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

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HIV, in fanfic and in real life

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From:kattahj
Date:June 21st, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I don't cover HIV specifically as a subject, because unless you do a story on HIV, having the characters discuss HIV for several pages becomes quite a distraction. I do cover the topic of safe sex, in the sense that if the story is here-and-now, I do let the couples use condoms for at least some duration of time. Like lubrication, it's something that's a hassle to remember to write at first, but it kind of grows on you.

If it's then-and-there, I either skip the topic entirely or have it covered in some other way (in my SeaQuest story I used an "antiveneric" drug), whatever works best.

But it is a bit of a mood killer, because I'm not experienced enough to know what the right time is for the condom to appear - something I suspect many people wouldn't know in real life either. Thus, there's some awkward talking, and "would you..." and "should we..." and I totally understand if some writers just want to skip it.

As a reader, I'm usually not disturbed by presence or absence of condoms/safe sex talk unless it becomes glaringly obvious. Well, and unless the whole fic becomes a Lifetime sobstory - very few ficcers seem able to handle HIV as a serious subject without turning the story into complete apple sauce.
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