LGBTI older people have been sharing their heartbreaking experiences as the UK marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales. Singapore’s older gay couples shared their experience on their fight for equality. Read our full article on our webpage.
So here’s the truth. You may not want HIV, but if you have it, it’s much better to know you are HIV-positive so you can seek treatment and get back to living a happy, healthy, tra-la-la life.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Hendron has told how his partner’s death weighs heavily on his shoulders.
Last week, at the Old Bailey, Hendron pleaded guilty to two charges of possession with intent to supply Class B and Class C drugs. He will be sentenced in early May, with the judge telling him that “all sentencing options remained open”. BBC producer Alexander Parkin had earlier admitted two counts of supplying controlled drugs.
One day I told myself that this is not going and on the day that I was getting out of the hospital I got into an arguing with my mom about everything that happened and I just lost it. I told her that I would no longer live the life she wants me to and that I have decided to be happy from then on.
Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination can be especially hard for young men who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. These negative attitudes increase their chance of experiencing violence, especially compared with other students in their schools. Violence can include behaviours such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide-related behaviours.
He introduced himself through Grindr as Gabriel/28 yrs/5’9/flex and he wasn’t looking for a one night stand. I always assumed that the worst of the guys I would meet will be on gay hook-up apps, unless they proved to me otherwise. Somehow Gabriel seem different, playful but with a straight forward truth when he spoke to me. I had developed a liking for him through every coffee, lunch, movie and dinner date. I found him to be extremely sexy and charismatic, especially the way he would hold my lower back to usher me through the doorway. He was the kind of gentleman I had not seen for a long time, and they say, “Chivalry is dead!” So everything was nice and charming with Gabriel but something was missing. It was 3 weeks of dating, talking, sex texting and good night kisses but no sex. Not even a blow job!
I remembered odd times when there was something on his mind. We would sit in front of each other and I noticed his nervous behaviour. As we walked through Neil Rd, just right before the intersection to Maxwell Hawker Centre, he asked me the question I never wanted to hear, “ What if a guy you like is HIV positive?”. There was just an empty stare from me like a deer that was caught in a head light. I had no idea what to reply at that moment and so I laughed awkwardly and replied, “Doesn’t matter if he has a big cock”. As I was growing up, I could never filter my thoughts and hence my responses caused me to have verbal diarrhea and it caused him to stare blankly at me like I had shitted in my pants. I wanted to assure him that I understood what he was getting at but I couldn’t communicate my thoughts or words, so I ignored the question and asked him if he wanted Ice Kacang dessert instead.
I want to think that I am a liberal person but I wasn’t quite sure after that night. I asked him to give me some time to process what he had told me. I should really be thankful and privileged that someone had come forth with their most vulnerable secret and shared it with me. Instead I turned the conversation on Ice Kacang. I can’t imagine telling someone that I am HIV positive knowing that the person either can reject me or accept me and from what I see in the community, it will probably be a rejection. I had to seek advice from my best friend who has been my light at every dark tunnel. He asked me “How many guys did I sleep with and don’t know their HIV status, and why this one matters so much?” He is right.
I do sleep with guys where I don’t bother to ask for their status, which I assume is negative. Why do I need to care so much about Gabriel’s status? I need to see beyond his status and focus on him being a person. But in order for me to do that is to better understand myself and how comfortable I am. There isn’t a quick answer to all these questions because I was raised to not get infected with HIV, and safer sex prevention to stay negative. Now being faced with this tough situation I have to relearn my safer sex practice and how to practice safer sex with someone whom I will share my life with and who happens to be HIV positive.
If you want to know what happened to Gabriel, he broke up with me for someone else. That is another issue I have to work on. Men! They are all the same regardless of their status.
To be continue……
If you are starting a Serodiscordant relationship (also known as magnetic or mixed-status couples), where one partner is HIV-positive and the other partner is HIV-negative you might want to discuss further with one of our experienced HIV counsellor. Please call our Coordinated Care Support Programme 6256-5903 and ask to speak to Avin Tan our Norani Othman.
If you have had a condom failure or may have recently been exposed to HIV through unprotected sex, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. CLICK HERE
Photographer Tam Bui released his latest set of photos entitled “Daydreamers” with the theme of love between two men and a child. The emphasis of two gay men and their journey to find happiness were captured through this beautiful set of photos. Enjoy!
More on Tam Bui and his masterpiece : click here
Many of us have accepted condoms as part of our sex life when we’re having casual sex outside of relationships, but it’s not unusual for guys who usually use condoms to stop using them when they get serious in a relationship.
Whether the relationship is monogamous or not, some guys feel that they’re willing to accept the risk of not using condoms with the person they’re in a relationship with, especially if they have an agreement about what kind of sex happens outside of the relationship. This is sometimes called ‘negotiated safety’.
When you agree to give up condoms, you’re also giving up some control over managing your own risk. That requires having a lot of trust in your partner.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering negotiated safety.
- Talk about it first. A decision to drop condom use in your relationship requires open and honest talk about what kind of relationship each partner truly wants, and discussion about each other’s HIV status, now and in the future.
- Condomless sex is not an expectation in any relationship, regardless of length, seriousness or commitment. Don’t feel pressured into giving up condoms if you don’t want to.
- Don’t feel pressured into a type of relationship you don’t want either. Don’t pressure your partner into a relationship he doesn’t want, whether it’s monogamous or non-monogamous. Be aware what an abusive relationship looks like, and that most people in abusive relationships deny it. Click Here for more information.
- Make your agreement with your partner clear and practical in terms of what kind of sex is allowed and with whom, and what consequences there will be that are realistic for both partners.
- Get tested for HIV and other STIs. Be sure you’re making this decision based on the most up-to-date information. Keep getting tested on a regular basis.
- Know all the risks. Maybe your agreement includes condom use with others only when you’re fucking. That reduces your risk for HIV, but you’re still at risk for other STIs that can be transmitted through oral sex.
- Be prepared to start using condoms again. You might break your agreement with your partner. You might do something risky. You might have sex with others even though you agreed not to. In this situation, you’ll need to find a way to tell him so you can both re-negotiate your safety. So talk to your partner about what you’ll do if either one of you slips up, or suspects that he has an STI.
- Breaking an agreement doesn’t mean the relationship is over. Be willing to extend the same understanding to your partner that you would expect extended to yourself. If your partner tells you that he has broken your agreement, it could be because he cares about you and doesn’t want to put you at risk.
- You might not know what your partner is actually doing. Sometimes we make assumptions that our partners are monogamous or non-monogamous. Sometimes we break agreements. Sometimes he won’t tell you. Are you willing to accept the risk?
Gay and bi guys have pioneered new ways of thinking about sexual and romantic relationships. Whether a guy wants to be monogamous or non-monogamous, neither is a reflection of his commitment to his relationship. Some guys find it difficult to sustain monogamous relationships over the long-term, so opening up the relationship to other sexual partners can be a way for them to preserve the relationship.
Action for AIDS – MSM Programme
Singapore 208628Tel : (65) 6254 0212Fax :(65) 6256 5903
1 Ship, 2 ships, 3relationship – Open relationship
My 3some confession:
In my early 20 something I thought life was going well for me, my body was taking form, my college year was almost done and as an openly gay man, I thought I had it all. I would frequent the bars and clubs on a weekly basis looking for relationship where it would often end up with just random hook ups.
I would regularly have one night stands without any commitments for a relationship, until one day they came along. This couple in their early 30’s spoke to me in a club and later brought me back to their place for drinks and of course sex. I stayed till the next day and realized that I was sleeping in between them with their arms wrapped mine. When I woke up one of the guy rolled over to hug me and gently kissed me on my cheek which we end up having sex again.
We got up to shower together, ate breakfast together and went for coffee together. I ended up hanging out with them the whole Sunday and stayed over for dinner. As I left the house, I felt warm, “love” and excitement filled with anticipation of meeting them again. For five months I was with them every weekend as if they were my part time boyfriends and then something happened. I wasn’t being included anymore with their plans or being asked to visit them at their place.
The communication went quiet and I felt as the world had stopped. I wanted answers but being young then I blamed myself for not being good enough. It took me a long time to understand the complexity of an open relationship. What two people in the relationship discussed about and what was negotiated and sometime it doesn’t include you in the conversation can be frustrating and upsetting.
I have learnt now that it is much more complicated for any couple who are in a long term relationship where sex seems to slowly diminish. I too understand the situation of that couple I met in the earlier part of my life because I am also in that situation now.
In my long term relationship, I’ve been wondering what makes my relationship last this long and what makes me want to go further? There are many things to learn on how to maintain or keep a long term relationship but it was not taught to me so I would have to learn it as it happened. I can tell you now that 7 years there are questions that was easily can be answered alone and some still need both of us to answers together.
There are so many questions that a couple or individuals would ask when they’re in a long term relationship. Relationship is not always about sex, but the journey both take together and that could include sex. We will constantly challenge each other but if your relationship is worth keeping then the journey will be fun and fulfilling.
We often see many couples who are happy with their relationships and lasting for a very long time. How do they maintain this type of relationship especially when most of the guys you know can’t even hold down a relationship? What is the secret if there is any for us to learn and explore. Relationship is one of the hardest things in life because you are sharing your life with by compromising your freedom to be with that person. How communication plays out between the two people to navigate around HIV/STIs is also a very important matter.
This workshop is for people who are interested in discussing and exploring what a healthy relationship looks like through different exercises by practicing communication skills whether it is a monogamous or polygamous relationship.
When: Saturday Sept 20
Where: AFA office 9 Kelantan Lane #05-01 S208628
Time: 6pm-9pm Light refreshment will be provided
Please register as soon as you can due to limited space. Thanks.