Sex is overrated (Rensselaer, NY) – July 2015B

Rensselaer_PrEP sign

Nowhere in this post will I claim to be an epidemiologist. There is nothing in my background that qualifies me to speak to any scientific certainty that any “new” or dormant viruses that are sexually transmittable are laying in wait to strike in the near future. That said, it certainly is not out of the realm of possibility that it could happen. Less harmful sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea appear to be pretty common here in the United States. I think it is pretty safe to say that most of these infections – certainly barring those related to sexual assault – are the result of poor decision making on the part of the parties involved. In saying that, I’m not intending to be coldhearted or provocative. I certainly participated in some risky behavior during my single life. It’s something a regret terribly as one of many stains on my soul. The thing is, if like me you came of age the nineties, you were hammered over the head practically with “safe sex” messages every time you turned on the television. I don’t keep up much with popular culture, but it seems even more hypersexualized than it was 20 years ago – when internet was dial up and the vultures of the pornography business didn’t have the ability to push their shit over the internet as easily as today, when kids perhaps 14 years old can figure out how to access streaming videos. I would imagine in this climate, where casual sex and hookups are commonplace in popular entertainment, it’s really easy to give in and give up on the pipe dream of safe sex. It’s not surprising then that we do have a quite a lot of people in this country who have sexually transmitted infections. Certainly, sexually transmitted diseases have existed throughout human history, but I would venture that with a smaller world, loosening of sexual mores and the absolute emphasis on sex as a means of social currency, status and fulfillment, the percentages are higher. This brings me to the point of what I’m trying to get at, which is related to the photograph I took a few days ago. Rather than rejoicing or feeling any relief at the medical advancement that appears to provide a drug that prevents HIV transmission, I think this should be a wake up call that we are now in the position of throwing all caution to the wind. My prediction, Truvada or drugs like it will come back to bite us in the end. The very enthusiasm by which it appears to be receiving among the perhaps the highest risk group – men who have sex with men – should concern us all. Why? Because HIV/AIDS, once a pretty quick trip to the morgue is now much more manageable for those with the resources and diligence to keep up with their health. Certainly, it may shave years off of your life, but I suspect for a lot of people, heterosexual or homosexual, once the sex party so-to-speak is over, life doesn’t seem like it will be all that important to stick around for. It will be mundane, stale, endless. That’s the fruit of a sex-obsessed society. I can totally understand that personally. What Truvada will do is have us let our guard down even more than it already is. Afterall, HIV/AIDS is certainly not the only sexually transmitted disease. The resurgence of syphillis and outbreaks of MRSA several years ago would not have been prevented even if Truvada were on the market. It’s not as if a bacterial or non HIV/AIDS virus says “oh, I can’t infect this man or woman because they took Truvada.”

So what next? Should we expect now even more non HIV/AIDS infections because the guard has been let down? I should think that’s not an unreasonable expectation. God forbid something deadlier than HIV/AIDS hits because people have let their guard down even more.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sex is overrated. If we think of an alcohol problem as a part of some type of mental, emotional and spiritual angst, why not think of casual sex the same damn way? Obviously there is a reason people make bad decisions and throw caution to the wind. I know why that is because I’ve been there myself – you’re chasing a high. Sex becomes like a drug or any other maladaptive behavior. I would submit that we have such an unhealthy relationship with sex that to admit such a thing is to commit a heresy of sorts. One need only look at those STD figures and the amount of abortions performed in our country to see that for us the reward is way more important than the consequences, physical, emotional and spiritual. It’s a sad reflection of the materialistic indoctrination we receive.

I get that New York State wants to reduce HIV/AIDS. She feels she has a moral and economic responsibility to do just that. But it’s not only HIV/AIDS that’s the problem. Just look closely at the poster to see the fine print, reminding the reader that this preventative drug does not protect against other infections. Let’s face it, we generally don’t know what is good for us and our temptation to do what is wrong is hard to resist due to our very nature as fallen people. The short, fleeting reward, that you can’t take with you or hang your hat on is worth all the risk in the world to us. No drug will cure that.

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