Stickman Readers' Submissions July 3rd, 2012

HIV & You: Sober Truths

This is an excellent thread of discussion continuing from the previous readers submissions. Unfortunately accurate information is hard to come by. I have some to share with you. I wish I had good news. I believe the biggest problem with HIV in LOS is that Farang leave their brains at the airport.

The first point I want to make is that Thailand is full of liars. In fact it's bursting at the seams with liars, so don’t believe everyone that tells you they are healthy and not infected and there is no HIV on the scene. There are many beautiful, honest and fantastic expats in LOS but… plenty of shady liars, dishonest conmen and ignorant fools. This last lot believe they are immune to HIV.

The second point is beware of “Lies, lies and damned statistics”. I am afraid many of the statistics bandied around about HIV infection in some of these articles are wildly inaccurate (see below).

The third point is that some men think that if they have sex with a HIV infected women they have a small chance of catching it. This is an area I have some expertise in. I am a healthy white South African male. I live in England but the HIV infection rate in South Africa is massive. Nearly all infections are from male to female transmission. Unfortunately it is in South Africa’s poorer population where many infections mostly happen. It is all heterosexual sex. Black African cultures have very little homosexual activity and no needle addicts. For the last 10 or 15 years one in ten South Africans is HIV positive.

Please don’t think that there is a different strain of HIV in Africa or that Africa is different. All HIV comes from Africa and this is the continent it started in. The Asian HIV comes from Africa and every strain does the same thing… attack your immune system and try to kill you.

Now everything I have told you is common sense. An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2009 out of a population of 50 million. Prevalence is 17.8 % among those aged 15-49, with younger adults being particularly affected. These are verified 100% true facts that have been acknowledged and checked many times. Ask any South African and they will tell you it's true or search the internet for: AIDS IN AFRICA and you will be in for a shock. I have personally seen with my own eyes the devastation AIDS has wrought on the African continent. Many of the countries in Africa have similarly high infection rates with parentless children, abandoned villages and a sick young workforce who are dying out.

Now here is my point… If this is what happened in South Africa with normal heterosexual people having sex then you better believe it's happening and is going to happen in Thailand in the community of prostitutes and their Farang customers. This is common sense, is it not?

The fourth point I want us to think carefully about is doctors. Qualified doctors know what they are talking about. Trust them. They don’t BS. Every single Medical Doctor on earth will tell you to your face that unprotected sex with sex workers is a sky high risk… go and ask one!

My fifth point is that you won’t get proper HIV statistics in Thailand. They won’t even acknowledge Farang murder victims in LOS with gunshot wounds and knives sticking outof their stomachs. It damages the tourist business which they need. Thai people in their own communities probably have low HIV statistics or maybe it’s under control but… Farang sex tourists and prostitutes are a group within a group in Thailand and I believe HIV infection rates are high. It's common sense that they must be. Unprotected sex with prostitutes = high HIV infection.

Many Farang customers and the prostitutes are in constant transition. They are both like sailors who disappear and come back sometimes. Always new people coming into the scene and leaving. This makes it even harder to compile accurate figures on HIV.

My sixth point is how do you know that the people you see in the bars and dancing are not taking anti-retrovirals? I bet loads are… People with HIV look and feel normal. They look like everybody else. Nobody infected with HIV will admit it to you will they? Having AIDS is the worst thing that can happen to you, don’t expect anyone to tell you they are a carrier.

Nobody is immune to HIV… its impossible. Don’t for a second think a good diet will protect you from HIV because that is preposterous… eating beetroot and herbs is no defence !

Here are 2 articles I collected last year. This one is about what Thailand thinks is happening, and please
note the confusion.

The other article is about what is really happening. Please note that 20 Patong taxi drivers died of full blown AIDS
which is very rare. How many do you think are HIV positive and look healthy?

Only a condom works. I believe the best thing a condom does for you is give you piece of mind… and freedom to have consequence free sex with anyone you choose. Thailand is a fantastic place. You can enjoy it longer and in healthier condition just by using condoms. It is worth doing. Please reconsider if you are living a high risk lifestyle.

Stickman's thoughts:

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There's a lot of common sense here. Guys who systematically indulge in unprotected sex with sex worker after sex worker are totally reckless – and as I have said before, HIV is just one of the nasties they may pick up.

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