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Escort's HIV+ status:when,if ever,to be discussed??


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Twice in recent weeks, an escort has been discussed here who (apparently) is HIV+. Is this ever something that should be mentioned on this board? If so, under what circumstances? In one instance, I saw the guy on a subway, looking like death warmed over and loudly conversing to a friend about the medicine "cocktail" he had just started taking to combat active AIDS. He looks great now so obviously the medications are working. He is escorting again. On another occasion, it was clear that I was interested in someone, and a visitor to the board privately e-mailed me to advise that an escort: 1) was HIV+ and 2) regularly practices unsafe sex. I was glad to get this information, but somewhat troubled by the privacy breach. At what point, if ever, does an escort's right to privacy give way to a client's right to know? If an HIV+ escort regularly "barebacks", is this of any consequence to an unknowing client who hires him and does use a concom (though I know we should always assume that anyone we see may be seropositive!). {Very appreciative if our resident doctor would comment on this} Lastly, except for the instance where I personally heard a guy discuss his AIDS , how can we ever know if reports of HIV+ status are true? Or whether someone is being unfairly libeled?

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Guest Merlin

Safe sex is not safe, it is only safer. There are too many types of accidents which can happen. That being the case it is morally wrong for any HIV+ person to have sex without disclosing it. If you know someone who escorts without disclosing it you should feel free to disclose it publicly or privately. The horrible danger which can result far outweighs the escort's right to privacy.

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Merlin I am going to have to disagree with you, yes there is risk involved, but there is risk involved with anyone you sleep with, regardless of whether you know thier status or not.

Falsely accusing someone of being HIV positive is an issue, I think the best solution is to assume everyone is positive, and play safe.

Decide what is your acceptable level of risk, but if an escort is barebacking, and offers that service, well make your own mind up on that one.(personally I would have to assume they are positive)

matt

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My feeling is it's a little more complex than that. Anyone who is HIV+ in my opinion has a moral obligation to inform any or all sexual partners of the fact. Even when you practice safer sex, the risk is still greater with a seropositive than with a seronegative person. This moral obligation applies to escorts in exactly the same way it does to anyone else. I might have safer sex with someone who (I know for a fact or I strongly suspect) is HIV+, but I would e.g. not have unprotected oral sex such as sucking and rimming with him. I believe that is a choice I have a right to make.

 

On the other hand, we certainly don't want this to become a matter of hearsay and gossip. Unless a person (escort or not) states his HIV status publicly one way or another, you really have nothing to go on. That's always the case with moral obligations. For what it's worth, some escorts actually state they are seronegative on their sites.

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ok firstly, there are some escorts who state clearly that they are positive, and others who state clearly that they are negative, but in all seriousness, do you think, moral obligation aside, that a positive escort(excluding those who already do) will share his status openly, knowing that it likely will affect their income earning potential?

Yes I agree there is a moral obligation to to disclose status, but unfortunatly the likelyhood of this happening is slim. Use caution in every situation, and never assume anyone is negative, otherwise chances are you are putting yourself at risk.

Sad and sort of depressing, but that's the way it is.

matt

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Guest Dr. DG

Thank you for asking for my comments. I do appreciate the forum this has provided to discuss gay male health issues.

 

As I write, I am returning from the International HIV conference in South Africa. There is alarming news both on the treatment and prevention fronts.

 

In terms of HIV status disclosure, many states have laws on the books which consider unprotected sex or lack of formal disclosure to be a felony at some level. Equally, most states do not permit escorting either. Accordingly, this is less a matter of law and more a matter of moral values and conscience. I firmly believe that escorting should be made legal, with requisite health testing and taxation to decriminalize and demystify the vocation. So this leaves this in the realm of opinion. I believe that an escort or ANY properly consenting adult (of either gender) has a moral obligation to disclose HIV-positive status to sexual partners. The bottom line for me as a health practitioner is that I cannot advocate practices which I know to be unsafe or potentially harmful, and this includes condoning any activity which would cause harm to come to another human being. Enough said of this and I will climb off my soapbox on this particular facet of the issue.

 

As far as barebacking--this is an extraodinarily dangerous practice for an HIV+ man, but particularly for an escort. Barebacking exposes HIV+ clients to other strains of the virus which may not have the same susceptibilities to antiviral medications. Additionally, both HIV positive and negative escorts and clients are exposed to a myriad of sexually transmitted pathogens by potentially resistant pathogens. It is just plain dumb to consider barebacking in this day and age. There are critical reports of increasing resistance to antiretroviral (anti-HIV) medications in patients who are progressing from acute HIV infection to the clinical status of AIDS. The alarming increase in unsafe activities in the gay community are particularly worrisome given all of the effort, heartache and tears we have mutually spent over the last sixteen to twenty years in fighting this menace. Safer sex is not just a matter of self-protection, but a matter of survival.

 

I have written on several occasions of various HIV-related topics, and will continue to do so in the future. I am disheartened by the prospects that HIV-positive escorts are not disclosing their status to clients. I am equally dismayed to hear that less safe activities in the form of barebacking and other dangerous practices is causing a renewed increase in infection rates. Haven't we learned enough to know that while safer sex is no guarantee that HIV or other STDs will be spread, but that risks may be reduced substantially by some very simple techniques? Are we really that horny that we can't take the few seconds necessary to slip on a condom, use a dental dam or other barrier protection to provide even a modest level of prevention? With increasing failure rates to the multidrug cocktails used to treat HIV, why is the lesson NOT being learned? That is a question I can not answer.

 

Just something to think about...

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Guest WetDream

Moral obligations are called for on both sides, don't you think? That goes for the client and the escort. The client has just as strong an obligation to inform the escort. On has to assume that anyone you go to bed with is positive. And, of course, it is stupid to bareback. If an escort insists on the game of Russian Roulette, ask him to leave.

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Guest Quinte

RE: Escort's HIV status:when,if ever,to be discussed??

 

Yes, an escort or indeed anyone having sex needs to let their partner know if they are positive.

 

Also, unless an escort comes out and declares himself as posiive, no one should make assumptions.

 

Besides, there is a whole lot two people can do without actual penetration. I should know.

 

:-)

 

Quinte DuSoleil

 

"Safe sex is not safe, it is only safer"

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Guest Nice Guy

RE: Escort's HIV status:when,if ever,to be discussed??

 

Well, "WE" John's all make foolish choices from time to time. I believe it is called "Dick Head".

And in all honesty, I have to put myself in that catigory. I have been incredibly lucky, or have nine lives. In any event, I get tested often, and I am negative, which we all should do. However that is no excuse for foolish behavior. We put ourselves in incredibly stupid harm's way. I always ask the escort and I tend to be trusting, however, as Matt says, if i may paraphrase, don't be a dumb asshole, literally!!!!

Does the escort have a responsibility? HE HAD BETTER!! I hope he doesn't get mad! But I "know" Matt and he is one of the most honorable men I have ever met. We have had our "cresendo" moments.... and never has he forgot. And I thank him for that. But I digress, sorry Quinte, I don't think this forum is the place to "out" someone's HIV Status. However, if the escort does not see a moral obligation, he should be ready to suffer the consequences, whatever they may be. And in some States he is knowingly breaking the law.

AA,MVBR

N.G.

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Guest cleverock

Escorts and disclosure

 

This is always an emotional topic---but it boils down to practicalities:

 

1. The escort generally knows little about a client, even a regular. A great many clients see other escorts, have relatively anonymous sex at bathhouse, etc. Clients can assume this is just an issue for escorts.

 

2. The client generally knows little about an escort (even a regular), except that he has other sex partners. Whether he admits it or not, the client usually is buying a fantasy and there some things (like assumptions about the escort's other partners) that should not be included in the fantasy.

 

3. There is a "window period" between infection and a positive test. Also, no one gets tested everyday. So, someone (escort or client) who claims to be negative may not be. They also may have other STDs.

 

4. Escorts and clients need to take precautions regardless of what anyone says. Also, people lie, on both sides of the transaction.

 

5. Escorts and clients negotiate all kinds of things. Each should be able to ask about partner status and decline a positive partner. But neither should be naive enough to expect that negative means negative.

 

6. Safe sex is only safer and you may still be exposed to STDs and other infections without precautions. Don't kid yourself.

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Guest Nice Guy

RE: Escorts and disclosure

 

Bilbo, my closing was for Matt, just a little person thing, sorry.

Clev added another important point. That being, the "client". I seemed to overlook us as men of intregity. Well most of us are NOT. And his points are well taken. So i guess, he should have the last say. There are NO good excuses. Just excuses, all in the name of pleasure. Pretty sad!

NG

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