(404) 874-8536 johnballew@gmail.com

A recent post on Huffingtonpost.com by a long-term HIV survivor stated

In 2011 (in the developed world) we have left the era of AIDS. We are however still very much in the age of HIV. There is an entire generation that did not live through the dark days of AIDS. Some of them have little or no fear of HIV: “You just take a pill every day.” Or, they might consider it a part of the landscape: “I’m going to get it eventually, so I might as well have fun while doing it.”

Those of us who are gay men of a certain age remember the bad old days when the average life expectancy after diagnosis was less than three years.  Those days, thankfully, are mostly gone.  But the need to be vigilant about sexual health is as strong as ever.  There are more effective treatments for HIV than ever; most people living with HIV will live long, happy and healthy lives.

At the same time, it is estimated that 20% of people living with HIV in the United States are getting no treatment — because they don’t know they have the virus.  If you’re a gay man who cares about his health, get tested now.  Commit yourself to being informed about HIV and safer sex practices.  If you’re uncertain about what’s safe and what isn’t, resources for safe sex information include:

  • www.dcfukit.org  VERY sexually explicit, very sex positive and very cute; includes videos that show how to put on a condom.  A great resource, but not one to check out at the office, probably.
  • HIV and safer sex information is available through www.stopaids.org

And if you’re in the position of recently having found out that you have HIV, www.thebody.com has a huge amount of information that can be very helpful in wrapping your mind around a complicated situation and plotting a positive course for thriving in the years to come.