I may have gotten the virus that way but to have to live with that label for my whole life because of one incident all those years ago is really unfair.” Their epidemiological invisibility may be contributing to the lack of appropriate services for straight men with HIV. His research grew out of his clinical work: “We would see these men who became engaged in care very late in their illness and we realized how little support there was for them.
“We are looked on as predators and potential rapists and criminals.
And at the same time we’re not trained to discuss our feelings or to explore other aspects of our personalities, our humanness, because of a fear that it may be compromising to our masculinity.” Black men may constitute the majority of those who have been accused and tried in Canada, and they have been particularly vilified by the media.
He notes that “there’s a big focus on developing meaningful relationships with women, but there’s also this fear that if I find an HIV-negative woman, how do I tell her about my HIV without losing her?
” Two days after being diagnosed with HIV, Patrick attended a social event in Toronto for straight people living with HIV.
Fanta Ongoiba, executive director of Africans in Partnership Against AIDS (APAA), and Winston Husbands, director of research at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), also find that black men are being tested for HIV and diagnosed less routinely than black women: “We know that in terms of heterosexual transmission, there are more black men living with HIV than black women,” says Husbands.
“But black men are not being tested and diagnosed for HIV to the same degree as black women, so that’s a real problem.” While straight men tend to be invisible in much of the story of HIV in Canada, one area where they clearly appear is in the sphere of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure.I kept hearing that some just couldn’t afford to come.” Despite these barriers, he knows of at least one successful meeting to have come out of these events: “At one of the parties I held, I met a girl.To this day she’s my girlfriend and we have a son together.” Disclosure and confidentiality remain important concerns for straight men with HIV even once they are in relationships and have families.agrees: “In all this time, I’ve never had any outside help and it’s only by sheer force of will, and with the help of my wife, that I have managed not only to stay healthy but to keep on with the sometimes arduous medical regimens that people with HIV have to undergo.” When asked what services would look like for straight men who are living with HIV, G.is momentarily at a loss: “I wouldn’t even know where to begin.A key priority is to have straight men recognized as a group in its own right.