Bug Huntin' in the 21st Century

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BenPanced

THE BLUEBERRY QUEEN OF HADES
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One of the confusing/confused behaviors to have come from the AIDS epidemic is "bug hunting" or "bugchasing". Quickly, it's when a person seeks out somebody HIV positive to be blessed with the gift and, no, I am NOT kidding on the phrasing. They've eroticized the virus for myriad reasons mentioned in the Wikipedia article above that would only involve much copying and pasting to the point of infringement.

Fast forward to 2022. In Italy, if somebody is recovering from COVID-19, it's noted on their national healthcare card. So what's an anti-vaxxer to do? COVID-19 PARTIES! Similar to measles or chicken pox "parties" parents have for their children, people are either paying a hefty sum to have dinner with infected parties, huge amounts for counterfeit records, or bookoo bucks in fines for violating mandates (beginning Feb. 1, people over the age of 50 must be vaccinated or face fines and possible job termination). Because, y'know. You'll only get sick and won't be put on a ventilator and/or die. Since the vaccines are worse than the virus, anyway. And at $150, even! Such a bargain for a little peace of mind!
:sarcasm

I fucking hate this planet.
 

ChaseJxyz

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As A Gay, I MIGHT be able to shed some light on this? Also big "not all gay people are like this, this is only a small subset of people" disclaimer and also cw for sex, drugs and rock and roll.

So the article is definitely correct in that there's a "community" aspect to it. Being + is heavily stigmatized still, even though prep is such a common thing, as is HIV treatments that can get you down to a non-detectable level. There are still plenty of people who act like HIV is like Ye Olde Leprosy or think there's some moral/intellectual failing on your part for catching.

Also...you don't have to worry about bloodborne illnesses if everyone in your circle has those illnesses. Since drug education in America is 100% abstinence, people really aren't aware of harm reduction techniques, either the aspirational and practical. Like "use a clean, sterile needle every time! Don't share needles!" Needles ARE cheap and you can get them without a prescription, but pharmacies frequently don't have them in stock (and also getting rid of sharps The Right Way is a huge pain in the ass, most places the counties list to take them back just...don't anymore*. Especially during covid times.).

But if you and your buddies (or people you're meeting to hang out with at Various Establishments) all have HIV...well, you don't have to worry about getting it from sharing needles! Yes, there are different "strains" of HIV so you could catch B while you ALSO have A, but I think pretty much everyone in the US is only the one strain so that's not too much of an issue. And there are other things you can catch, like hepatitis, but HIV is The Real Bad One. Also I am not talking out of my ass here, this is on harm reduction info sheets out there (ones that are more "practical" and take into account how/when/why people actually use drugs and what they can do in the moment to be safer).

Honestly......I would not compare this to "chicken pox parties" or covid parties. Those are illnesses where you might be out for a week or two but you're good to go. There is no "having measles is cool and sexy" community on tumblr**, nor is there a "ew you had covid? I could NEVER love you" stigma, either. Yes, there is a chance you'd die from any of those diseases you can get a vaccine for, but none of them are ones that will exist with you for the rest of your life that you'll have to take expensive drugs every single day to keep in check. The president never said "haha well maybe it's a good thing The Straights are dying from covid :) I mean who cares, anyways? No GOOD PEOPLE get covid!" HIV still very much is a "only gays/transgenders/prostitutes/drug users get it" disease, and society really does hate us! Just look at literally any true crime thing!

tl;dr This is really not a fair comparison due to the historical stigma against LGBTQ folx and people with substance use disorders. This isn't apples and oranges, it's more like apples and hockey pucks.


*I have to take anticistamines via injection, so all my needle knowledge is from experience using legal/prescribed stuff
**Yes there's "rabiesexual" but that's more of a meme than anything serious
 

Brightdreamer

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I fucking hate this planet.
The planet as a whole is fairly decent.

The human species... not so much.

Sometimes I think there's an idiot switch in the brains of a certain percentage of the population that actively nullifies intelligence. Embracing disease and rejecting proven preventative measures... definitely idiot switch thinking. And enough idiot switches thrown usher our species toward the exit even faster than we're already sprinting there...
 
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MaeZe

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I must have had a lucky life because I've found people all over the world are amazingly nice. It's mostly in the news I read about the bad ones.

One of the first revelations I had when I went traveling out of the country was all the horrid stories one hears about before you get to the country you are going to turn out to be wrong.

The Dominican Republic was not in the midst of a revolution. The indigenous people in Guatemala were some of the nicest people. Americans were not hated in Guatemala or Belize. Panama was not dangerous for Americans. Crime was not rampant in Ecuador.

And I met some foreigners here who had heard crime was rampant in Florida before they got here.

That doesn't mean I didn't hit some very rough spots. And as a woman I've only experienced a tiny fraction of what I know persons of color and the LGBTQ+ persons experience.

But after traveling I came away with the observation people live normal lives for the most part most of the time regardless of the impression one gets watching the news.

Maybe that's why I'm still an optimist about the GOP threat to this country.
 

Diana Hignutt

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The planet as a whole is fairly decent.

The human species... not so much.

Sometimes I think there's an idiot switch in the brains of a certain percentage of the population that actively nullifies intelligence. Embracing disease and rejecting proven preventative measures... definitely idiot switch thinking. And enough idiot switches thrown usher our species toward the exit even faster than we're already sprinting there...
Yes, it's called Narcissism, and we are in the midst of a plague of it, creating ever new Flying Monkeys and Narcissists.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away