The latest study out on the numbers of people living with HIV in NZ shows that the numbers have more than doubled from 1999 - 2009, and they say that about 1,313 gay and bi guys knew they had the virus.
But because of the way the new HIV drugs work it's pretty rare for anyone to get sick and die of AIDS in the way they used to before there were any useful medications to stop it. Dr Peter Saxton, the lead researcher for this said we've gone from having nearly one AIDS funeral a week to almost none. And that is great news.
So what we have now is a lot of guys with HIV, but hardly anyone with AIDS, and you have to agree that's a bloody good thing.
But it does mean that your chance of hooking up with a guy who has HIV is getting higher too, and that means you still need to look after yourself when you go out and have sweaty naked fun.
Guys with HIV these days usually don't look any different from anyone else, so you can't tell if someone has it by looking at them. In fact a lot of HIV+ guys take such good care of their health they look hot.
You don't need to be afraid about fucking with someone who is HIV+ - you just need to take care of yourself while you're doing it, and that means safe-sex. Most guys who know they have HIV are incredibly careful about what they do sexually anyway, and will probably insist on using condoms and lube. But just because some hot guy has HIV doesn't mean you should run away.
You might have heard of HIV+ people having an "Undetectable Viral Load", and that is probably the case for most of the gay and bi guys living with the virus here in NZ, if they're taking their drugs properly.
This doesn't mean that they are free of the virus; it just measures the virus level in the blood, not in cum or in your arse, so having an undetectable viral load doesn't mean they can't pass it on.
So you should still use condoms and water-based lube when you're out fucking around because we do know that these will keep you free from infection – we can't say that about having an undetectable viral load.
You might wonder where all the new infections have come from, why there has been such a jump over 10 years, and that's a harder question to answer, but we are sure that there is always a significant number of guys out there who don't know they have HIV, and think they are fine, and then they pass it on without realising. It's easy enough when you're horny and just want to fuck to think "He looks fine and so damn hot I'm sure it'll be ok", but really that's not the way to go.
It might seem strange but you are safer having safe-sex with someone who knows they are HIV+ than you are having unsafe sex with someone who doesn't know.
That's another reason to love fucking with condoms and lube, and another good reason to get tested regularly. Remember that you are worth looking after and you need to look after yourself!