It all starts with a ping, a message, or an IM on a social-networking site. Apparently a hot guy asks you out. You meet for coffee, you find him cute, he finds you adorable, and so on a much awaited “Friday night”, one takes the other to his “place”. You insist you will just talk or perhaps only kiss, but soon one thing leads to another, and then raw instincts take over. But wait, in all the haste, none remembered to get a condom. But who cares, right? The only thing on the mind is the hot, naked guy next to you.
The series of incidents described above, as trite as they may seem, pose a grave danger to one’s health every time one makes that “one” risky decision. Although one may formulate a plethora of arguments for or against the moral roller-coaster your sub-conscious goes through after a quick carnal satiation, the one thing that is absolute is that the danger involved in un-protected sex is real. Studies and surveys have proven time and again, without failing, that gay/bisexual men are amongst the major risk group when it comes to HIV infection, owing to the highly vulnerable so-called quick fling lifestyle, and rampant drug-use, involving sharing needles among other reasons. What is alarming is that despite receiving loads of information about the dangers of un-protected sex, despite awareness campaigns, despite the efforts of NGO’s, unprotected sex is highly prevalent among queer men. What is even more disturbing is that, most of these “couples” do not care two hoots about using protection. After all, according to them AIDS happens to others, right? Why bother for protection? After all, sex is fun, sex is available. Most fail to realize the magnitude of the risk they are putting themselves at. Most fail to realize that AIDS is real, AIDS does happen to people, good or bad, it happens to people around you, it can happen to you if you do not use protection.
Another disturbing fact is that most of the queer men are hesitant when it comes to getting themselves tested. The trend is same, whether one considers the typical metro-sexuals, or the ones living in rural areas. People do not “bother” getting tested. However, the ugly truth is that if you are already infected, an awareness of the same might at least prevent you from passing it on to someone else. So much for the greater good.
Life is a precious gift. Yes, sex is fun, but not at the risk of getting infected. So, the next time you have that urge of letting your hair-down, sipping on a Cosmopolitan or vodka or even plain old coffee with a cute stranger, carry a condom. And yes, be bold enough to get yourself tested, after all you are bold enough to go play. A little diligence might save a lot of regret later, even a life. Think about it.
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