Readers' Submissions

Some Feedback On All These HIV Stories



Consider this: it happens…I’ve seen it constantly.

Would you ride a high-powered motorcycle in Asia without all the gear? Step from an open door on a moving train? Drag-race a blown Chevvy™ with no harness? A stroll down the aisle during takeoff, perhaps? Take a swing at the Immigration official at the counter or abuse a traffic cop? Eat blow-fish or partake of a cane toad belly served with som-sam-Lao; raw pork in Bali for that matter? Inject something into yourself just ‘cause your buddies say it’s cool? Give a middle finger to that taxi driver who overcharged as you do the bolt (they’ll be there tomorrow even if you don’t come back and somebody else does).

I recall in my single days, how a common saying around the bars went like this: “Mai-klua Rohk-AID; klua ben ahwt…” (Not scared of AIDS; afraid of being broke).

Heard that one from a working lady first and it got me thinking. Statistics are endless: from health authorities through to informal feedback from entertainment venues; when the epidemic in the Kingdom peaked (early to mid 1990s), could be roughly broken down.

– Western oriented nightspots, about 1.5% plus. I remember a survey done by health officials in the south (Samui, Phang-Ngan and Surat-Thani) among risk targets was 2.0%. This survey included IV users and gay / lesbian as well as bars and a-gogos.
– Massage parlors in Chinatown, BKK quite high, about 5.0%.
– Rural cat-houses and Karaoke places, up to 12% plus.
– Potential armed forces conscripts (male) about 7.0%.

To be realistic these numbers are precisely that and mean nothing if you actually contract the virus and you most likely will not. Makes for a great debate over beers in the evening, though and for sure the demographics would have doubtlessly changed. But consider a few things. How would it be if the female falls pregnant (and I emphasize the word ‘falls’)? Some say conception is the most disastrous STI of the lot when unplanned and in shaky circumstances. Asian women are unbelievably fertile; they will become pregnant after a harmless peck on the cheek.

Bear in mind, if you stayed at a hotel or guesthouse the expecting lady will pull your details in a second, courtesy of the receptionist. She’ll probably have her hands on all your social-networking pages as well; after all you’ve already met and hooked-up. Your name, spelt perfectly goes on the bai-ghert when the child is born. If she chooses to lawyer up then bank on it – she’ll be at the doorstep of your embassy armed with all the paperwork and you could find yourself landed with demands for paternity tests, then child-support…eighteen years of it. The successful attorney taking a cut of each and every payment. Incentive by any stretch.

If she doesn’t manage this just think of the ramifications of YOUR offspring living in poverty as luk-khruang in the boondocks, cared for by a resentful family. They don’t have an easy time, always that stigma. This is Thailand, not the tolerant Philippines we’re talking about, but please don’t do it there either – the poverty in the latter is far worse! Even if the impossible happens – the child does manage to get educated and they do track you down and turn up on your doorstep one day. Be a rude interruption to the family outing, methinks.

Here’s another one: just imagine the father decides to do the right thing and marry the woman in question and she fails the health and character checks. As all readers know, getting permanent residency to a western country for a spouse is about as easy as joining MI6 these days.

How does the prospect of years in a loveless and fractious marriage sound just because she got up the duff and you stuck around?

In truth, it’s not so much the smart thing to do; more likely it makes good business sense to use protection and I stress the word ‘business’, campers. You get to partake of awesome and responsible leisure activities and she gets to carry on her occupation another day. Every professional courtesy counts. Who knows, maybe the lovely lady will one day make a perfect wife…but it most likely won’t be with you. Your chances of picking up a virus are possibly higher than that.

As for the GTGs and other respectable types, the same precautions would apply; more so. If they happen to be genuine ‘good’ types then chances are they’re totally naïve when it comes to safe relationships.

Anyhow I write this to the background of a ten-hour-tape-loop of the Trololo Man I found online. Ideal for getting rid of pesky influences like my son’s Dingo-cross cattle dog who fears nothing and otherwise wouldn’t leave me alone. Might I suggest this for anybody who may be having difficulties getting that persistent overnight guest to leave the room, after all it’s eleven a.m. and another whole day and night ahead awaits the intrepid…

Ten days till I catch that ‘plane outta here…whoohoo!! RIP Mr. Khil.



Stickman's thoughts:

I have often heard it said that pregnancy is a potentially worse outcome of barebacking than contracting something (which in all likelihood will be something curable, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and the like can be knocked out).