Constant struggle for the right of gay men continues to be a hard task. In the USA, although the awareness about AIDS is now pretty high, and people know much more about it, being a gay man who has HIV is not at all easy. Despite all that, there is still an approved 10 year old ban which states that any man who has sex with another man can’t donate blood because of potential risks. It has been a painful fight for gay men in the USA since 1977. Tom Donohue, who is one of those men, says that there is a one in a one and a half million chances for someone to get infected blood nowadays because of strict rules. So, why destroy the will to help someone in need because of low statistics, we ask ourselves. He further states that any heterosexual man or woman, if they had sex with someone who is infected with AIDS can give blood after 366 days, and that this decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation.
Statistics against HIV Taint
The taint surrounding gay men is partially the fault of the gay community as well, because they are still struggling with the fact that they are in fact an important factor in this fight, and they play a vital role in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. Despite the education now available about this disease, the infection numbers are increasing and are alarming (around 53% increase within the gay male community). There is also a different problem of AIDS awareness not developing further, so people think it is not their problem, but the one of Africa primarily.
Take in consideration these points:
- There are approximately the same number of people older than 12 in the USA and in parts of Africa who are infected.
- There is more than one million infected people in the USA, and more than half a million Americans have died from it over a period of time.
- Around 20% of people today live with AIDS and don’t know it, because they did not get tested.
Dealing with HIV Taint
This difficult-to-live-with taint is here to stay for a long time, unless people wake up and do something about it, primarily gay communities who are most affected by the virus and by the consequences of bearing it. It is hard to live with constant discrimination in the workplace, and even at home, but despite that sad fact, people are still afraid to talk about HIV, and that the ones infected can actually live normal lives for a long time, even with the HIV virus. More than half of new infections are among people who are 25 or younger. Educating them about HIV should be the task of public health, after all. Maybe the campaign about giving this virus a face would help get the HIV taint off, and people would finally start talking about it.