There are many reasons gay men are so strongly associated with stigma of HIV. Some have to do with tired stereotypes, making it so easy to hide one’s status. Despite the focus on stigmatizing the image of HIV, can the stigma of HIV be used to create a safe space to express our sexuality as well? For far too long the impulse has persisted that HIV is a punishment for how we have sex and it doesn’t make sense. When are we going to admit that HIV is not the inevitably linked to sex and sexuality?

When this energy visibly attacked the body and blindly targeted gay men, it seems to also visibly attacked and blindly targeted our compassion as well. But because the body cannot hide it forever, it became the vessel for a kind of physical truth. Those who live with AIDS mentally wear the effects of the disease like animals at the zoo. Showcasing how we are as a community that continues to face impending death with an insistence on demonstrating separation. 

Although death hovers over us, what can we offer as a soothing antidote? I dare say that it doesn’t have to be pretty. Anger, desperation, and the despair are the foundations we stand on. Aren’t you tired of stigmatizing persons because of this disease? Aren’t you tired of this energy being the social and moral statement of our community? In recent years, I feel more optimistic about community, but the stigma of HIV still lingers. The act sex, which has long been a refuge for the gay community, as well as a constant reminder of our communal trauma, forces us to see how we sold each other out. This theater production continues to sell out, with the audience populated by ghost of stigma’s past. Isn’t it time to close the curtain on stigma, HIV and the gay community?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. renudepride says:

    Unfortunately, the stigma against HIV will never disappear until the leadership (political, ecclesiastical, social and civic) join together and address this issue for what it really is: prejudice. It’s much easier to hate the gays than it is to back-track and say “We were wrong all along and we’re all so very sorry.” Naked hugs!


  2. john mwalwala says:

    It’s extremely disappointing to see how ‘healthy’ people stigmatise these patients. It’s very wrong for people to associate HIV/AIDS with homosexuality. The disease is not only transmitted through sexual intercourse, but it can be transmitted through many ways. This fact must be well understood by all those who stigmatises HIV/AIDS victims. It’s high time for each and every individual on earth, to show support to these people.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s