South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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Shortly before my 28th birthday, I discovered that a friend of mine was HIV positive. He wasn't a very close friend, but I knew him quite well and it came as a shock to me because he was well educated, intelligent and financially established in the world, and I believed that people like him did not get HIV. I couldn't understand how someone like that could be "dumb" enough to have unprotected sex. In the nineties almost every gay movie I could get my hands on was about gay men struggling with HIV or AIDS. How could he not have known to wear a condom? It was constantly drummed into us.

After a few years I moved to the big city and met other clever, educated people with HIV, and assumed it was drug or alcohol related. Why else would they have had unprotected sex?

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We put so much effort into finding dick or ass and as soon as you shoot your load, it's all over. Take website profiles, for example. We invest hours into making sure we have the perfect profile, pictures and intriguing blogs. Then after hours, sometimes days of going through tons of stupid inboxes, nudges and confessions you finally get that character you somewhat connect with.

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“Getting to Zero", I am of the opinion that Stigma is the final battle front in the war on HIV and AIDS. We have made unbelievable strides in care and treatment. Treatment as prevention (TASP) is in our hands, used correctly we can achieve the objective of "Zero New Infections" and soon "Zero AIDS Related Deaths" will become a reality, so it is not impossible to have a vision of an AIDS free future!

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The buzz-word in terms of HIV prevention among gay and bisexual men plus other men who have sex with men (MSM, which includes straight men who occasionally play) is undoubtedly combination prevention. This implies a combination of bio-medical, behavioural and related strategies that, in various combinations, offer the best prevention against STIs and HIV.

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