The phenomenon of bug chasing—wherein the HIV-negative homosexual seeks out an HIV-positive man to contract HIV from—is already strange enough, but the system is configured in such a way that those who have HIV can actually improve their living standards by becoming sicker and pushing their HIV to the point of developing AIDS.
This particular incident of one man's intentional quest to go from HIV-positive to full-blown AIDS was documented in an article called "The Men Who Want AIDS—and How It Improved Their Lives" for Out magazine. It reads a bit too much like creative fiction much of the time, but I've decided to write a short piece on it because it is an unusual scenario that is rarely talked about in anti-LGBT circles.
Tye Fortner, 28 at the time the article was written, had been a male prostitute since he was 16—sometimes servicing as many as 14 men in one night, usually while intoxicated. He engaged in the same risky sex as most homosexuals, mixing an already toxic lifestyle with drugs. Weakness, stomach aches, and headaches led him to test for HIV when he was 22, and he was positive.
Fortner and other homeless men with AIDS have similarly benefited from government programs, and there is much more available for those who have AIDS compared to HIV.
This cruel paradox — having to get really sick in order to enjoy a better, more comfortable life — has not gone unnoticed. “I have experienced people [who are] grateful that they have HIV,” says Sage Rivera, a research associate at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who has worked with hundreds of LGBT youth. “It’s sort of like a sigh of relief or an extra boost,” he says. “There are a whole bunch of different names for HIV within the [LGBT] community: ‘the monster,’ ‘the kitty,’ ‘the scratch,’ ‘the gift that keeps on giving.’ So people say, ‘I have the kitty — so now I can get my place. Now I can get hooked up; I can get my food stamps, I can get this, I can get that.’
“Other people say, ‘I do not know what I would have done without the monster.’ I can think of five boys, automatically, who’ve told me this.”
And it’s not just those who already have AIDS who view it as a lifeline; some young men who test negative aspire to contract the disease as a way out of trouble. Rivera knows at least one man who planned to have unprotected sex on purpose, an attitude he sums up thus: “My life is not getting better. I need a helping hand, and it seems like the only way I can get a helping hand is by getting sick.”
For Fortner, the phenomenon of young men deliberately contracting HIV is dispiriting but not surprising. “When you’re on the streets every day — winter, summer, spring, and fall — and you find a way to have an apartment of your own, it looks better,” he says. His own experience is instructive: Once his AIDS was diagnosed, he was astonished at how much easier it was to live in New York City. “Right now the rent for my apartment is $1,150, but because I’m on the program I only pay $217, which leaves me with about $400 a month,” he says. “That’s still a struggle, but I feel gifted, because one way or another I pull through.”
James Bolas, a director for the nonprofit Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services in New York, says he first heard of the young and homeless rationalizing the benefits of getting HIV as a means to obtain benefits as early as 1987, back when the disease was still a death sentence.
To be eligible for the services provided by New York City’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration, commonly referred to as HASA, people must be diagnosed with AIDS or have HIV with certain other specified medical conditions, says Dr. Robert Grossberg, medical director of the Montefiore AIDS clinic in the Bronx. Those eligible for HASA services get a living plan, housing assistance, financial aid, and free medical care. Exactly what each person gets is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on factors like their income level.The housing assistance consists of immediate temporary placement in an SRO (single room occupancy) building, which has individual and two-person rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms, until a permanent apartment is found. Once a permanent apartment is found, HASA covers the rent but residents pay for their own utilities, such as electricity and gas.
One of the ways in which HASA works is that recipients have to have a T-cell count below 200 — the level at which AIDS is diagnosed — to be eligible for benefits, encouraging potential recipients to let their health deteriorate to dangerous levels. Fortner sums up his own process of coaxing his HIV into full-blown AIDS as: “Don’t take no meds, don’t go to a doctor. And that’s what I did. I sabotaged myself to get my numbers down.”
Temi Aregbesola was the director of prevention and outreach programs at the Bronx Community Pride Center, an organization that served LGBT youth until it closed in the summer of 2012 due to economic strife. She has often broken the diagnosis of HIV to young gay men, ages 16 and older, and has been shocked by some of the responses. “ ‘Oh, if I have HIV, I’m good, they will take care of me. I’m going to get housing, I’m going to get my meds,’ ” Aregbesola paraphrases. “Outside their world, there is still a lot of stigma. But in their world, [it’s] ‘Oh, I got the monster? This is now an opportunity for me to be better than I was last year.’ ”
The idea is to get them housing, so they can live a better, more productive life—they can be free of sex work and engage in less risky sex, but the callous behavior they exhibit begs the question of whether they should be helped at all. As cruel as it might be, letting them die on the streets sounds better, for at least then, there would be deterrence from this anti-social behavior.
We should be striving to prevent these scenarios from ever occurring and not incentivizing such insanity as intentionally worsening one's health for benefits.
The homosexual lifestyle itself leads to this kind of despair so often, is very unhealthy, and takes up a considerable amount of the healthcare burden. How many lives have been destroyed because we stopped stigmatizing these behaviors?
In 2007, the Empire State Coalition undertook the first comprehensive study of homeless youth between the ages of 13 to 24 in New York City, and found that, on any given night, more than 3,800 youth were homeless on the streets of New York City, with a fairly even male–female split. Of them, 44.5% were African American and 28% identified as LGBT, with a further 11% unsure of their orientation or uncomfortable answering the question.
Black men are disproportionately homosexual compared to other races and also have the highest HIV prevalence. They made up 42% of new cases in the U.S in 2018. Remember, they make up only 13% of the population, so this is a really huge number.
The general perception is probably one of homosexuality being a "white illness," but pretty much everywhere you look, blacks have the highest rate of HIV and other STIs. It definitely seems to be the case that blacks engage in riskier sex overall as a result of lower IQ and other racial factors.
Is this just a natural part of being black? One can say that it's because of the broken family structure, but it seems blacks are prone to worse family structures to begin with. Their family structure was better under segregation. It's quite possible blacks simply can't flourish under "democracy" and liberalism. Yes, it hurts us all, but blacks are harmed the most by this system. If they had their own societies, they could structure their society to meet their specific needs. As per Tatu Vanhanen, low IQ societies tend to be more authoritarian, while high IQ societies are more democratic. Obviously, with exceptions: there are high IQ societies that are more authoritarian. It would seem that at a certain average IQ, democratic government is not a viable choice (frankly, I'd argue it's never a viable choice, but it obviously works better in theory for some groups than others).
We have a society designed for Europeans, Jews, and Asians. The average IQ of the U.S.—though it is dropping—is close to 100, while blacks have an average IQ of 85.
With the way our society is designed, as a result of the majorities' specific qualities, blacks are mismatched, and because they are mismatched, they become unpleasant to live amongst. Without their own societies, their growth becomes stunted and they remain dependent on the more successful demographics.
It's an interesting topic, but it might be better served as its own article some other time.
The article continues on to browbeat republicans and religious groups for preventing schools from focusing on sexual diversity as part of the curriculum, and to the budding mind this probably seems plausible—the default position, pretty much, is that of being a liberal; even if you're naturally more of a conservative, you will probably rebel against your parents and be indoctrinated by leftist ideas in the media and at school. But society has only become worse as a result of promoting LGBT and other modern liberal ideas, and we're seeing it taken to extremes by introducing pre-K, kindergarten, and grade school kids to LGBT indoctrination.
We're already seeing impressionable kids thinking they're transgender from a young age, either because their babble was taken seriously, or their stupid mothers impressed the ideas upon them.
I hope one day the U.S. can once again have normal views on LGBT, like Poland, Russia, China, Africa, or the Middle East, and we can finally start to recover and become a serious country.