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HIV, in fanfic and in real life - HIV, in fanfic and in real life - Mo's Journal Page 2 — LiveJournal
June 21st, 2005
02:03 pm

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HIV, in fanfic and in real life
This was sparked by a few things -

* Discussions in a few places about the lack of condoms/safer sex/HIV mention in much of fanfic
* Some HIV history that crept into posts by purplepopple and in writing_sex
* The fact that I've been dealing with issues surrounding HIV in my own fiction a lot lately
* The opinion I've seen expressed in a few places that for many people, with better drugs and longer life expectancies, HIV is not such a big deal anymore.

HIV in Fanfic
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HIV in Real Life
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So, I'd love to hear anyone else's views if you've gotten this far.

How do you cover HIV in fanfic as an author?

How do you like to see it covered as a reader?

Do you think discussing real world issues concerning STDs is a turnoff in fanfic?

Is it likely that a galaxy far far away or other settings would not have to deal with issues of sex and illness?

I'd love to hear opinions on any of this. I'd also really like recs for fanfic that handles issues of HIV and AIDS well. Ones I've particularly liked are shadowscast's Once a Thief fiction and also her That Seventies Show fanfic (which doesn't deal with HIV directly, since it's before the epidemic, but leaves the reader with a bit of a sense of impending doom, since it's on the horizon) and minisinoo's X-Men novel Special, which is not slash but does deal with HIV very directly.

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[User Picture]
From:dsaklad
Date:November 6th, 2005 07:58 am (UTC)

The strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex for sexually transmitted infections.

(Link)
A thought experiment...

Here's a collaborative blog and a collaborative wiki about
the strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex
for sexually transmitted infections
http://NotB4WeKnow.EditThisPage.com
http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/not_b4_we_know


Feedback, comment, questions, critique welcomed !
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:November 7th, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC)

Re: The strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex for sexually transmitted infections

(Link)
I read the first link. I found it interesting how the writer distinguished the “let’s get tested together” strategy from that of Negotiated Safety because of the “transparency” of showing each other test results, as opposed to the usual practice in Negotiated Safety of just telling each other that you’d tested negative.

I’m not opposed to “transparency” of that sort, but I fear that it could lead the partners to feel a false security. Someone can show his partner test results and have unsafe sex the next day. Any agreement to have unprotected sex has to include a level of trust in one’s partner’s honesty, I think. Some people never feel that level of trust.

The tricky part with Negotiated Safety, I think, is that it presupposes a belief that having broken one part of the compact (having had unprotected sex outside the relationship) the partner will keep the other part (disclosing immediately). I think some can do it and some can’t. OTOH, I do think it’s unrealistic to expect people to go their whole lives without ever having unprotected sex.

I am also a little skeptical of the idea of not having sex at all before testing and waiting periods, which iiuc is what is being advocated here. I think for most HIV- gay men safer sex is a better strategy in the beginning, and the idea of giving up condoms is something that comes about when the couple knows each other very well and has reached a level of commitment where that is something to consider. By that time, I would certainly expect that they know each other’s HIV status and can trust the information given.

In my fiction, in the characters of Jean-Paul and Adam, I think I give a pretty realistic portrayal of how sex can progress in a relationship and how a couple might make the decision to stop practicing safer sex. In the stories, as in real life ime, the two partners are not always on the same page about this – one may be ready before the other, one may be more willing to consider the possibility at all. And, again as irl, I portray them as managing to keep the compact for a long time, but one of them ends up having sex outside of the relationship eventually. I try to portray the complex reasons that that happens and the complex effects it has on their relationship and on their family as a whole.

These kinds of situations are never just about illness or just about sex or just about risk. There’s a whole complex emotional backdrop to decisions people make wrt sex outside of a primary relationship, to disclosure of that activity and to decisions they as a couple make going forward.

With Jean-Paul and Adam I’m trying to show what can happen to two men who are really in love and really committed, but who make very common mistakes. Their story is not the only way the effects of such mistakes can unfold, but I hope it’s a realistic one.

I think there are a lot of men struggling with these questions and they will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future. I don’t know what the answer is and I have nothing but compassion and admiration for men confronting these issues with honesty and courage, whatever they d
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 9th, 2005 01:33 am (UTC)

Re: The strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex for sexually transmitted infections

(Link)
A thought experiment... Here's a collaborative blog and a collaborative wiki about the strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex for sexually transmitted infections http://NotB4WeKnow.EditThisPage.com http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/not_b4_we_know Feedback, comment, questions, critique welcomed ! > I read the first link. > > I found it interesting how the writer distinguished the > "let's get tested together"strategy from that of > Negotiated Safety because of the "transparency" of > showing each other test results, as opposed to the > usual practice in Negotiated Safety of just telling > each other that you'd tested negative. > > I'm not opposed to "transparency" of that sort, > but I fear that it could lead the partners to feel a > false security. > > Someone can show his partner test results and have > unsafe sex the next day. How does this negotiated safety change any of that? How does that change going out and having sex the next day? How does that have anything to with trust when people at all times and places lie to each other? With confirmed test results you have a high degree of security. Trust has nothing to do with it. > Any agreement to have unprotected sex has to include a > level of trust in one's partner's honesty, I think. > Some people never feel that level of trust. > > > The tricky part with Negotiated Safety, I think, is > that it presupposes a belief that having > broken one part of the compact > (having had unprotected sex outside the relationship) > the partner will keep the other part > (disclosing immediately). Immediately is a matter of you or your partner's point of view. It depends on having contracted an infection. > I think some can do it and some can't. > on the other hand > OTOH, I do think it's unrealistic to expect people to > go their whole lives without ever having unprotected > sex. That's right. It's not likely to happen. Imagine the high degree of predicability to your behavior of never failing using a condom every time. It never breaks for example. > I am also a little skeptical of the idea of not > having sex at all before testing and waiting periods, > which iiuc is what is being advocated here. if i understand correctly Well, you wait until you get the test results. When you make a blood donation, do they wait to transfuse it? > I think for most HIV- gay men How does each individual know they are negative? And how does each partner know the other is negative? Wouldn't they have to get tested together and make the results transparent before they could know that and say that? > safer sex is a better strategy in > the beginning, and the idea of giving up condoms is > something that comes about when the couple knows each > other very well and has reached a level of commitment > where that is something to consider. Does level of commitment cure aids or prevent a person from being HIV positive ? > By that time, I would certainly expect that they know > each other's HIV status and can trust the information > given. > > In my fiction, in the characters of Jean-Paul and > Adam, I think I give a pretty realistic portrayal of > how sex can progress in a relationship and how a couple > might make the decision to stop practicing safer sex. When they make that decision, do they know explicitly and transparently each others' HIV status? in my experience > In the stories, as in real life ime, the two partners > are not always on the same page about this -- one may > be ready before the other, one may be more willing to > consider the possibility at all. > in real life > And, again as irl, I portray them as managing to keep > the compact for a long time, but one of them ends up > having sex outside of the relationship eventually. Probably.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 9th, 2005 01:35 am (UTC)

Re: The strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex for sexually transmitted infections

(Link)
A thought experiment...

Here's a collaborative blog and a collaborative wiki about
the strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex
for sexually transmitted infections
http://NotB4WeKnow.EditThisPage.com
http://www.seedwiki.com/wiki/not_b4_we_know

Feedback, comment, questions, critique welcomed !

> I read the first link.
>
> I found it interesting how the writer distinguished the
> "let's get tested together"strategy from that of
> Negotiated Safety because of the "transparency" of
> showing each other test results, as opposed to the
> usual practice in Negotiated Safety of just telling
> each other that you'd tested negative.
>
> I'm not opposed to "transparency" of that sort,
> but I fear that it could lead the partners to feel a
> false security.
>
> Someone can show his partner test results and have
> unsafe sex the next day.

How does this negotiated safety change any of that?
How does that change going out and having sex the next day?

How does that have anything to with trust when people at all
times and places lie to each other?

With confirmed test results you have a high degree of
security. Trust has nothing to do with it.

> Any agreement to have unprotected sex has to include a
> level of trust in one's partner's honesty, I think.
> Some people never feel that level of trust.
>
>
> The tricky part with Negotiated Safety, I think, is
> that it presupposes a belief that having
> broken one part of the compact
> (having had unprotected sex outside the relationship)
> the partner will keep the other part
> (disclosing immediately).

Immediately is a matter of you or your partner's point of view.
It depends on having contracted an infection.


> I think some can do it and some can't.
>
on the other hand
> OTOH, I do think it's unrealistic to expect people to
> go their whole lives without ever having unprotected
> sex.

That's right. It's not likely to happen.

Imagine the high degree of predicability to your behavior of
never failing using a condom every time. It never breaks for
example.


> I am also a little skeptical of the idea of not
> having sex at all before testing and waiting periods,
> which iiuc is what is being advocated here.
if i understand correctly

Well, you wait until you get the test results.
When you make a blood donation, do they wait to transfuse it?


> I think for most HIV- gay men

How does each individual know they are negative? And how does
each partner know the other is negative? Wouldn't they have to
get tested together and make the results transparent before they
could know that and say that?


> safer sex is a better strategy in
> the beginning, and the idea of giving up condoms is
> something that comes about when the couple knows each
> other very well and has reached a level of commitment
> where that is something to consider.

Does level of commitment cure aids or
prevent a person from being HIV positive ?


> By that time, I would certainly expect that they know
> each other's HIV status and can trust the information
> given.
>
> In my fiction, in the characters of Jean-Paul and
> Adam, I think I give a pretty realistic portrayal of
> how sex can progress in a relationship and how a couple
> might make the decision to stop practicing safer sex.

When they make that decision, do they know explicitly and
transparently each others' HIV status?


in my experience
> In the stories, as in real life ime, the two partners
> are not always on the same page about this -- one may
> be ready before the other, one may be more willing to
> consider the possibility at all.
>
in real life
> And, again as irl, I portray them as managing to keep
> the compact for a long time, but one of them ends up
> having sex outside of the relationship eventually.

Probably.
[User Picture]
From:mofic
Date:November 9th, 2005 01:43 am (UTC)

Re: The strategy of let's get tested together before we have sex for sexually transmitted infections

(Link)
I'm not sure what your point is, and I don't really want to rehash this. I may be misreading your tone, but it seems kind of belligerent. I'm not advocating for or against Negotiated Safety. I'm just exploring - here and in my fiction - some of the issues that men who choose that route consider and some that they end up dealing with.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I don't think that having access to printed test results before having sex makes one safe in an ongoing relationship, is all I'm saying, since the person with the test results can get infected at any time. Sex is risky business, indeed. IMO trust is necessary for unprotected sex, however you come by that trust.
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