There are two stories related to HIV that have appeared in the last few days.
Firstly, today the well-known gay porn star Mason Wyler has confirmed on his blog that he is HIV positive. This happened because a former room-mate decided to put it on his Twitter page.
Obviously, there is some shit going on between the former roomies (as you can see from his tweets over the past few days)…
This was the picked up by a gay gossip website called ‘gayporngossip‘ (subtle eh?) who then outlined a lot more details.
They imply that all they are doing is reporting another website’s report but actually, they go a lot further:
Gaygossip's inappropriate take on Mason's sad news
So although Mason did confirm the news on his own blog, they ran the story before he was ready to announce it and secondly, that graphic over his image is pretty disgusting/inappropriate.
To brand him in such a public forum without his permission is a particularly sick action. To announce your health status to your friends, family, work or the wider world is a personal decision and one that only you can make once you are ready for those people to know.
Obviously, having read the article it’s is clear that the porn industry has known more for a while but does that give that website the right to take the ‘opportunity’ to detail it all, actually before he had confirmed it himself.
Me thinks not – only my personal opinion and probably a lot stronger than most people’s feelings as I have also had to deal with the shock of finding out that I’m HIV positive. My close friends know my status, as do a very select group of people at work (because they need to) but my family don’t know nor do a lot of my wider social network.
I’m not ready to tell them – they will know when I’m ready and not before.
What gives this website the right to announce Mason’s status? I don’t believe they have the right and never will. Nothing in their post explaining the situation is a justification for doing it, although I can imagine they believe it is.
The second story is the trial of a former German girl band member who is accused of infecting a partner by not informing them that she was HIV positive prior to having unprotected sex.
This brings up lots of issues of consent, whether sex a joint decision and therefore, both parties have to take joint responsibility of the repercussions from those actions if they’ve not openly discussed what they’re about to do, etc.
Now I’m realistic enough to know that people don’t sit down and both take a lie detector test or fill out a full questionnaire on their sexual history and health but where does the line lie?
Once again (and this is very much from a personal perspective), I can’t blame the person who made me positive…I’m more likely to blame myself for not asking the right questions. I have to take responsibility for my actions (or in this situation, my in-action).
This person writing in the Guardian has an interesting perspective…I’m not saying it’s totally right but there’s definitely some nuggets of truth in it.
Any other thoughts that you want to share?