The strangest thing happened last year:
One of the leading adult video stars in urban gay porn today took to his Xtube account to make a public service announcement about HIV testing. In the three minute video he encourages those watching to know their status (if they don’t already). The word condom is never used nor is there advice on what to do if you end up testing positive.
And it left me feeling some kind of way.
Full disclosure: Trap Boyy is one of my favorite cumdumpsters. I was a fan long before Black Rayne decided to build a separate imprint around him. He’s cute, seems like a nice guy and takes cum deep in every orifice like he needs it to stay alive. I wouldn’t mind throwing down with him.
Having said that, I’m not sure if his point translated or if it was a good message at that. All his stats seemed to be right and testing is paramount in ending the HIV epidemic, especially among black gay/bisexual men. But was the messenger overshadowing the message?
If a porn person best known for barebacking pleads with you to go get tested for HIV, does it make a sound?
The comments were even more interesting. They fell into two major categories: (a) those who championed the video saying it was great to see someone in the industry speak on the issue and (b) those who called Trap Boyy a hypocrite for essentially invoking “do as I say, not as I do.”
And then it occurred to me: this wasn’t the first time this happened. Early in 2011 I was browsing Youtube looking for men of color speaking on HIV/AIDS as I prepared a post on National HIV testing day. I stumbled upon this cutie talking about World AIDS day. Similar mechanics: he tells everyone to get tested but doesn’t mention safer sex (read: condoms).
It wasn’t until weeks later I realized Juven was a fairly well known, up and coming AmPro porn actor who also didn’t use condoms in most of his videos.
I’ve been wresting with this for over a year now looking for answers. As someone who went thru puberty in the nineties, condoms were shoved down my throat (and it worked). I use them pretty consistently and have managed to stay HIV negative for ten years.
But the kids nowadays, the ones sexually coming up in the 2000’s, don’t seem all that concerned about HIV. Serosorting seems to be more of a priority these days than condoms. Both Trap Boyy and Juven’s messages are consistent in asking people to know their status and that of their partners. The burden stops there.
At some point (while I wasn’t looking) we moved from HIV prevention to HIV awareness.
Public health as an industry has realized this too as treatment as prevention has become the new thing. We can’t stop people from becoming infected, but we can suppress their viral load to make it harder to pass HIV to someone else.
I hate to be Debby Downer, but color me unimpressed.
It got me thinking, if the next generation doesn’t care about HIV, why should I?
(to be continued)