Author: M. G.
Today we read on the websites of The Guardian and The Independent about the rise in HIV infections within the gay community in the UK and especially in London. A medical study, published on the medical journal The Lancet, starts with these words: "Concerns over high-risk drug practices in the London gay scene, including smoking, injecting, or snorting of party drugs such as crystal methamphetamine (crystal meth) and mephedrone, often in combination with sex parties". Chem-sex, the slang-name of this practice, can be a cause of some of the 5 new HIV infections diagnosed in London everyday - this statistic comes from the National Aids Trust. We are not just talking about infections occurring during a gay party with a random sex partner. On the internet you can also find a growing number of people explicitly looking for guys who want to do it bare after having taken drugs.
I hope that this is just one of those trends that become suddenly popular within gays and shrink as fast as they grew again after a while. Even though it can be extremely fun - I can believe it -, do we really need to say that it's extremely dangerous? Yes we do, but we should probably find another way to do that, without pointing a judgmental finger and a superior attitude to the gay community - I know it sometimes can come 'naturally', I was about to do it too. But, as you say, "We all are in the same boat", we all share the same problems, so no pointing, no judging, no bitching around, OK?
I am pretty sure that all these numbers and statistics of infections in London refer not only to people born in the UK but also to people from abroad. Gay guys who, for one reason or another, have suddenly found themselves in the middle of this huge city, packed with cute and, most of the time, alternative guys, with a lot of things going on. You can be easily overwhelmed by the situation. What The Lancet is talking about is exactly one of these situations, so guys, just pay attention. Do you want to do it when you're high? It's OK! Can you do it safely? Even better.
Just Stop and Think, to paraphrase one of our supporters, fashion designer Katharine Hamnett.