMMUNITY-??? Anyone who has identified with and participated in the gay community knows that the very concept of a single minded and consolidated community is so far from reality as to be, depending upon ones frame of mind, either a myth or a joke. Michael Bronski 1996.

3 HAVING SAID THAT… I have always been bothered by the definition of homosexuality as a behavior. Scratching is a behavior. Homosexuality is a way of being, one that can completely influence a persons life and shape its meaning and direction. Judy Grahn, 1984.

4 A PROFOUND ONGOING MOTIVATION! Sexual Orientation isnt the only difference between Us and the Heteros. As a result of the way we have been malignantly demeaned and diminished over the centuries, it is the only difference left between Us and Heteros. Harry Hay, 1994.


6 Recreating Gay Male Culture. If the central task of the new gay male culture is the integration of sexuality into a whole new life, a life that respects sex but does not make it the central point of existence, gay culture needs to embrace the whole human being, his spiritual and personal self, his humanity, his vocations, his dreams and not just his muscles, or his libido, or his penis. Gabriel Rotello Prevention-address the whole human being or forget it!

7 PRELUDE Riots! Gay Pride. Lots of Sex! Unparalleled community building! Lots of Sex. Creation of Culture/Cultural Minority Status. A lot more Sex!

8 THE WALLS CAVE IN! Community mobilization. Creation of the Colorado AIDS Project as a program of the G/L Community Center. Safe Sex makes its appearance. Phenomenal change in gay sexual behavior. Act Up! Hey folks with other diseases, this is how you do it! AIDS doesn't get too many dollars, others diseases dont get enough dollars

9 The De-Gaying of AIDS Everyone is at risk. There are no risk groups, only risky behaviors. The suburbs are next! The only problem with these observations is that are wrong and perhaps responsible for significant redirection locally of AIDS prevention activities away from homosexual men. Lots of death and burn out in the gay world.

10 How can this be happening? DUH!! FEAR DOES NOT MOTIVATE FOR EVER.

11 Reality Check! This is 2002 not 1982! Thats 20 years. Someone once wondered why it seemed that wars happen every 20 years! I now do T-cells on HIV positive young gay men who were not born when I was infected!

12 What went wrong, Mary? Well actually not much went wrong it is just that nothing much changed. Gay men in 2002 are identified, by themselves and certainly by the much larger hetero society running the show, as they were in 1982 (or in 1969 or in 1949 or in 1492) and that is by where they put their dicks!

13 More Stuff that happened. Combination drug therapy slowed the carnage. In the worst of times it usually takes at least 10 years to die of AIDS. That is a long time. People like me running around telling people I was probably infected in late And of course a new generation of uninfected men. Very hard to stay on high alert for decades!

14 So what should we do? More condoms? Close the baths? Try to scare the hell out of them, again? Support reparative therapy programs? Saltpeter in the water? Oops, I forgot straight men drink water too. Silly me.

15 The Protease Moment Fast track! Thank you, Larry Kramer! Hey, people have quit dying, sort of. AIDS is now a manageable chronic illness. Gay men are an ever dwindling portion of the AIDS pie, but not in Colorado. What the hell happened to my butt?!

16 The Re-Gaying of AIDS 2001…..? In Colorado homosexual men have never been less that 75% of the AIDS pie and that percentage may well be on the increase! Rising rates of certain STDs. Open glorification of bare-backing. No one can stay on high alert for decades.

17 Community issues hindering change. Class. Race. Alcohol. Drugs. Lack of venues for developing and nurturing positive gay identity.

18 A few more harsh realities. Unprotected anal sex is a particularly efficient mode of transmission. Significant reservoir of infection that turns over very slowly. Usually no tell tale signs indicating early infection. Young and invincible testosterone driven males with no significant social controls. Indoctrination from an early age that the only difference is sexual.

19 Effective behavioral Interventions Mpowerment project. Popular Opinion Leader. Voices/Voces. Community Promise. CDC to air live satellite broadcast on these interventions on May 23, Call or

20 Mpowerment Project. Kegeles, Hays, and Coates. AJPH 8/96. Attempt to reach high risk gay men by embedding safe sex messages in social activities and community life. Community level intervention. Peer led program with three components: outreach, small groups, and a publicity campaign.

21 Mpowerment Intervention. Relates HIV risk reduction to the satisfaction of other compelling needs. Power of peer influence. Mobilize and empower the young gay mens communities. Diffusion of innovations.

22 Promising local initiative: BROTHAS4LIFE. Serving same gender loving African American men, by building community, promoting good health and education. Builds community. Engages mind and spirit. Enhances self understanding. Builds better Brothas.

23 Some Recommended Reading. Dry Bones Breathe. Rofes, The Pleasure Principle. Michael Bronski, Latino Gay Men and HIV. Diaz, Radically Gay. Editor: Roscoe, Infections and Inequalities. Farmer, Coming Out Spiritually. de la Huerta, Love Undetectable. Sullivan, Rise and Fall of Gay Culture. Harris, Anything by Larry Kramer.

24 The Long Haul No intervention by any public health entity will be able to address the root issues that feed the problem. A radical analysis seems to inform that intervening in the already established sex lives of many homosexual men with shaky queer identities has little chance of sustained success.

25 Long Haul Continued. HIV prevention for homosexual men must return to the diverse gay communities and be incorporated appropriately into a culture that address and serves the whole human being. Any prevention efforts incorporated into the broader picture would be self-sustaining and fluid.

26 Public Health Efforts. Redirect prevention dollars appropriately to those most at risk of HIV infection in the state, homosexual men of all stripes. Help fund and coordinate truly community based efforts through existing or newly created homophile organizations.

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