Erotic dancers, working girls and escorts are in the sex trade often from circumstances within their control. Life mismanagement combined with drugs, alcohol, liaisons with bad boys – themselves mismanaged – and rejecting the straight life has left them vulnerable to contracting HIV. With their commercial partners, they often use condoms 80 to 90 percent of the time. It’s with their non-paying partners where they’re susceptible to the whole host of STDs. Reckless lifestyles lead to multiple partners with whom they have unprotected sex. Think of them as your young cousins and your heart will make the moral leap to judgement. You wouldn’t wish that lifestyle on anyone you loved, don’t wish it on strangers – don’t pay into it, and if you do, wear protection. The view that prostitutes, intravenous drug users (IDUs), and young gay men are the vectors of the HIV transmission isn’t totally mistaken. Monogamous relationships have more than one advantage. IDUs everywhere around the world often share needles. When you’re high, danger is trumped by the feeling of immortality and a sense of brotherly love. The link between IDUs and HIV is recorded in detail. Gay men popping pills and finishing off 40 pounders sometimes feel the profound deadening sensation of being so completely on the outside of what they might romanticize as a normal life. They turn to the HIV roulette and they dance with the Reaper. Many of their friends have been struck down with AIDS. Even though they’ve avoided STDs thus far, they go to conversion parties frequented by HIV infected men and have unprotected intercourse with them.

Why?

Answer that question and you may know the wisdom of the years. Gays seeking self-managed and regulated lives understand that in life, sometimes you mightn’t have a choice about things like your sexual orientation, but you can say no to over-the-top stupidity, to excessive drugs and alcohol, to multiple partners and unprotected sex . . . to prostitution.

What’s the point of being gay if you can’t be high all the time?

You can say no to the irrational lifestyle . . . to hedonism itself. In this self-gratifying affluent life, the No’s are way more important than the Yes’s.

In Africa, there is a belief that if you’re circumcised you won’t be infected with HIV. In Iran, they execute homosexuals–prostitutes number in the tens of thousands. In Brazil, 5% of the population has contracted HIV, 4% in Haiti and 2% in Thailand. Forty million people with HIV and Islamic and Christian countries do not monitor their prostitutes–in fact, with law they drive them underground.

There’s a direct link between freedom and responsibility. Gays can stand up and live a life of reason. Fight the God people who oppress you and who have made such a mess of sexuality. You can oppose them from the gutter–they put you in there with their over-simplistic views on sex. You have friends screwing up. Soon they’ll find God, and they’ll continue to rip themselves off. Their value has been lowered by the culture of true belief. Give yourself and your friends something to uphold. Religion has had its day.* For thousands of years it has been selling a lame idea – faith – believing in a thing without any evidence, fighting ardently against any rational or scientific explanation for moral order, and especially in regards to sexual behavior.

The wisdom of the years?

Not so hard as the Buddha might make out. It’s colorful, adventurous, forgiving and dazzling, but also, it’s hard work: it’s reason. Living a well-ordered life full of joy, regularity and love. If you’ve got the mind for it, it comes recommended. Whatever strain you aped, whatever sluice you’ve run out of or whatever virus you morphed into, your dream of yourself as the good honest person who protects their hard-earned character – their brand – is just the thing reason secures best. And what is it? It’s a means of connecting the dots and finding out the true facts about happiness. It gives you the freedom to make wise choices, to embrace liberty while being responsible, to build character over a whole lifetime, to love humankind, to find economic independence, to think for yourself, to increase your mental capacity, to walk the razor’s edge and not retreat when hitting adversity, and so much more. 

* However 55% of American’s believe the strength of a nation is predicated on the religious faith of its people; 60% believe their faith affects all aspects of their life;  50% that it is necessary to believe in God to have good values, 40% have had a profound mystical experience; 36% pray more than once a day, 61% attend church once a month, 45% once a week; 70%  believe in starting each school day with prayer – the list is endless, apparently – nonetheless, American religion itself has become an enabler for instant gratification, self-love and getting something for nothing over the values of a work ethic, an awe-inspiring purpose in life and self determination. In the ultimate consumer nation, it has become an exhausted movement. If America itself is failing then religion suffers much of the responsibility. As to why this is happening, it’s not such a mystery. The means of the transmission itself – modern media – makes the message a fantasy from non-thinking faith-healers and the retched old, a sort of Reality TV which no one takes seriously except as pseudo-therapy and myth. Sexual restrictions are one of the universals of culture peculiar to human society. The obscene carnal self versus the pure Platonic being – the muddy earth as apposed to ethereality – and sex is of this sensual world. How can this nasty physical encounter be spiritual, loving and full of  understanding? But it can! Religion in this regard, fails human beings completely.