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2 years ago

# HIV HEROES

28 sexual revolution,

28 sexual revolution, fuck around like rabbits for about two decades and then bam! This stupid virus decides to jump from chimpanzees to us and ends the party. And before you know it, all the complexes we thought long gone are back with a vengeance because one thing became clear pretty quickly: HIV is mainly contracted through sex—and not the kind you have with just one partner your whole life. If we follow the logic of patriarchal morality, HIV/AIDS can be seen as a stigma: the disease as a mark, a badge of shame and—in a sense—punishment for a promiscuous lifestyle. As in: “If you had been a good boy and lived by the established bourgeois rules, this would not have happened to you.” Consequently, from a patriarchal viewpoint, the disease simply has to be a manifestation of God’s wrath; also in a more figurative, secular sense, because after all, “God” is nothing other than society’s personified order. The shadows of the past This, of course, explains the initial stigmatization of HIV as the “gay plague”. The discrimination against homosexuality by the conservative mainstream is mainly rooted in the fact that, for its members, the gay lifestyle represents the essence of promiscuity and, as such, a constant threat to traditional male rule. As a paradoxical side-effect of this, nowadays it’s even harder for many heterosexuals to deal with the social dimensions of this disease than it is for homosexuals, since the latter had to learn long ago how to live outside the patriarchal mainstream. Obviously we’ve left the 19th century behind and not all of us see HIV as a god-inflicted punishment. Yet a certain echo of this set of values still rings through modern Western society though, whispering that it’s your own fault if you contract the virus. And since, culturally, we’re still miles away from actually being able to openly talk about any form of sexuality, the whole HIV topic still carries the stigma of something “dirty” that no one wants to talk about—because we still haven’t fully liberated ourselves from some ancient set of moral values. HIV as a social gauge We live in 2015 and it’s fair to say that our Western societies are more or less on the right track when it comes to shedding the patriarchal tradition. Having said that, we’re still a far cry from shedding it completely. At least in those parts of the world blessed by a certain standard of wealth, HIV/AIDS has become medically manageable and has developed from a certain death sentence into more of a chronic disease. In turn, this has led to the widespread idea that it’s something that no longer needs to be talked about. In fact, most of us are glad that this somehow disreputable topic is finally off the table, but