I have been holding on to this post for a while since I wanted to be sure that what I was gathering was factual, as the post title says bare backing is a rising trend here in Jamaica despite high visibility of safer sex messages and interventions by NGOs and the Ministry of Health young gay and bisexual men especially are practising bareback sex.
The discussion came up for me over the weekend again when a young man came to me worried about the decision he had made to have unprotected sex with an older male lover who happens to be married. Following that luckily I happened to be at a get together put on by a concerned former gay rights activist who called an impromptu meeting of 13 males to discuss various issues affecting gay men here and of course the matter of HIV/AIDS came up for mention. The participants mostly in their mid twenties spoke frankly about their practices and how they did practice safer sex, but in a break out condom demonstration myself and another AIDS 101 trained individual ran with we found out, that while persons were aware of the need for a condom and the main reasons that of to stop HIV/AIDS transmission many were not knowledgeable of the other STIs. It was also surprising to hear that beliefs we thought were dead several years ago that of HIV+ people visibly showing signs before one would take condom action were still around in the minds of a younger generation who never saw the onslaught of the disease in it’s hay day.
Many of the young men continued that they preferred bareback sex due to the natural feeling and the supposed complaints by their partners of becoming flaccid after putting on a condom. Very few in the group practised or knew about enemas at all and none had ever seen an enema kit before disposable or otherwise. Few used the home remedy method that of a bottle with plain water for flushing. It begs the examination of what is required to rescue the young MSM population despite all the well intentioned efforts to capture and enthrall this group to safer sex practices.
It’s not only homosexuals that are bareaking but str8s and bisexuals too, myths about sex with virgins to cure common Sexually translitted diseases are still alive and the whole hepephelic scene where teen girls are the object of sexual attraction by older men is still quite commonplace. Bisexual men in particular while practising safe sex with their male partners tend to not use condoms with their at home or common law female partners thus anything can happen to the obedient wife or spouse. It just boggles my mind that all we know about AIDS and safer sex individauls do not or are not able to make the concious decision to practice safer sex of abstinance for that matter for their own preservation.
As for figures the most recent MSM survey that I am aware of :
Privately I am doing my little part for spreading the word on safer sex at least persons can make informed choices, for me it must be ongoing the business of HIV/AIDS intervention especially for our up and coming excited youngsters and adolescents.
ONE MIND AT A TIME YAH.