THE STIGMA OF HIV TESTING

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JACK ADAMS
CB13 SMUGGLER
FT GRUNT BOXER
OAP TV


REVRY 970

I have been sitting on writing this for a number of weeks now. I believe it was during our first live episode of Season 3, #118, the Lost Episode, where we briefly brought up Prince Harry’s efforts in attacking HIV Stigma by visiting a clinic and getting a RAPID HIV TEST.

His intentions were honest and good, showing people how easy and accessible the testing is and why it is important for people to get tested and take charge of their sexual health.

We ourselves have talked about the importance of taking control and ownership of your health. Sexual, physical and mental alike. Yet, something didn’t sit right with me after hearing about Prince Harry and now recently with 2 men charged for allegedly not disclosing their HIV status in Canada has renewed the importance of writing this article.

Prince Harry Tested for HIV

The recent arrests of two men accused of failing to disclose their HIV status to their sexual partners have led to renewed calls for changes to legislation that advocates say contributes to the fear and stigma surrounding the disease.

Firstly, it is all too easy to go and get a test when you know that the test result is going to be negative. When you are guaranteed a negative result on an HIV test, the stress of taking that test is about as stressful as getting your blood sugar taken.

There still are the fears of getting a positive result. Even with every precaution, accidents happen or if you are like me, your imagination gets the best of you and your spiral into a state of fret and worry. You’re scared of how people are going to treat you. Will I lose my job? What do I say to my partners? Am I going to die? Will anyone ever like me again?

HIV TESTING

Canadians with HIV are legally required to disclose their status to their partner before engaging in sexual activity. Those who fail to do so can be charged with aggravated sexual assault, whether the virus is transmitted or not.

If convicted, they are automatically added to the sex-offenders registry and face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Further more there is room for interpretation as to what is considered a “realistic opportunity of transmission” leading to even more fear and trepidation.  I really recommend reading this article that CATIE published.

To even top it all off, now with TasP and PrEP therapies, undetectable viral loads, zero chance of transmission there is no clear direction and more confusion is thrown in the mix.

Just as a thought here, while I am on a roll, how do you prove the person didn’t disclose or you did disclose? More fear!

REVRY 970

No wonder nobody wants to get tested! If you don’t know you don’t have to disclose and you don’t have to worry about losing your job, your family disowning you. You don’t have to worry about a lot of things.

So how does this help us as a society at all?

I am not an expert on this subject, not in the least, but it frustrates me how we are handling this situation or rather how we are missing out on an opportunity to handle this situation to the benefit of everyone.

What do you think?

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JACK ADAMS
CB13 SMUGGLER
FT GRUNT BOXER
OAP TV


About turnipHed

turnipHed

turnipHed is the Chief Editor at TURNIPSTYLE, Presenter & Producer of THE VOICE OF TURNIPSTYLE. The lifestyle magazine and podcast for [GBTQ+] Men.

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