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WELCOME

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Welcome to Spring of 2024 (or for my southern hemisphere brother’s entry to Winter) and the revamped Curious Chaser. Some long-standing Curious Chaser members will likely read this, but by and large this article is directed more at people signing onto the site during or after April 2024. It is also directed towards long standing site members who have yet to post anything in the forums.

If you are morally opposed to even thinking about chasing, this isn’t a place for you. Good on you for having clarity of what is right for yourself. But what’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for others

From our start, our efforts on Curious Chaser have been to inform and hopefully engage with our members. But in truth; dozens have signed up to become members and don’t post anywhere. One can reply to articles, and many times there develops a bit of a conversation there. On their own those are quite nice.

Our focus is about reading and interacting. We’re developing a pretty good reputation in our chaser community. And we hope to be the primary place we participate in our cyber life – and ideally in person with each other. Where else are we going to meet like minded people?
In our new format; newbies are stuck in the Curious Vestibule. I am not in a rush to move anyone out of there. I would like to get a sense that they’ve read some of the articles; maybe even commented there. In fact, this article will be a sticky at the top of the Welcome Forum; the place new comers go to introduce themselves.

Disturbing to me in our past are the number who are signed up and go quiet. Each of those to me is like having an open window for our neighbors to view and make their own judgement about us; without involving us in that conversation. We are happy to talk about chasing (and the obvious other half, gifting). But if one just wants to read what we write to each other and then film a documentary about us without our voice’s integral to it; we’re not interested in letting you read our intimate conversations. If you’ve already decided we’re a sick bunch and just want some juicy words to toss about absent context, really, keep it to yourselves. For this site though; you’re stuck here for a few weeks and then all access disappears.

Newbies are expected to post their own comments. Minimally introduce themselves to the moderators. We’ve eliminated the need to approve new messages as we’ve restricted newbie access to the site to just that one forum. Those who don’t participate go no further. We’ve added moderators here who are broadly representative of our community. We’ve asked them to interact with newcomers just as CuriousOne and I do.

We have a few hundred approved members who suddenly got put in the entry portal back when we transitioned earlier this month. So far, no evidence that they’ve logged in since. We’ll be trimming that herd; but have little urgency as they have limited view of the site. But over the next few weeks; all who were just watching and not commenting will have their access to the site removed altogether.

One of my new forum posts visible only to newbies speaks to those who observe their view has dropped dramatically. Now is the time for them to participate, or depart. Once we’ve deleted those accounts; I’ll remove that particular forum post as it won’t apply any longer. Some in the group have come forth and we’ve changed membership as a result.

The only ones who now have backroom access have already participated in discussions; even if they’ve been away for a while. As a result, we’ve achieved that safer space where the rest of us here can speak more openly knowing some TV station somewhere isn’t building a story about us.

OUR COMMUNITY

Our community is comprised of both poz and neg guys; and some medicated and some not. We are not intending to be overtly exclusive of Women. Those who choose to participate are welcome. One doesn’t have to be “seeking the bug today”. In fact, we hope to gain members who are just acknowledging their interest in the topic of bug chasing. I believe for most of us; initially as we began to acknowledge that the idea boned the fuck out of us; cognitive dissonance set in with a simultaneous WTF mental response.

As site owner and poz myself, I am not recommending one get infected. Truly, it isn’t for everyone; some will assert it isn’t for anyone. Many of us though find bug chasing a draw that continuously pulls us in. Some of us are going to seroconvert and become HIV Poz. When that happens, and/or if you’re living with HIV and having any sort of difficulty, please email me at pozbearwi@curiouschaser.com. I will connect you to other online resources. The poz community which is diverse is a mutually supportive one. We have to be as there are few advocates for research, testing and treatment, or navigating life when the side effects of HIV occur.

I believe each person should have full domain over their own person. What some perceive to be self-harm others perceive to be self-love and acceptance. And honestly, we will all be better off if we stick our nose in our own business where it should be invited, and not in the decisions others make for themselves, where it isn’t invited. An analogy, it isn’t up to me to love a guys tat; more important to me is that he loves his own tattoos. It is a pleasure to hear how each is significant to him.

Some here have chosen no meds. It doesn’t matter whether they’re neg or poz; they’ve chosen to experience life with whatever bug and virus they have and time will tell who wins. I am hoping that part of our community will contribute how they are experiencing it. AIDS isn’t a pleasant ending. Still, I love my brothers who choose that and definitely want to interact and enjoy our time together. Late life, however it happens is significant and hopefully isn’t experienced alone. Know that you’re going to meet a few chasing brothers who have chosen to let HIV and/or other infections run their course.

Others love a life on PrEP. They can play to their hearts content and almost always will not get infected with HIV. I do note a lot of PrEP guys online appear to not test for other STIs. And yet it is those other STIs which can reduce the effectiveness of PrEP. If you’re on it, I encourage you to test proportionally to your amount of play to maintain its effectiveness.

Still, others love the feeling of risk. Whether it’s sky diving or bug chasing the risk turns them on. They accept the consequences and in general put in whatever controls appeal to them to accomplish this.

And still others truly don’t want to chase at all, but reading stories and enjoying self love whilst doing that is a huge turn on.

Being a candid host, I have not yet been on ARVs. I have them. If one is going to start them, and unless CD4 has not tanked, it is better to build in an inventory before you start them as prescription shortages are occurring more frequently. Starting/stopping/starting casually is a sure way to develop med resistance in oneself. We’re already experiencing both weather and geological events giving us more frequent occurrences disrupting supply chains. I am fortunate to have genetics making me a slow progressor. I have time before HIV starts to impact my immune system significantly. And indeed, it has started. I have started laying in my inventory; and may start on them after my Summer plans are done. Assuming I do start them; I am already planning periodic med holidays where I can share HIV with fellow chasers.

WHERE ARE WE GOING WITH THIS SITE

Regarding the future of Curious Chaser… It would be lovely if we could create an easy-to-use connections site. But those connections carry risks. And open chasing/gifting posting on Grindr is apt to get blocked. On a site whose purpose is chasing and gifting; do we really want a call me at 999-555-1234 and I’ll infect you with HIV? I sure as heck don’t want to see that appear in my local paper or talk of the town site. I have asked the moderator group to give that topic some thought and help develop some ideas on how to make such a concept work in our global community.

Absent such a site, we can nonetheless connect with each other with the messaging feature; and make direct arrangement with each other if we wish to. I’ve done that some; and encourage our members who are actually chasing/gifting to consider doing that with members who might be nearby.

Now that doesn’t imply that everyone here has to be an active gifter or chaser. Interest in it, wanting to know more, curiosity without action is fine. All by itself, absent any risk whatsoever, one can engage in “poz talk” sex; have a great time and no one gets infected with anything. There is absolutely no expectation that everyone active on the Curious Chaser backroom is, for themselves, chasing. Many will still be discovering for themselves. This is in fact the primary intention of Curious Chaser; to help each other work through our thoughts and challenge regarding this. But also, I would like to be helpful to my brothers in every stage; from first curiosity, to host poz stories and great bate sessions, to sharing our bugs with each other, to letting nature take its course to our end. All of this encompasses our community. Quoting Dr Cutie on the TV show New Amsterdam; “how can I help?”

If those discussions devolve into name calling or shaming us for thinking about where our curious minds take us, threats to each other; we will shut that down cold. We have a couple ways to do that. We can edit the post to remove the shaming parts if one can do that and still have a cogent message left. Or we can just delete it altogether. It is our site; not the public library. We are under no obligation to tolerate attacks. If we observe such activity, you can be sure CuriousOne or PozBear will be DMing you to “have a conversation”. FWIW one such conversation has already occurred and that member continued his rude behavior and is no longer here.

I have yet to meet a fellow chaser; one who isn’t just exploring the idea; but actually, enjoying free and open raw sex understanding that from time-to-time bugs show up; who is bugged by bugs. That isn’t to imply we set a goal to get Chlamydia by Christmas. Just that raw play is our preferred sex, and experience taught us bugs were going to happen from time to time. Our STD Clinic gave us “the talk”, and we nodded, said thank you; then went to the bathhouse and played awhile

WRAPPING THIS UP…

All this is my backdrop. I for one, and I believe we all want a space free of spectators but with plenty of participants. We don’t want to go to an empty bathhouse, cuz what fun is that? But we also don’t want to be enjoying ourselves at a bathhouse and be raided. When we’re there, we want to enjoy ourselves with like minded fellows.

If you were around going to gay bars in the 1970’s they had just started to reach an accord in their municipalities where the cops left patrons alone and the patrons pretty much stayed there with each other. Around Chicago we referred to is as boys town; and within there we were largely left alone.

Now we’re at a new time and place and most of those gay bars and bath houses are long gone. We’re left with an internet presence. It is up to us to figure out how to make this work for us collectively and for us, individually.


Featured Photo: Image by Tim Marshall via Unsplash.
Article ID: CC078
Version Control: 1.0 – April 15, 2024: Original article published.

Bug Chasers: The Men Who Want HIV Documentary

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When you watch a documentary, the intention is to learn something about a particular subject based on information that is factual. If you would like to watch a documentary about bug chasing hoping to be informed from a neutral standpoint, I would not recommend the documentary recently released by Channel 4 that was produced by Future Studios, as this 20 minute documentary provides some insight into bug chasing, including a selection of facts that are overshadowed by a significant amount of bias that will most likely lead to a large percentage of viewers ridiculing those who are gay or HIV-positive and create stigma due to the way this documentary was presented.

Channel 4 is a publicly owned British free-to-air public broadcast television channel owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation that receives no public funding and is funded entirely by its commercial activities, including advertising. Future Studios is a production company based in London that makes documentaries and factual TV for Netflix, Channel 4, the BBC, Snap Originals and others. The producer of this documentary admitted on film to infiltrating online communities to find bug chasers and learn more about bug chasing, and shared that it was difficult to find bug chasers and gift givers, due to the small percentage of people who do actually chase and gift, yet when the presenter did find 2 people to talk to, he admitted to being disturbed by how open and honest they were.

“Bug Chasers: The Men Who Want HIV” was released by Channel 4 Documentaries via their YouTube Channel on March 8, 2024 and is presented by HIV-activist Nathaniel Hill. Nathaniel revealed in the documentary that he became HIV-positive at age 16 following a sexual encounter in a church yard, which would have been at a time before PrEP became available in the United Kingdom. Being infected with a lifelong virus at such a young age would understandably have affected the presenter’s mental wellbeing, which still appears to be the case due to the tears and him breaking down during the production and as such, it would be naturally difficult for him to remain impartial, as he’s too close to the subject and it’s a very personal issue for him.

As many HIV-positive people know, the stigma surrounding HIV can be consistently intense, even in this day when more information is known about HIV/AIDS, such as the virus being untransmittable when a person is undetectable and there’s also medication available for those who want to protect themselves from becoming infected with HIV if they choose to. It may have seemed like a great idea for someone who became HIV-positive unintentionally to present a documentary about those who want to become HIV-positive intentionally, but when the presenter appears to be still affected by what happened to him several years ago, it’s going to be difficult for this person to maintain journalistic objectivity, which is what has happened in this case.

Another issue is the length of the documentary. Bug chasing is a very complex issue, so a 20 minute documentary is not even going to scratch the surface of something that involves a lot of emotion and thought processes. Bug chasers don’t just wake up one day saying they want to become a bug chaser and go out later that same day seeking the virus, they will often consider why they feel this way and research this over a significant period of time (sometimes years) to help them understand themselves before they even consider such a thing. For this reason, those involved with producing the documentary missed an opportunity to provide more information about HIV, why some people desire the virus and being able to explore a deeper insight into bug chasing and gift giving, even though the production team had access to a number of people who were able to provide this insight.

Many bug chasers use Curious Chaser to help them understand themselves better, but the producers decided to use small portions of this website to add controversy to their documentary. They failed to include or acknowledge other information from the articles or forum threads here that include important information on the subject and instead chose a couple of posts to help sensationalise the issue to support their agenda. When you’ve got a plethora of forum posts (currently over 7,500), with many of these threads providing information giving a better understanding into bug chasing and instead chose to feature a couple of posts to support the viewpoint the producers took the documentary in shows reckless journalism, yet this is one of the most important tools the media will use to promote and market themselves.

As Channel 4 is a British public broadcast service that derives their income from advertising, they need to attract an audience, which puts pressure on the producers to make content that will captivate an audience, so to do this, they need to explore subjects that can be controversial, which will attract attention and create a discussion that will lead to more attention to keep the advertisers happy and to keep the establishment funded and those within the establishment employed. This happens at the expense of others and makes it more difficult for the broadcaster to provide quality productions that explore subjects based on full facts and not just a selection of facts overshadowed by a significant amount of bias.

The 2 people who appeared in this documentary answered questions honestly and were most likely hoping that the documentary would be presented in a respectful and neutral manner, which the producer indicated “would take place in a safe and non-judgmental/stigma free environment”. I’m sure these people were also disappointed by how the documentary was presented and may now feel like victims of the media. I will say this again: it’s difficult for a person who has been deeply affected by HIV, who is an HIV-activist to present a documentary like this to consider the pros and cons of bug chasing and present the facts in an impartial manner so the audience can consider complete information and not just selected segments of information.

The viewers of this documentary will likely have responses of disgust towards gay people and those who are HIV-positive, not only bug chasers or gift givers due to the way this documentary was presented, so the presenter has actually done a disservice to those in his own community through his involvement in this documentary even though the presenter stated that he was trying to smash stigma. By trying to highlight something without presenting all the facts to viewers, those watching will form an opinion based on what they have seen, which is a problem and it makes me wonder what the intention of the presenter was with this documentary, especially when others were interviewed and their contributions were not included in the documentary.

In addition to this, Channel 4 Documentaries released a further documentary on March 15, 2024 called “I Contracted HIV on Purpose”, which involves 3 people intensely questioning a gift giver, again making a further spectacle of HIV-positive people, which gives an opportunity for these people to spew disgust in the direction of the person who was trying to be honest with them. I stopped watching this partway through due to the agenda Channel 4 seems to have about bug chasers and gift givers at this present time. I urge all bug chasers and gift givers to immediately stop participating in interviews and research projects, because people cannot help themselves and continue to introduce bug chasing to their audience in a style that’s controversial and devoid of all the facts at our expense.

I actually question whether this should be called a documentary, as there’s a lot of personal opinion squeezed into the 20 minute video. Perhaps it should be referred to as a short film rather than a documentary, as it doesn’t completely meet the criteria to be considered a documentary, as it doesn’t contain all the key ingredients that make up a documentary, which is all the facts presented to the viewer to help the viewer learn from what they have seen, this only includes a selection of facts overshadowed by personal opinion, disbelief and grief. What viewers will learn from a documentary like this is how to be judgemental and ignorant, so if this was the intended outcome, then well done to those involved with producing it.

Everyone involved in this production should be ashamed of themselves due to the damage they have done to the gay community and also to HIV-positive people, who are likely going to be put under the microscope as being potential gift-givers. So what has happened is someone who appears to have been affected by HIV and stated in the documentary that he has tried to breaking down stigma and shame is now going to share the burden with others who have most likely had to struggle with the issue themselves and instead of educating people, this video is just stirring up mud and creating a murky discussion that sets back advances people may have made with their coping mechanisms.

The presenter was also quick to point the finger about the bug chaser costing the NHS money as a result of the medication he will eventually need to take, yet when you consider issues such as people taking drugs, eating too much, drinking too much, smoking too much, the costs associated with these issues completely dwarfs the costs a bug chaser might incur to the taxpayer, yet bug chasers are being scapegoated in this documentary as a burden to society and are being seen as taking a large chunk of NHS resources, which is not the case when you consider the number of people intentionally seroconverting, compared to those who are experiencing other health conditions as a direct result of their own actions.

According to an article released by The Health Foundation, the projected total number of diagnosed cases for the 10 conditions with the highest impact on health care use and mortality among those aged 30 years and older includes health conditions relating to drugs, diet, smoking and alcohol, with nothing on this list directly relating to HIV/AIDS conditions, so people need to stop associating HIV-positive individuals with taking resources away from the NHS and instead look more closely at others who are draining the system through other actions if this is something they want to do. In fact, people need to stop judging people altogether.

Top 10 Health Conditions / The Health Foundation

The video player splash image that was selected showing the gift giver wearing a mask is an image that portrays someone who looks frightening, which is an angle the producers appear to have been aiming towards. As the gift giver is being interviewed, and the bug chaser too, the presenter’s facial expressions showed his disturbed inner thoughts and feelings, which reinforces the fact that he was unable to maintain a neutral viewpoint and should not have been involved with this project, in fact, this project should never have been given the green light. The presenter also indicated that those who are participating in cruising are being exposed to HIV by the gift giver, yet he failed to mention that any of those men can immediately protect themselves by taking PrEP, yet he put the responsibility of the actions solely on the gift giver, which is wrong.

The documentary also failed to explore HIV exposure statistics, leading viewers to think that the moment someone is fucked bareback by an HIV-positive individual, they will became HIV-positive as a result. This is not the case and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the estimated probability of acquiring HIV from an infected source for receptive bareback anal sex is 138 cases per 10,000 exposures, or 1.38% and for insertive bareback anal sex is 11 cases per 10,000 exposures, or 0.11%. These number can increase based on other factors, such as 1,001 cases per 10,000 exposures (10.01%) for receptive anal sex where there is an acute HIV infection and 2,651 cases per 10,000 exposures (26.51%) for receptive anal sex when there is a sexually transmitted infection and acute HIV infection involved.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), PrEP is 99% effective against HIV transmission when taken correctly. For those who are going to get barebacked, taking a first double dose of PrEP 2 hours prior to getting raw fucked provides protection against the transmission of HIV, as PrEP prevents HIV from replicating inside the body. For those who fail to take PrEP 2 hours before getting barebacked; if they’re not already taking a daily dose of PrEP, can also protect themselves by taking a course of PEP by starting it within 72 hours of being exposed to HIV, something else that was also not discussed in the documentary.

This means those who wish to protect themselves from HIV prevention have the tools to do so, which is why it’s important for everyone to be responsible for protecting themselves, if this is what they want to do. Anyone who has bareback sex needs to understand and accept that sexually transmitted infections are commonplace (whether this involves heterosexual sex or homosexual sex), so if a person doesn’t want to become exposed to STIs, then they should use a condom or disengage from having sex and derive pleasure from an alternative source.

The presenter became infected by HIV at an early age, which was when PrEP was not yet available in the United Kingdom, however, this has now changed and more information is also known about HIV, due to people being more open to having discussions about sexual health, although documentaries like this might make people be afraid to speak or have conversations due to being concerned about being judged. PrEP became available in Scotland and Wales in 2017, in Northern Ireland in 2018 and in England in 2021, which was a long time after it became available in the United States, which was in 2012.

As PrEP is more widely available around the world, those who wish to protect themselves from HIV have a tool they can use. PrEP can be an important way to protect a person from those who stealth, who are people who intentionally lie about their HIV or deceive others, such as Daryll Rowe, who was convicted in the United Kingdom for deliberately transmitting HIV to people by deceiving them, which is a completely different situation to those who are giving their consent to be infected, however, other laws need to be considered about whether this is lawful, so it’s a more complex case and something that wasn’t thoroughly explored in the documentary.

Those who are HIV-positive can take antiretroviral medication to make their viral load undetectable, which is then considered to be untransmittable, which is a further way to reduce the spread of HIV, and it’s important to note that PrEP is 99% effective against the transmission of HIV from those who are detectable, so everyone has the ability to protect themselves if they choose to do so. As pointed out in the documentary, only a small number of people (less than 1% according to the academic featured briefly in the documentary) are bug chasers and gift givers, so this is not a massive public health issue like people might be thinking, so the cost to the taxpayer is not significant in comparison to other costs being spent on other health conditions, as demonstrated in the graphic above.

It’s important to reinforce that only a small number of people who are HIV-positive intentionally acquired HIV through bug chasing. I do feel for the presenter and many others became HIV-positive unintentionally and are now living with a life-long health condition that requires them to take antiretroviral medication for the rest of their lives when some people are trying to contract the virus intentionally. HIV is a serious health issue that can be managed through medication, which can be costly and is something anyone who is intentionally seeking the virus needs to consider as part of the decision as to whether they want to actively chase the bug before taking the next step. I also believe the presenter did have the best of intentions being involved with this documentary, but the documentary ended up being presented with bias, which is not something a documentary should incorporate.

What some may not know is that at least one person who offered to be interviewed was asked to undertake a psychiatric evaluation before participating in the documentary. This is rather disturbing and again highlights how invasive the producers were being to present their argument by alluding to bug chasers having a mental health condition, which again incorporates stigma and shame into the thought processes of others. I know a number of people who offered their valuable time to participate in this documentary, including Tim Tyler being one of them, yet their contributions were disregarded. Tim’s interview sadly didn’t make it into the documentary, which is a shame, as when you think about bug chasing, Tim Tyler is someone you will immediately think of.

Tim has a lot of knowledge and experience as a bug chaser and he recorded his interview and has asked for us to share this recording with you, which we are able to do, after checking with my friend who is a lawyer. We have been advised that because Tim made the recording of this conversation and due to all parties involved being aware that the conversation was being recorded, we are able to share Tim’s recording with you. In addition to this, the producers did not use any of Tim’s interview in their documentary and even if they did, the law would still have permitted for us to share Tim’s recording with you, as he has given us permission to do so. Just to reiterate, we are sharing Tim’s personal recording involving a conversation where all parties knew the conversation was being recorded and Tim has given us permission to share his personal copy of this recording with you.

Watch the Documentary:

Listen to Tim’s Interview:

References and External Resources:

Channel 4 Bug Chasing Documentary Links:


Featured Photo: Image by Matt Brown via Wikimedia Commons
Article ID: CC077
Version Control: 1.0 – March 24, 2024: Original article published.

2023 Bug Chasing and Gifting Giving Survey Results Published

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I would like to give a massive thank you to everyone who participated in the 2023 Bug Chasing and Gift Giving Survey. This survey received responses from 516 individuals, with the each response tallied and added to a combined total before being distributed to ensure nobody could be identified through their individual responses. If you would like to take a look at the graphical data, along with the comments received, you can do so by following this link. As you browse through the survey results, please remember that this is not a scientific survey, so you must not rely on any of the data or use it for any particular purpose.

This survey is conducted annually to capture changes in responses and also to provide an opportunity for different question and answer sets to be presented to participants. We received feedback from some participants through some of the individual questions and also at the end of the survey, which has been used to make the 2024 better, by providing additional responses to questions and also new questions have been asked to help us understand each other and ourselves better. Hopefully you will consider taking the 2024 survey so you can get involved and become a part of the next survey results, which you can do by following this link.

Many of you have been waiting patiently for the results to be published and this article explores some of the responses received, along with delving deeper into some of the data that has been extracted from individual responses. As soon as the data was graphed, it quickly became apparent that there’s some patterns that exist, which is what makes these surveys so exciting, because you can see where you fit in based on the global data, but remember we are all individuals, so don’t feel uncomfortable if you don’t feel like you fit in with the majority, because we each have different circumstances and we are who we are and shouldn’t change for anyone else.

The top 5 countries in terms of those who identify as either bug chasers or gift givers or who share a curiosity in the subject, includes the United States (282) at number 1, followed by the United Kingdom (57) in 2nd position and Australia (30) in 3rd place. The 4th and 5th place goes to Canada (20) and Germany (20) equally. Mexico made it to 6th place (9), with France (8) and the Netherlands (8) following closely, with Brazil (7) and Poland (6) also making it into the top 10 countries.

Due to the country data being overshadowed by the United States, this survey included details of state based regions for our United States participants, with the most popular state for those interested in bug chasing and/or gift giving being Texas (27), which was a massive surprise for me, followed by California (24), then New York (21) in 3rd place. Florida (18) came in at 4th place, followed by Illinois (14) in 5th place. I was thinking California, Florida and New York would be in the top 3 states, but my thinking was wrong when 27 participants from Texas showed us how much they are interested in HIV.

Most of those who participated in this survey were not taking PrEP at the time of taking the survey (272), with the next highest number of respondents coming in as being HIV-positive (95), followed by those who are taking PrEP (70) in 3rd position. As barebackers know, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a common part of our sexual life, with most respondents who reported having an STI having gonorrhoea (170), followed closely by chlamydia (168) and syphilis (126) in 3rd spot. HIV came in next (105), followed by herpes simplex virus (94) in 5th spot.

It seems that many participants undergo regular STI testing, with 85 tested in the past month of taking the survey, followed by 108 getting tested in the past 3 months of taking the survey. Most people have been tested within 12 months, but 55 respondents stated they have never been tested. When it came to the test results, 348 participants stated the results had not changed since their last test, but some did experience different results, with only a handful of respondents revealing changes, which indicates some of the STIs referred to were contracted some time ago or were known without the need for a test.

The largest number of responses about bug chasing came in at 129 who are actively chasing HIV exclusively, which totalled 209 when you add those who are chasing HIV and other STIs. Those who are curious about chasing HIV came in at 94, which increased to 128 when factoring in those who were curious about chasing HIV and other STIs. 73 participants passively chase, with 43 who successfully chased and 28 who do not actively chase and only consider bug chasing to be a fantasy.

Most people started thinking about bug chasing between the ages of 18 and 21 (79), with this also being the highest number of participants who stated the started actively chasing in this age bracket (55). This same age group came in at 3rd position based on the age when the participant became HIV-positive, with the ages between 26 and 30 and 31 to 35 coming in equally at 20 each. On an interesting note, if you consider the responses from those who started thinking about bug chasing when they were under 16 (45) and those who were 16 to 17 years (48), this would have come in at the highest number of responses (93), although the same formula does not correspond to those who actively started chasing between these ages, indicating those who were younger when they started thinking about bug chasing took their time to think about bug chasing more before starting to actively chase.

Desire (315) is the biggest connection participants have to bug chasing, followed by those who find poz men sexually appealing (295) coming in a close 2nd, followed by those who enjoy the risk (284) coming in 3rd. The majority of respondents are chasing HIV-1 (349), followed by HIV-2 (271), which is then followed by gonorrhoea (107), syphilis (94) and chlamydia (89). When you compare the responses from those who reported having an STI, gonorrhoea was the top spot (170), followed by chlamydia (168) and syphilis (126), so these results are closely aligned, however, HIV is still the ultimate STI bug chasers are interested in chasing.

Most of those who are interested in chasing the bug feel exited (319), but 119 respondents are struggling with accepting their desire to chase HIV, followed by 105 who feel comfortable and 98 are ashamed. This confirms that bug chasing can affect us emotionally, and this is why it’s important for us to be able to talk about the way we feel, which is why our online community is so important, as many of us are confused, worried and having a difficult time accepting our interest in bug chasing, although there are a significant amount of us who have been able to process the way we feel and actually feel good about ourselves and our need to become HIV-positive.

When it comes to choosing a time to start taking antiretroviral medication if we do become HIV-positive, most respondents stated that they would only start taking medication when their body told them to (135), followed by 100 stating they would never take medication and 63 stating they would start taking medication before they develop AIDS. 59 participants indicated they would start taking medication if a healthcare professional advised them to, with a smaller number of respondents choosing a particular timeframe, with most being within the first 12 months of becoming infected.

Most bug chasers stated they would be willing to share HIV with other bug chasers (219) if they became infected, followed by 114 stating they would engage in bareback sex and see what happens and 81 not wanting to pass the virus on, although 73 indicated they would stealth, which is a significant number based on how much sex we have, with the majority, if not all of our sexual encounters being bareback. 264 respondents said that nobody should have to pay to become HIV-positive, where the virus should be shared freely and 148 said it depended who was offering it, but those willing to pay were prepared to pay $500 (17), with $200 (9) and $1,000 (9) coming in next, followed by $100, although someone was prepared to pay up to $10,000, with one respondent stating he would pay as much as he could afford.

Those who want to get a poz-centric tattoo revealed that most wanted to get a biohazard tattoo (229), followed by a scorpion (64) the next most popular poz-centric tattoo, but 150 stated they would not get a poz-centric tattoo. A whopping 241 respondents stated they would not want a cure if one became available, as they want to stay HIV-positive for the rest of their life, which supports the importance of those who want to become HIV-positive to stay connected to the virus for the rest of their life. For those who are HIV-positive, most (17) have been HIV-positive for between 11 and 15 years, with 14 being HIV-positive for 3 to 4 years and the same number HIV-positive for 16 to 20 years. If you consider the responses between the past 12 months data range, this came in at 17 new infections.

When it came to those who chased the bug, 17 participants said it took them between 1 to 2 years to become HIV-positive, with the next most popular response being 5 to 6 years with 8 responses, followed by 3 to 4 years with 7 responses. As many bug chasers are finding out, it can be difficult to contract the virus, as many people who are HIV-positive are taking antiretroviral medication, so they are undetectable and unable to pass the virus on, but even those who are detectable will not infect every person they have unprotected sex with, as scientific evidence has found it can statistically take a number of exposures to HIV for a person to become infected.

Interestingly, most of those who became HIV-positive did so unintentionally, with 50 respondents stating they became infected as a result of barebacking, with 43 participants becoming infected intentionally through bug chasing. Most people (57) don’t not know who infected them, but 51 people do know who infected them, so this is a fairly equal result. For those who became HIV-positive and consider themselves to be gift givers, 36 stated they have never started taking antiretroviral medication, with 16 starting in the first two months and 31 starting in the first 12 months. Some participants stopped taking medication to share the gift with others, with most responses coming in for an unknown length of time, with no further time periods given.

There’s a variation between the way those who answered the gift giving questions revealed their HIV status to others, with 43 responses saying it depends, followed by 33 who said they are honest, with only 9 responses coming in at being dishonest. 37 responses were received stating that someone asked them to infect them, which they did and a further 23 responses stating they were asked to infect them, which they followed through with, but it’s unknown if they infected the other person. 28 responses were received from those who had someone talk to them about it, but they never followed through.

Most respondents (31) stated they would never stealth someone, but 24 responses came in saying they would say whatever needed to be said based on the situation, 23 responses involved misleading someone by saying their were HIV-negative, 14 lied about being undetectable and 14 damaged a condom so it broke, with 13 saying they didn’t know their status and 8 removed the condom during sex. As it can be unknown whether someone has successfully infected another person, most respondents (48), said they were not sure if they have gifted anyone, followed by 19 responses for nobody, with 10 responses coming in at infecting between 4 and 5 people (which works out to be between 40 and 50 people, before factoring in them possibly infecting others), and 9 responses for between 6 to 10 people (which works out to be between 45 and 90 people (before factoring further possibilities in).

Those with personal experience being HIV-positive, 53 responses came in stating they would recommend being HIV-positive for sure, with 49 stating they might recommend it depending on the person, with only 9 responses stating they would not recommend becoming HIV-positive. An overwhelming 97 responses came in saying that they have no regrets becoming HIV-positive on purpose, with 4 responses stating they were experiencing other issues, 2 experiencing health issues and 1 experiencing social issues.

As you can see, there’s some interesting data that has been uncovered through this survey and I am very grateful to everyone who took the time to get involved and participate in the survey. This helps us better understand ourselves as individuals, but also as a community, which is why these surveys are so important. The 2024 survey is now open and is structured differently this time around, with questions presenting based on previous responses, meaning only relevant questions will be displayed, which makes this survey more efficient and participants can also provide some information through 5 questions that allow text responses if they choose to.


Featured Photo: Image by drobotdean on Freepik.
Article ID: CC076
Version Control: 1.0 – January 3, 2024: Original article published.

Season’s Greetings from Curious Chaser

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Another year has almost reached its conclusion, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank a number of people who have helped make Curious Chaser an essential resource for those who are interested in bug chasing and gift giving and also for making this a warm and welcoming community for those who might be struggling to understand why they are attracted to a virus that currently has no cure. By being part of a community that features like-minded people on the same path or who might have already walked this path before us, can help each of us understand ourselves better and also appreciate that we are not alone on this journey or this way of thinking.

There are many people I would like to thank for making this website the best that it can be and I would like to start by thanking Jim for his amazing support. Jim became an administrator throughout the year and has contributed a significant amount of his time to help make continued improvements to this website and he also promptly approves new members and pending posts in the forums to keep everything moving as smoothly as possible. Jim has also provided some amazing insight into what it’s like to become HIV-positive through his online diary entries, after his successful conversion throughout the year, which happened with the assistance of Will and Shane, who are also valued members of this community.

I would also like to thank Duane for his moderation assistance at the beginning of this year before he later retired from his moderating role, which was quickly picked up by Tony. I am very grateful for the assistance of both Jim and Tony, as administrator and moderator roles involve a lot of work, because it’s important for us to approve requests as quickly as possible, especially now that we live in a world where real-time is considered the norm, so nobody wants to be sitting around waiting too long for something to be approved. Even though these roles involve a lot of work that is constant, not many people will understand or appreciate the level of work that goes into these roles, but I am acutely aware and I want to express my appreciation for the time and effort that goes into this.

Interaction is what makes this website special, so I would also like to acknowledge Todd for hosting the fantastic Zoom meetings. I have only been able to attend a couple of these and I have enjoyed them, but I am a big fan of how these meetings introduce another element to the conversation, because we can ask questions and discuss topics in real-time, which is extremely important. These meetings also make us appreciate that we come from various parts of the world, with the theme of bug chasing and/or gift giving bringing us together through the common theme of HIV. Todd tries to host these meetings at different times and days so as many people as possible can attend, and even though we can’t make a time that’s perfect for everyone, I appreciate his efforts to include as many of you in these meetings as possible.

As a further extension to the interactivity that’s offered at Curious Chaser, I would also like to thank Thomas for creating Cum Tales, which is a real-time chat and messaging system hosted at Telegram, which is a great place for everyone to get to know each other better. It’s also a place where you can share multimedia and also have a chat with other likeminded people. Curious Chaser does not have a live chat feature yet, but this is something we are looking at adding in the future, so thank you to Thomas for creating this Telegram group in the meantime to fill this gap.

If you have participated in the Bug Chasing and Gift Giving Survey throughout the year, I want to thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and share your responses and comments if you left any. You have given your trust when sharing this information with me and I will continue to ensure each individual response is added to the total number of responses received to protect your identity. I have been busy collating the survey responses, which currently requires a lot of manual work and in January I will be publishing the full results, along with some commentary, which you are welcome to get involved in as well. If you haven’t yet participated in the survey, you have a few more days to get involved, so click here if you would like to participate so you can become a part of the 2023 survey. A new survey for 2024 will be released in January for you to get involved with if you would like to participate.

This would not be a community if it wasn’t for everyone who is a part of it, so I want to thank everyone who has visited Curious Chaser throughout he year and I would also like to thank those of you who are active in the forums. This year we tried to make some improvements to the forums by created two access levels, that way those new to bug chasing wouldn’t feel overwhelmed by some of what is discussed and at the same time we want everyone to be able to speak freely. I acknowledge that we carried out this transition in a clunky way and I am sorry for those of you who were frustrated by this change. We figured out a way that would have been smoother after we implemented the changes after gaining the insight into the process, but this was too late and led to the frustration that was experienced.

Bug chasing can bring shame and stress to a person who might be first starting to explore why they are interested in becoming infected with a virus that has no current cure based on the way many people view bug chasing. I felt the shame and anxiety when I first wondered why I was attracted to HIV and had tried to overcome these thoughts, but after many years I wanted to learn more, then struggled to find resources that could help me understand myself better. This is why being a part of a community where you can learn more can be helpful and a good way to understand yourself better. So when you take the step to read through the articles or create a profile here to access the forums, this is a massive step and one that takes a significant amount of courage, so thank you for doing this, rather than feeling alone and struggling trying to figure things out by yourself.

Curious Chaser has been online for just over two years, with 75 articles and over 6,500 forum posts that have helped this website grow and this has improved our knowledge and understanding of bug chasing and gift giving. It’s important to continue to respect each other and know that it can take time for each of us to figure things out, so we should never feel pressured by others to rush into anything. As you are solely responsible for your decision making and actions, it’s imperative that you fully understand everything so you can make the right decisions, which can take time, so accessing as many resources as possible to help you do this is so important, which is what we aim to do here by providing information and links to further resources that are supported by health professionals.

The festive season can be a time of joy, but it can also be a time of sadness, especially if you are alone or you have lost friends and family along the way. That’s why this time of the year can bring different meanings and feelings for each of us, so please know that our community resources will be here for you as long as possible and also know that you don’t need to be an active chaser to be welcome here. Everyone who is at any stage of bug chasing, from curious to passive, former to inactive, it doesn’t matter, because not everyone will take the step to actively chase, yet they may still feel aligned to bug chasing in some regard, so just know that if you have any interest in bug chasing, you are welcome here, so you can learn more and understand yourself better. Season’s Greetings and we wish you the very best for 2024.


Featured Photo: Image by senivpetro on Freepik.
Article ID: CC075
Version Control: 1.0 – December 25, 2023: Original article published.

Poz Seeds: A Gift Giver Explains His Desire to Share HIV

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Learning from others as we explore the world of bug chasing and gift giving provides us with a unique level of insight and is also a great way to help us navigate our way through a subject that can often feel confusing and overwhelming due to the serious nature of being attracted to a lifelong virus that has no current cure. I. Que Grande hosts his own podcast called Demystifying Gay Porn and one of his segments is called Open Lines, which is the perfect place to learn more about those who appear on his show through interviews that are well structured and always very interesting to listen to.

I. Que Grande started as an editor for Dark Alley Media and helped launch the studio’s Raw Fuck Club brand, which incorporates a biohazard symbol into its logo, although this does not indicate that everyone appearing in their videos is HIV-positive, it’s simply a choice of branding that’s bold. The biohazard symbol can also be associated with barebacking, which is what Raw Fuck Club is all about, so this branding makes perfect sense. I. Que Grande currently works as a producer for Treasure Island Media and he’s also an award winning director, not to mention being the host of an impressive podcast featuring gay porn performers, where he puts the industry spotlight on those who have some great insight to share.

Season 3 Episode 12 of Open Lines “The Existent “Poz” Fetish” was released on February 26, 2022, where I. Que Grande interviewed a gift giver using the pseudonym Raw Bull. Raw Bull was prolific on social media in 2021 and 2022, but he experienced some issues with his social media accounts being shut down, with his first Twitter account @Raw_Bull getting shut down with a following of 5,000, then his second account @Raw_Bull2 was subject to review after a complaint at 3,000 followers, although his account continued to remain active for a while, but was shut down again not long after this, most likely due to open discussions about intentional HIV transmission. Raw Bull also appeared in a bareback video at Black Breeders along with Bailey Winter, where the scene was described as “The sexy Bull then fucks Bailey’s fuzzy hole raw and gives him 2 Poz loads!” with the hashtags #poz and #charged included in the scene description.

I do know Raw Bull’s real name, but he hasn’t included this level of detail in any of his social media posts, so I will respect his privacy by referring to him as Raw Bull throughout this article. I held off for quite some time before publishing this article, as Raw Bull has gone quiet since the deletion of his Twitter accounts and I was hoping he would come back so I could interview him myself to gain some further insight into his life personally and also as a prolific barebacker and gift giver. Due to his open and candid views about being pro-poz, Raw Bull has struggled to maintain a presence on social media platforms, as people have complained about his accounts and decisions have been made to shut down his accounts most likely due to this.

Raw Bull is a gift giver, but he revealed in his interview that he wasn’t an active bug chaser who was intentionally wanting to become HIV-positive, he was simply a guy who loved having bareback sex and he knew the risks involved and became infected as a result, which is an outcome he fully accepted and seems to have embraced. Raw Bull knows who infected him and revealed it was someone he met on Jack’d who was upfront and honest with him about being HIV-positive and also detectable, which didn’t stop him from having sex with him condom-free and not being on PrEP, knowing that he could become infected with HIV from their sexual encounter. Raw Bull was 29 when he was interviewed in 2022 and he revealed that he became HIV-positive 5 or 6 years earlier, which would have made him about 23 or 24 at the time he was infected.

Raw Bull stated he has not started taking HIV medication since becoming infected, as his body is managing the virus without any significant changes to his viral load or CD4 count. He went on to say that after he became HIV-positive, his sexual urge increased 10-fold, which is consistent with scientific evidence regarding this, although this is not the case for everyone. Raw Bull said that when he became infected, he didn’t feel any sickness, just a slight fever, then after he got tested, the result revealed his HIV-positive status, which he figured was a possibility after getting fucked raw by a detectable HIV-positive person.

When asked whether Raw Bull considered bug chasing as a fetish, he responded by saying “To me, not a fetish, I actually have been passing on my virus to many guys that really wanted to be infected.” Raw Bull revealed that he received between 80 to 100 messages on social media each day, with many guys hitting him up to poz them. Some travelled from Texas to New York City, where he passed it on and he also receives messages from guys in Europe who want it too. Raw Bull proudly shared videos and pictures of himself having bareback sex with guys and he has also posted screenshots from Telegram and WhatsApp on his social media account with conversations he’s had with bug chasers seeking the gift from him, some of which have been included in this article.

Raw Bull started out as a bottom, but now considers himself to be mainly a top and he’s 100% open and honest about being HIV-positive detectable with those who want to hook up with him. Raw Bull also revealed that he considers HIV to be a part of gay culture and our dynamic. In 2020, Raw Bull stated that he had encounters with over 300 guys, and in 1 week at the end of 2020, he met 10 guys and admitted to one that he was out of nut. He describes sex like fire, where his conversations are like gasoline, so once the guys physically connect with each other, it’s like an explosion.

As bug chasing is often seen as secretive or underground, Raw Bull reaffirmed this by saying that bug chasing is not rare, it’s just not talked about and often this comes down to shame or worrying about what other people might think about those who are into it. Raw Bull said he does not have any malicious intent when he infects other people with HIV and it’s all about having fun and not trying to punish others for himself becoming infected. Revealing more about when he was infected, Raw Bull said knowing the person fucking him was HIV-positive and detectable was all about the pleasure and it was an amazing feeling as they were raw dogging and being aware of what could happen during their sexual encounter.

I had hoped to be able to talk to Raw Bull before publishing this article so I could ask him some additional questions, but it looks like the continued deletion of his social media accounts has resulted in him taking a break from social media and being in the public eye at this time, but perhaps he’s still finding other methods to hook up with guys more discreetly in the meantime. If he reaches out to me, I will happily update this article to make it more comprehensive. I. Que Grande did say that this was a tough interview for him, but he still remained respectful throughout, so if you have 39 minutes and 27 seconds available, press play on the video below to start tuning in.

Video: Season 3 Episode 12 of Open Lines “The Existent “Poz” Fetish”

Featured Photo: Raw Bull / X (Formerly Twitter)
Article ID: CC074
Version Control: 1.0 – December 17, 2023: Original article published.

The 35th World AIDS Day – December 1, 2023

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It has now been 42 years since the first AIDS cases reported in the United States and this year commemorates the 35th event. World AIDS Day began in 1988 and has taken place on December 1 each year since to provide awareness about HIV/AIDS and to honour the lives of those affected by the epidemic. Each year a new theme is adopted, with the UNAIDS theme for 2023 being “Let Communities Lead“, with other themes around the world being “Remember and Commit” in the United States, “Rock the Ribbon” in the United Kingdom and “Inclusion. Respect. Equity.” in Australia.

The red ribbon is the most iconic symbol associated with HIV/AIDS campaigns and is widely recognised throughout the world. The ribbon was created in 1991 by a group of artists who gathered in New York City to discuss a project for Visual AIDS, which is a New York HIV-awareness arts organisation. The artists wanted to create a visual expression of compassion for people living with HIV at a time when the virus was highly stigmatised and people around the world were quick to embrace the symbol. Even though HIV/AIDS highly impacts the LGBTIQA+ community, the designers chose the colour red, rather than the rainbow pride colours, because they wanted to convey that HIV is relevant to everyone, with red being a colour that is bold and has associations with passion, the heart and love.


Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, World AIDS Day 2019.

Each year UNAIDS releases their Global HIV and AIDS Statistics Fact Sheet, which shows that 39.0 million people globally were living with HIV in 2022. When we delve further into the numbers, there’s a massive number of people who have been infected with HIV and estimates show that there have been over 40.4 million deaths from AIDS since the epidemic began in the 1980s. Not only is this a huge number of people who have directly died from AIDS, but the deaths of so many has also affected the lives of many others, including partner’s, relatives, family and friends.

This is why World AIDS Day is such an important day on the calendar, because not only does this event acknowledge the achievements that have been made to help those of us who have been infected with HIV/AIDS to live a life that’s comparable to someone who has not been infected with the virus, but also to remember those who have passed away as a result of the virus, because many of these people who passed away were not afforded the opportunity most of us have today to be able to take antiretroviral medication, should we choose to. Below is the latest data so you can see the changes that have taken place over the past few years.

GLOBAL HIV DATA202020212022
People currently living with HIV37,700,00038,700,00039,000,000
Total number of people infected with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic79,300,00084,200,00085,600,000
New HIV infections (people aged 15+ years)1,500,0001,300,0001,200,000
AIDS-related deaths680,000660,000630,000
Total number of AIDS-related deaths since the beginning of the epidemic36,300,00040,100,00040,400,000
People currently accessing antiretroviral therapy27,500,00028,700,00029,800,000
Source: 2021, 2022 and 2023 Global HIV Data / UNAIDS

There have been some reports of an increase in the number of new HIV infections around the world and as an example, data from the United States has been provided in this article to give some insight into the situation that is taking place there. The latest available data for the United States is from 2021, so according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of new HIV diagnoses increased 18% from 30,585 in 2020 to 36,136 in 2021, with the 2021 figure being similar to the 2019 figure of 36,845. This sharp decrease in 2020 cases appears to be the result of the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reducing access to HIV/AIDS services, so it might take us another year for the data to return to a level where a more accurate comparison can be made.

The CDC data indicates that 79% of new HIV diagnoses involved men at 79% (28,620 cases), with 67% (24,107 cases) involving male-to-male sexual contact, compared to 22% (8,059 cases) involving heterosexual contact. New diagnoses involving injection drug use came in at 7% (1,375 cases), with a combination of male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use coming in at 4% (1,375 cases). The largest number of new HIV infections in the United States affects the Black/African American race at 40% (14,528 cases), followed by the Hispanic/Latino race at 29% (10,467 cases), then the White race at 25% (9,063 cases). Most new HIV infections in the United States involved people aged 25 to 34 at 37% (13,204 cases), followed by those aged 35 to 44 at 21% (7,634 cases), then those aged 13 to 24 at 19% (6,987 cases). More than 52% (18,703 cases) of new HIV infections took place in the South of the country.

UNITED STATES HIV DATA
New HIV Diagnoses

20172018201920202021
38,79137,76236,84530,58536,136
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

It has been reported that there has been new HIV infection increases in other countries as well, with England reporting an increase in the number of new HIV diagnoses first made in England of 6% based on 2,444 new infections in 2022, compared to 2,313 in the previous year. This may also be the result of the COVID-19 pandemic skewing the data, although these new infections took place in 2022, which is being compared to the 2021 data, with the 2020 data being the main issue with COVID-19 skewing the data. According to AIDSinfo, there have also been some increases in newly infected cases for a number of African countries, along with Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

There are various AIDS memorials and museums around the world and in Australia, there is the AIDS Garden of Reflection, which is a living tribute to those who we have lost to AIDS and the garden is also in support of those living with HIV. The garden was opened in 2017 and is designed as a place of contemplation and for families and friends to honour those we have lost to HIV/AIDS. There may be other gardens around the world with a similar concept or places where we can also reflect on those who have passed away on this important day.

You can support World AIDS Day by looking up some of your local HIV/AIDS organisations and getting involved in various ways, some which are not monetary. Many HIV/AIDS organisations provide various forms of assistance to those who are affected by HIV/AIDS and without our support, the assistance they are able to provide is limited. When it comes to World AIDS Day, have a think about what it means to you, whether it be you are grateful for the advancements in research and healthcare, the increase in knowing about HIV/AIDS to reduce stigma, to remember and honour those who have passed away or a combination of these reasons.

Video: Rock the Ribbon / Scott Coello / National AIDS Trust

References and Further Reading:


Featured Photo: Image by Freepik
Article ID: CC073
Version Control: 1.0 – December 1, 2023: Original article published.

Your Guide to Common Sexually Transmitted Infections

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You might be familiar with the term Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), but there has been a shift to the term Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) in recent years, because the term “disease” can indicate a specific medical issue, whereas some viruses do not have any signs or symptoms, or people can have mild signs that can be overlooked. Some STIs can be the result of bacteria that can lead to an infection, but may not result in disease, which is why we’re seeing more frequent use of the term STI compared to STD, but both terms refer to the same topic, so you should feel comfortable using the term that feels right for you.

According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites are known to be transmitted through sexual intercourse, although 8 are more common. Some of the bacteria, viruses and parasites are curable, such as Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia, whereas some are incurable, such as Hepatitis B, Herpes Simplex Virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). It is believed that more than 1 million Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are acquired around the world each day, with many of them asymptomatic.

Out of these infections, an estimated 374 million new infections involved Chlamydia (129 million), Gonorrhoea (82 million), Syphilis (7.1 million) and Trichomoniasis (156 million). More than 500 million people aged 15 to 49 years of age are estimated to have a genital infection with Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) type 1. After hearing these figures, you might start thinking about putting a rubber on your dick the next time you fuck or get fucked, but condoms do not prevent some of these STIs, such as Syphilis or Herpes Simplex Virus, plus condoms also eliminate the exciting experience we enjoy when we bareback. Health professionals advise that condoms do provide effective methods of protection against many STIs, including HIV, so this information is being included here to provide balance to this article.

Some STIs can be prevented through vaccines, such as Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), while others can be effectively treated and cured through single-dose regimens of antibiotics, including Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis. When it comes to Herpes Simplex Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus, antivirals can help manage the disease, but they cannot cure it. Antiviral medications can help treat Hepatitis B and slow damage caused to the liver. There is also a concern about Gonorrhoea becoming resistant to antibiotics, which may eventually become untreatable.

It’s important to understand that a person can have an STI without having any symptoms and sometimes symptoms can vary and include discharge, burning sensation, sores and abdominal pain. Some STIs can increase the chances of contracting other STIs, such as Herpes Simplex Virus, Gonorrhoea and Syphilis improving the chances of acquiring HIV due to the symptoms of sores damaging the body’s natural defence mechanism, which is the skin barrier, so these STIs can make it easier for HIV to be transmitted from one person to another.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their draft guidelines on the use of Doxy-PEP for preventing some STIs, with the 45 day input period about to come to a close. Doxy-PEP uses an old antibiotic called Doxycycline to reduce the risk of developing Syphilis, Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia, which are very common STIs. The drug works similar to PEP for HIV prevention, which must be taken within 72 hours of exposure to HIV for it to be effective and Doxy-PEP must also be taken within 3 days of exposure for it to stop the development of certain STIs. Normally taken as a table once or twice a day, the drug can start to improve a patient’s symptoms within 2 days. There is a concern that the use or Doxy-PEP could worsen antibiotic resistance, especially Gonorrhoea.

To help you understand the most common Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), the information below includes some useful information about what to look out for and whether there are any treatment options available. Please be aware that the information provided in this article (and everything published at this website) is general in nature and must not be used for self-diagnosis. If you believe that you may have a Sexually Transmitted Infection, please seek professional medical advice as soon as possible so a medical professional can make a proper diagnosis. A special thank you to STI Atlas for making the pictures available on this page to help you identify some of the symptoms.


Chancroid (Bacterial)

Cases of Chancroid are considered to be rare in most countries, but is still common in parts of Africa, south west Asia and the Caribbean. Chancroid is caused by a bacteria called Haemophilus ducreyi and is passed on through anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person. After infection, one or more sores develop on the genitals or around the anus, which can increase the chances of HIV transmission. The sore begins with a red lump at the site of the infection, then fills with pus and eventually ruptures to create an open sore. Painful lymph glands can also occur in the groin, usually on one side of the body, although sometimes both sides can be affected.

Chancroid / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Penis, Scrotum, Anus, Groin

Symptoms:

  • Usually appear between 4 to 10 days from exposure
  • Sores develop on the genitals or around the anus
  • Starts with a red lump, then becomes an open sore once the lump ruptures
  • Painful lymph glands in the groin (mainly on one side)
  • Some people may not show any symptoms

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • A non-infected person’s genitals touching an infected person’s genitals

Treatable: Yes (antibiotics). Painkillers can also be taken if the sores are painful.


Chlamydia (Bacterial)

Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis that results in an infection in the genital area. It can get into the urethra and it can also infect the rectum and sometimes it can spread from the genital area to other parts of the body including the eyes and throat. Chlamydia is spread by sexual contact through anal, oral or vaginal sex and is one of the most common Sexually Transmitted Infections. Most people do not notice any symptoms, but the symptoms will usually appear 1 to 3 weeks after having unprotected sex with someone who has the infection and can also develop months later. Chlamydia can cause serious health problems later in life, but can be treated successfully with the use of antibiotics.

Chlamydia / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Eyes, Penis, Rectum, Testicles, Throat, Urethra

Symptoms:

  • Usually appear between 1 and 3 weeks after exposure, but may not emerge until months later
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • White, cloudy or watery discharge from the penis
  • Pain and/or swelling in the testicles
  • Burning or itching in the urethra

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • A non-infected person’s genitals touching an infected person’s genitals
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection
  • Infected semen or vaginal fluid getting into a non-infected person’s eye

Treatable: Yes (antibiotics)


Genital Warts (HPV) (Viral)

Genital warts are fleshy growths or bumps seen most often in moist areas in and around the genitals and anus including the inside of the opening of the urethra and may also be inside the anal canal. They are caused by a group of viruses called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Genital warts are highly contagious, very common and can recur. Genital warts can appear as white or flesh-coloured, smooth, small bumps, or larger, fleshy cauliflower-like lumps. Not everyone infected with HPV will develop genital warts. Some will be infected with a strain that does not produce warts, or they will not appear, even though the virus is present in the skin or mucous membranes around the genital area. You can apply drugs directly onto warts which will cause them to disappear, but they may reappear in the future. A vaccine is available to prevent certain types of HPV that cause most cases of genital warts.

Genital Warts / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Anus, Mouth, Penis, Scrotum, Thighs, Throat, Urethra

Symptoms:

  • May appear 1 to 3 months after initial infection
  • Flesh-coloured or grey painless growths or lumps around your penis, anus or upper thighs
  • Itching or bleeding from the genitals or anus
  • A change to the normal flow of piss (such as sideways) that doesn’t go away

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • A non-infected person’s genitals touching an infected person’s genitals
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection

Treatable: Yes (with creams, freezing or heating)


Gonorrhoea (Bacterial)

Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae or gonococcus and used to be known as “the clap”. Gonorrhoea can cause a white, yellow or green discharge from the penis, along with pain when passing urine. Most of the symptoms of infection will start within 1 to 14 days of infection and include a vague ache of the joints and muscles. Although these symptoms can disappear after a further 10 or so days, you are still considered to be infectious. If left untreated, Gonorrhoea can affect the prostate gland, spread to the testicles, result in fever and scrotal pain, can affect the joints and tendons and in rare cases result in skin irritation and inflammation around the brain and spinal cord or the heart. Gonorrhoea can be cured with antibiotics, although some drug-resistant strains are known to exist.

Gonorrhoea / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Anus, Penis, Rectum, Testicles, Throat, Urethra

Symptoms:

  • May appear in 1 to 14 days after exposure
  • White, yellow or green discharge from this penis
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Inflammation or swelling of the foreskin
  • Pain in the testicles (this is rare)
  • Possibly no symptoms until it spreads further

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection
  • Through the throat or eyes (less common)

Treatable: Yes (antibiotics). Note: Some drug resistant strains are known to exist.


Hepatitis A (HAV) (Viral)

Hepatitis A is also known as Hep A or HAV and is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. The virus is commonly found in human faeces and is commonly passed on by eating or drinking and can sometimes be passed on through unprotected anal sex and sharing needles. Hepatitis A is not usually serious and clears up on its own after 10 to 14 days.

Hepatitis A / STI Atlas

Affected Area: Liver

Symptoms:

  • May appear in 2 to 7 weeks
  • Sometimes flu-like symptoms, including tiredness, fever, aches and pains
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Jaundice – yellowish skin and whites of eyes, dark urine and pale faeces
  • Itchy skin

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal sex
  • Sharing contaminated needles and injecting equipment
  • Eating food prepared by someone with the virus who has not washed their hands properly
  • Drinking dirty water, including ice cubes
  • Eating raw or undercooked shellfish from dirty water
  • Being in close contact with someone who has Hepatitis A

Treatable: Yes (with vaccination)


Hepatitis B (HBV) (Viral)

Hepatitis B is also known as Hep B or HBV and is one of the more deadly Sexually Transmitted Infections, although there is a protective vaccine to prevent it. It can cause as little as a flu-like illness or as much as total destruction of the liver. Typically, it will cause different degrees of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes). There is no way of knowing if the person you are having sex with has the infection. Some people can ‘carry’ the virus and not know they have it. This is a serious liver disease, which can make you very ill. Hepatitis B can take months to recover from and in some cases can be fatal.

Hepatitis B / STI Atlas

Affected Area: Liver

Symptoms:

  • May appear in 6 to 90 days
  • Often no symptoms – but can be detected by a blood test
  • Sometimes flu-like symptoms, including tiredness, fever, aches and pains
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Jaundice – yellowish skin and whites of eyes, dark urine and pale faeces

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Sharing contaminated needles and injecting equipment
  • Using unsterilised tattoo, body-piercing or medical/dental equipment
  • Sharing towels, razor blades or toothbrushes with infected blood on them (this is rare)

Treatable: Yes (with vaccination)


Hepatitis C (HCV) (Viral)

Hepatitis C is also known as Hep C or HCV and is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. The virus is commonly found in infected blood, but can sometimes be found in semen. The virus is usually passed on through the use of contaminated needles or syringes, or other items that have infected blood on them and it can also be passed on through unprotected sex, particularly when blood is present. Without treatment, the virus can become chronic and cause liver disease and liver cancer and result in scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis.

Hepatitis C / STI Atlas

Affected Area: Liver

Symptoms:

  • May appear in 6 months
  • Often no symptoms – but can be detected by a blood test
  • Sometimes flu-like symptoms, including tiredness, fever, aches and pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice – yellowish skin and whites of eyes, dark urine and pale faeces

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal sex (involving blood)
  • Sharing contaminated needles and injecting equipment
  • Using unsterilised tattoo, body-piercing or medical/dental equipment
  • The transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection
  • Sharing towels, razor blades or toothbrushes with infected blood on them (this is rare)

Treatable: Yes (direct-acting antivirals)


Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) (Viral)

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is often referred to as Genital Herpes and is a viral infection of the skin which can infect the corners of the mouth, the outer parts of the genital areas and even the anus. There are two types of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV); HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both cause crusted blisters and then ulcers that weep a thin, watery substance. Herpes comes in attacks that can last for months, then disappear for years, or even never return. For some people, the condition will pass unnoticed, with only tiny ulcers on the penis to show its presence. Herpes Simplex Virus cannot be cured, as the virus never leaves the body, but outbreaks can be suppressed by using tablets and cream.

Herpes Simplex Virus / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Anus, Eyes, Hands, Mouth, Penis

Symptoms:

  • Usually appear 2 to 7 days after exposure and last 2 to 4 weeks
  • Itching or tingling sensations in the genital or anal area
  • Small fluid-filled painful blisters around the mouth and genital area
  • Discharge from the anus
  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Flu-like symptoms as the infection spreads

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Having skin-to-skin contact with the infected area
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection
  • Transferring the infection on fingers from someone else to your genitals

Treatable: Yes (treatable with tablets and cream). Note: Herpes cannot be cured, as the virus never leaves the body.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (Viral)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a condition in which the immune system begins to fail and is the virus that can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). People who are infected with the virus are said to be HIV-positive. Over time (usually many years) HIV affects a person’s immune system by infecting and killing off certain white blood cells, which means the body is less able to protect itself from disease. When the immune system has been badly damaged by HIV infection, people can get sick from infection or cancers and at this stage of HIV infection, a person is said to have AIDS. There is currently no cure for HIV; although a small number of people have been cured through stem-cell replacement, but the virus can be managed through antiretroviral medication.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Nowhere specific

Symptoms:

  • May appear after around 3 months and can differ from person to person
  • A fever, rash, sore throat, swollen glands, headache, upset stomach or diarrhoea, joint aches and pains and muscle pain (Stage 1)
  • No obvious symptoms (Stage 2)
  • Weight loss, chronic diarrhoea, night sweats, fever, persistent cough, mouth and skin problems, regular infections and serious illness or disease (Stage 3)

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Sharing contaminated needles and injecting equipment
  • Contaminated blood transfusions and organ/tissue transplants

Treatable: Yes (with antiretroviral drugs to control the virus). Note: HIV cannot be cured, as the virus never leaves the body.


Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) (Viral)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) that is spread through skin-to-skin contact and can affect different parts of the body and can also be referred to as genital warts. There are also different types of HPV, with some types having no visible symptoms or they may only cause warts, with some types that are especially spread through vaginal, oral or anal sex considered to be high-risk that can sometimes cause serious illness including certain cancers if left untreated. High-risk HPV is responsible for 5% of all cancers worldwide, including 90% of anal cancers and 50% of penile cancers. It can take up to 10 years for a high-risk HPV infection to develop into cancer, with men who have sex with men (MSM) having a higher risk of HPV-associated disease. A vaccine is available that is considered to be highly effective at preventing HPV-related illnesses.

Human Papilloma Virus / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Nose, Mouth, Throat, Anus, Penis, Scrotum, Perineum, Skin

Symptoms:

  • May appear up to 1 to 3 months after exposure
  • Sometimes there are no symptoms at all and the virus is cleared within 1 to 2 years
  • Genital warts can appear, which may be small and difficult to see or can join together to become larger.

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Close contact with an infected person, including hugging and kissing

Treatable: Yes (may heal naturally, warts can be treated with cryotherapy, creams or laser treatments)


Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV) (Bacterial)

This is a rare Sexually Transmitted Infection caused by the aggressive strains of the bacteria that cause Chlamydia and is mainly found in gay and bisexual male populations. LGV can cause severe symptoms, but it can be successfully treated with antibiotics. People with LGV may have fever, chills, weight loss, have sore muscles and joints and may feel generally unwell and if the infection is in the anus, this can create discomfort or paint and result in anal discharge or bleeding. Some people may not have any symptoms at all. If LGV is left untreated, it can result in scarring in the anus, which can cause narrowing of the rectal passageway. Treatment involves 3 weeks of antibiotics and sometimes surgery is required in later stages of the disease.

Lymphogranuloma Venereum / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Anus, Urethra, Penis, Rectum, Mouth, Groin

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms appear around 3 to 30 days after infection
  • A fever, chills, weight loss, swollen glands, anal discomfort, anal discharge and/or bleeding, joint aches and muscle pain
  • Lymph glands may become swollen and fill with pus, resulting in an abscess that may burst open
  • A small painless lump of sore can appear at the site of infection, which is usually on the penis, rectum or mouth.

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection

Treatable: Yes (antibiotics)


Molluscum Contagiosum (Viral)

Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral infection caused by the molluscipoxvirus, which can be transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact where there are breaks in the skin and it can also be transmitted sexually when it affects the genital area. The virus causes small painless pink or pearly white lumps on the skin. The top of the lump is indented and contains a white core. The infection can clear up on its own without treatment, which may take several months, with lumps often disappearing after about 2 months, with some taking up to 6 to 8 months, however, people who are immune suppressed may have more lesions that take longer to clear up. Cryotherapy (freezing) may sometimes be used for cosmetic reasons.

Molluscum Contagiosum / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Genital Area, Skin

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms may appear in 2 to 7 weeks, but it can sometimes take longer
  • Small painless pink or pearly white lumps on the skin with a white core on the top

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Close contact with an infected person, including hugging and kissing

Treatable: Yes (may heal naturally)


Non-specific Urethritis (NSU) (Bacterial)

Urethritis refers an infection of the urethra, which is the tube that runs from the bladder to the outside. Urine and semen pass through this tube. Non-specific Urethritis (NSU) most commonly means there is an infection in the urethra. Sometimes the cause of the infection can be found but often is not proven. If left untreated, non-specific urethritis may lead to inflammation of the scrotum and be painful during sex. Antibiotics can treat most urethritis infections.

Non-specific Urethritis / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Anus, Urethra, Penis, Testicles

Symptoms:

  • May appear up to 3 weeks after exposure
  • White/cloudy discharge from the penis
  • Inflammation of the testicles
  • Desire to urinate more frequently
  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Flu-like symptoms

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Sharing contaminated needles and injecting equipment

Treatable: Yes (with antibiotics)


Pubic Lice (Parasitic)

Pubic lice are tiny insects that are brown or grey in colour and shaped like tiny crabs, which is why people sometimes refer to having crabs and not pubic lice. They live on the course hair of the pubic area, body and armpits and may also live in strong hair of the face such as beards and eyelashes. Lice feed on human blood and can live up to four weeks on the human body, but die within 24 hours away from the human body on clothes, bedding or other material. An infestation can lead to minor complications, such as eye inflammation or infections and skin problems, along with the symptoms of scratching. Treatments can be purchased from the chemist or drug store and if you are taking antiretrovirals (ART), ensure you tell your treating health professional, as treatment for public lice may interact with HIV medication.

Pubic Lice / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Genital Area, Pubic Area

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms may appear in 5 days to 7 weeks
  • Intense itching in the genital area
  • Inflammation and irritation caused by scratching
  • Black powder in underwear
  • Blue spots or small spots of blood on skin in places such as thighs or lower abdomen

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • Close contact with an infected person, including hugging and kissing

Treatable: Yes (with insecticide cream, lotion or shampoo)


Scabies (Parasitic)

Scabies is a skin infestation with a mite called sarcoptes scabiei var hominis. These mites burrow into the skin where they live and reproduce. Eggs laid in the burrows hatch, crawl out onto the skin and make new burrows. Scabies can be treated with special creams purchased from the chemist or drug store or an oral medication for more serious cases.

Scabies / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Penis, Anus, Scrotum, Fingers, Wrists, Arms, Legs

Symptoms:

  • May appear in 4 to 6 weeks
  • Itchy lines and bumps on the fingers, wrists, arms, legs and belt area
  • Severe itch, with scratching at night
  • Enflamed bumps on the penis

Transmission Sources:

  • Close contact with an infected person, including hugging and kissing

Treatable: Yes (with creams or oral medication)


Syphilis (Bacterial)

Syphilis is curable and is caused by a microscopic parasite, which is highly infectious. At first it causes sores or ulcers on the genitals, but if it’s not treated, the infection can spread through the body and may infect the brain and other organs. It has serious long term effects. If left untreated, syphilis can cause mental illness, blindness, heart disease or even death and syphilis may progress more quickly in people living with HIV.

Syphilis / STI Atlas

Affected Areas: Anus, Mouth, Penis, Rectum, Scrotum

Symptoms:

  • May appear in 21 days (primary stage)
  • Sometimes none at all, but can be detected by a blood test
  • Painless sores on the penis, mouth or anus
  • Rash on the body
  • Flu-like symptoms

Transmission Sources:

  • Unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex
  • A non-infected person’s genitals touching an infected person’s genitals
  • Sharing unwashed or uncovered sex toys with someone who has the infection
  • Sharing contaminated needles and injecting equipment

Treatable: Yes (antibiotics)


References and Further Reading:

Featured Photo: © Can Stock Photo / Ruslan117
Article ID: CC072
Version Control: 1.0 – November 12, 2023: Original article published.

Studies Suggest HIV Can Increase Male Sexual Behaviour

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The question about whether being HIV-positive increases male sexual behaviour is one that has been swirling around for some time now, so researchers decided to find out whether this is the case using data captured from previous studies that have explored this subject. The outcome of this study was published by Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health in 2020, with some interesting findings. HIV/AIDS research has been taking place for over 40 years, with a considerable amount of time and money spent over this period of time, which has still left us without a cure, but we do have various effective treatments that are able to successfully manage the disease.

Back in 2000, it was speculated by Sparks and others that HIV infection could alter host behaviour that facilitated the spread of the virus. HIV is a very sophisticated virus, where it’s able to mutate and continue to evolve over time, which is one of the reasons why it has been difficult to find a cure, since there are multiple strains and elements that require researchers to get themselves one step ahead of how the virus operates to find a successful cure for those who want it. 5 studies support the hypothesis that the early stages of being HIV-positive can result in an increase in male sexual behaviour, with the 2020 findings showing a “subtler effect, mediated by unconscious processes”.

Researchers found that male sexual behaviour increases nonlinearly with HIV viral load at the beginning of HIV infection, which is when the virus is the most infectious, and when viral loads increase. This can result in individuals having more sexual partners and more frequent risky sexual encounters, which benefits the virus, as this behaviour can help HIV spread more quickly at a time when individuals are more infectious. As the viral load increases, so does the male sexual behaviour. Once a person has been infected with HIV, the virus goes off in pursuit of infecting more CD4 cells so it can thrive and become more stronger, so with the body being able to potentially increase male sexual behaviour, the virus is not only replicating inside the infected individual, the virus is also helping the host to spread the virus to other individuals through this altered behaviour.

Research is pointing to this primarily happening at a particular stage of infection, which is during the acute infection stage that happens around 2 to 5 weeks after transmission, with HIV-specific antibodies commencing around 3 to 4 weeks after transmission. This is known as the window period, where the virus does not show up in HIV test results, but the virus can still be transmitted to other people during this time. The acute stage continues until the viral load is reigned in at its set point between 2 and 3 months after transmission, which happens after the initial spike that occurs for most newly infected people. So not only does the virus appear to increase male sexual behaviour at the early stage of infection, it’s also a time when individuals might not know they are infected and also when they are highly infectious.

It’s really important to note that these findings are based on a hypothesis, as it’s difficult to observe what happens before and after HIV infection, which is why these findings are not based on solid data, but instead a hypothesis. Researchers examined the sexual behaviour of HIV-positive individuals using self-reported data from 5 studies to explore this subject further. It is believed that the increased male sexual behaviour can also happen at a later stage of the virus when a person is not medicated and their viral load increases, but this particular research study focuses on the acute stage of infection. Here are some of the findings, which have been extracted from the report you can find at the end of this article.

  1. Davey and others found that men with acute HIV infection reported on average twice the number of sexual partners in the previous month compared to men with non acute HIV infections and condomless receptive and insertive behaviour was also more frequent when averaged over the previous 3 months for men with acute HIV infections.
  2. Braun and others found using the definition of condomless sex with an occasional partner, that risky sexual behaviour increased with 5-fold higher odds for those with acute HIV infections compared to those with non-acute HIV infections.
  3. Huerga and others found that men who were aware of their new HIV-positive status and who had a high viral load, were engaging in riskier sexual practices, which they defined as being inconsistent condom use during anal intercourse and having a greater number of sexual partners.
  4. Dukers and others found a relationship between the rate of unprotected sex and viral load in serum, with the rate of unprotected sex increasing from 30% to 80% when the viral copies per millilitre of blood increased based on their data set.
  5. Kalichman and others found that insertive sexual behaviour significantly increased with viral load in semen, with their analysis showing that having a greater viral load in semen relative to plasma was significantly associated with reporting a greater total number of unprotected sexual intercourse acts.

The findings in the 2020 report suggest that future research on sexual behaviour should examine semen viral loads in addition to blood viral loads, since these only weakly correlate. The report added that blood viral loads give a systemic view of infection, while semen viral loads are more predictive of sexual infectiousness. Based on this, researchers believe that semen viral loads may better predict behavioural manipulation compared to blood viral loads.

Starks, Kelsey, Rosania and Getz

As this article is based on data extracted from the 2020 research study, it’s important for you to read the source article to ensure you consider everything in full context. As it can be difficult to measure sexual behaviours based on solid data, please be mindful that these studies are based on hypothesis using self-reporting data and further research needs to be undertaken, which can still have limitations due to it being difficult to measure a persons behaviour before they are infected. The study also considered findings based on established science involving the alteration of host behaviour by infectious agents. One way more solid data could be collected is through bug chasers participating in research studies, however, this might be considered unethical by some, if not many research organisations.

If you are HIV-positive, please consider participating in the poll below and if you’re wanting to add more details about your personal experiences with being HIV-positive, please also leave a comment below, such as whether you have experienced more intense sexual encounters after becoming HIV-positive or whether this has influenced your sex drive in any way. As this research data focuses on acute HIV infections, please also leave a comment if you were infected some time ago and have a high viral load (HVL), as it’s believed this may also influence male sexual behaviour, but this has not been researched as extensively.


Did you notice your sexual behaviour increase after you became HIV-positive?

Source and Further Reading:


Featured Photo: Image by Freepik.
Article ID: CC071
Version Control: 1.0 – November 8, 2023: Original article published.

What You Need to Know About HIV Drug Resistance

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HIV is a very sophisticated virus that has the ability to mutate, which means it’s possible for the virus to become resistant to certain HIV medications that a person may have been taking to successfully stop the virus from replicating inside their body. Once a person has been infected with HIV, the virus continues to thrive by making copies of itself, so as that person’s viral load increases, their CD4 count drops. HIV medication is designed to stop the virus from replicating, but it cannot currently eliminate the virus from an infected person.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), at the end of 2022, 29.8 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) worldwide out of an estimated 39.0 million people currently living with HIV. In the majority of cases, currently available medications are able to successfully stop HIV from replicating and over time, the viral load of a person receiving HIV treatment will usually become undetectable, which means once it reaches this point, the virus cannot be transmitted to other people.

In some cases, antiretroviral medication stops working or isn’t successful to begin with and there can be a number of different reasons for this. When this happens, healthcare professionals will usually prescribe a different type of medication to treat HIV, with several different classes of medications available designed to treat the virus differently. In some extremely rare cases, people can run out of options, but this is highly unlikely to happen these days due to the different types of medication options that are available. These are the three ways HIV drug resistance can occur:

Transmitted HIV drug resistance
This occurs when a person acquires a strain of HIV that is already resistant to one or more HIV drugs. According to data published in 2020, the prevalence of transmitted drug resistance in North America was said to be between 8.5% and 14.2%. This means that it’s possible for a newly infected person to acquire a strain of HIV that is drug resistant, even if that person has never taken HIV medication in the past.

Pretreatment HIV drug resistance
This occurs when a person is exposed to HIV medication when they became infected with HIV. An example of this could be someone who started taking PrEP after being exposed to HIV whilst they were still within the window period. This is why it’s important not to take PREP for the first time right after risky sexual encounters (it must be taken before), as the medication could have a reverse effect. A person should instead take PEP within 72 hours in these situations if they are trying to avoid becoming infected after a risky sexual encounter or be taking PrEP beforehand. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 10% of adults starting HIV treatment can have drug resistance to the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) drug class, which can be 3 times more common in people with previous exposure to antiretroviral drugs.

Acquired HIV drug resistance
This occurs when a person who has been taking HIV medication experiences a mutated strain of the virus. This can happen by not adhering to medication or taking frequent medication breaks, but it can also happen to those who are strictly adhering to their medication based on how the person’s body reacts to the drug or if the drug is not being absorbed into the body sufficiently. According to the World Health Organisation, surveys conducted between 2015 and 2020 showed the level of viral load suppression among adults receiving ART in North America was approximately 81% receiving first-line ART and 70% receiving second-line ART.

When we hear about HIV drug resistance, we might immediately think that it applies to those who are not taking their medication as prescribed, but this is not always the case, as it’s possible for someone to become infected with a drug resistant strain, which means healthcare professionals will need to find an alternative type of medication that can stop the virus from replicating. Even if a person is adhering to their medication perfectly, it’s still possible for the virus to replicate through mutation as well.

HIV drug resistance can vary from person to person, with some people who have protease mutations making their HIV resistant to protease inhibitors or some people who have reverse transcriptase mutations making their HIV resistant to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Due to antiretroviral medication in the same class working in a similar way, if the virus becomes resistant to one drug within that class, it can become partially or fully resistant to all drugs within that class, so other classes or alternatives might then need to be considered by healthcare professionals.

You can try to prevent drug resistance by making sure you’re on a strong treatment from the beginning, remaining on treatment and adhering to your medications as prescribed. This includes taking medication at a particular time of the day, with or without food, depending on the medication requirements. Healthcare professionals advise that if you miss a dose, make sure you take it as soon as you can, but if it’s close to your next dose, just wait for your next dose. It’s important not to double dose, as this will not help you catch up and just changes the strength of the dose you doubled up on.

NAM Aidsmap has compiled an impressive antiretroviral drug chart that contains the trade name of each drug, the generic name formulation, standard adult dosage, major side effects and food requirements that provides excellent information at a glance, with the chart embedded below, along with a link to the website so you can access the latest information. They have also published an A to Z of antiretroviral medications providing detailed information and fact sheets on their website.

There are two types of drug resistance tests available: genotype testing and phenotype testing. Genotype testing looks for drug resistance mutations in relevant genes of the virus, whereas phenotype testing measures the ability of a person’s virus to replicate in different concentrations of antiretroviral drugs, with genotype testing the more common test conducted, which should be done before starting HIV treatment. Genotypic tests are easier, faster and cheaper, but phenotypic tests can be more accurate under certain circumstances.

From a bug chasing perspective, when someone chooses to stop taking their medication to share HIV with another person, this is a considerable decision to make, as this person is opening themselves up to the possibility that the treatment they have been using may no longer be effective. It’s also possible for a bug chaser to become infected with a drug resistant strain, so both bug chasers and gift givers need to be mindful of the risks involved. HIV drug resistance is something everyone needs to consider, because HIV continues to evolve and it can be unpredictable, meaning you have to expect the unexpected.

References and Further Reading:

Featured Photo: Lucio Alfonsi from Pixabay.
Article ID: CC070
Version Control: 1.0 – October 22, 2023: Original article published.

Sleazy London Club Became the Perfect Bareback Porn Set

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Load Enterprises released a double bareback porn feature in 2008 called London Cum Pigs and if you’re a fan of unscripted natural sex, make sure you check out the two videos in this series. London Cum Pigs 1 was directed by Adam Bailey, who also directed British Bareback Vacation in 2007, which involved several models contracting HIV on set, which you can read more about in this article and London Cum Pigs 2 was directed by Allen Smythie, which is a pseudonym used by film directors who want to disown a project.

In my opinion, the second film in the London Cum Pigs series is the better one and I’m thinking the lack of an identifying director could be due to the fact that the men in the movie were simply having sex and did not need any direction at all, making direction unnecessary. This style of filming tends to make movies more enjoyable to watch, because it adds a natural approach to the action, which leads to the sex feeling more realistic, so you can better connect with what you’re seeing, because it feels like the sex you experience in your personal life.

I want to highlight that this article is not assuming that any, or even all of the models who appeared in the London Cum Pigs series were HIV-positive at the time the movie was filmed, although a number of the models have since publicly stated that they are HIV-positive. It’s important for us to respect the privacy of anyone who is HIV-positive, but has not publicly revealed their status, as a person’s HIV status is personal and some people may have reasons for not being public about this. There are two men featured in London Cum Pigs who have biohazard tattoos, which often represents HIV and the movies were filmed without the use of condoms, so you might draw some conclusions about HIV status, but at the same time, this article makes no assumptions as to the HIV status of the participants.

London Cum Pigs was filmed at a real sex club called Play Pit, which sadly closed its doors in 2012, with the establishment previously being described as a club inspired by San Francisco’s famous sex clubs, including Mack Folsom Prison and Blow Buddies, which have also both since closed, with Play Pit being regarded as a sleaze pit where no fantasy was too wild. The club had several themed nights and also created a safe place for HIV-positive guys to meet, socialise and cruise on the first and third Monday of each month from 8pm to 1am through the creation of a members club called Play Pit + Plus.

The creation of Play Pit + Plus gave members a cruising space where HIV status disclosure was not an issue. Play Pit members could also become a member of Play Pit + Plus if they were HIV-positive and wanted to attend events at Play Pit + Plus, which involved requesting a free membership (add-on to the standard Play Pit membership), where the only cost was paying an entrance fee of £8. Members were able to bring their own alcohol (which could be kept cool at the bar), or they could purchase a selection of soft drinks (soda), or tea and coffee refreshments at the club and all facilities of the Play Pit were available on Play Pit + Plus nights.

The provision of a space where HIV-positive men were able to have sex with other HIV-positive men without having to worry about conversations about HIV status or worrying about rejection or stigma is something that will be missed. These days there are only a small number of gatherings around the world that are held exclusively for HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM), where those who attend these events confirm they are HIV-positive prior to being admitted, then there are no further discussions about HIV status, which provides a relaxing environment for those in attendance.

As you’re watching London Cum Pigs, you can almost feel the sleazy environment these men were immersed in as they filmed these movies. The sights and sounds almost feel real, to the point where it’s like you can appreciate the scent of sweat and sex that would have been permeating through the air as these guys fucked with wild abandon. Another great attribute of these films is seeing two men with biohazard tattoos, which sets off feelings of excitement as you watch them sliding inside unprotected holes, with the unknown HIV status issue providing an element of curiosity and wonder. If you are reading this article and wondering when PrEP became available in England, it was in 2021 and this movie was filmed in 2008.

London Cum Pigs 1 has an approximate running time of 1:41:02 and stars Barni Bonko, Carl Mackay, Ethan James, Jamie Bassett, Jamie Burns, John Daly, John Gadsby, Mark Powell, Max Load, Peter Reed and Tristan James. London Cum Pigs 2 has an approximate running time of 1:38:39 and stars Aaron Deutsch, Adrian Hole, Biker Top, Drew Marks, James Allen, Jamie Bassett, Kenric Wilson, Marcus Paulus, Randy Rob and Scott Dahma. Both movies are split into two scenes, which means you get to enjoy four segments from each of these two movies.

I found London Cum Pigs 2 to be the better of the two movies in this series, mainly because there was more cum being exchanged by the participants, plus the two men with biohazard tattoos. Even though I would love to detail some of the action that unfolds between these men, I don’t want to reveal too much, as it would be more exciting for you to watch the movies and enjoy how everything happens yourself. One part I would like to mention is how hot it was seeing one of the guys swallowing the cum of the man he sucked off, then getting fucked by him again so any remaining cum gets fucked inside him. I have enjoyed watching these movies numerous times and there’s some great highlights, and each time the action never disappoints as you see how much these men are enjoying sliding inside each other’s raw holes!


London Cum Pigs 1

London Cum Pigs 1 / Load XXX Enterprises

These British cum hungry pigs devour each other with a hunger rarely captured on film. In the opener of London Cum Pigs 1, the guys are enjoying a six man orgy. Throbbing cocks are like heat seeking missiles ready to launch into any willing hole that comes into its path. Fingers tickle juicy hoops and prep them for a meat filling and one piggy takes a deep dick spit roasting to encouragements of fucking his arse from the other pigs. When the cum starts to flow they lap it up like thirsty dogs and feed it to each other. In scene two, more arseholes are destroyed as hairy men and tattooed skinheads pound each other into oblivion. Meaty pricks are imbibed and slide past tight sphincters and deep into anal canals. One horny fucker positions himself in a sling and has his hole torn up with each deep thrust from his lover’s hard cock. A hairy bear is skewered as he takes a rod of flesh in his arsehole and mouth at the same time and a daisy fuck has three little piggies squealing with pleasure. The guys fuck long and hard like real men until their sticky spunk is spewing from their shiny helmets. London Cum Pigs is two scenes of intense British man-on man action! – Official Marketing Material.

Scene 1: Jamie Bassett, Max Load, Jamie Burns, Peter Reed, Tristan James, John Gadsby
Scene 2: Ethan James, Carl MacKay, Barni Bonko, John Daly, Mark Powell


London Cum Pigs 2

London Cum Pigs 2 / Load XXX Enterprises

The UK Cum Pigs series takes you back to the dark recess of The Play Pit in London Cum Pigs 2, where no hole is safe from this group of lustful pigs. The dvd opens with a five-man orgy of deep throated blowjobs and arsehole probing. A duet soon develops which leaves the other three with no option but to partake in a fine spit-roasting three-way. These sex pigs swap partners so each gets his fair share of cock, arse and warm spunk. One young guy settles himself into a black sling which is suspended from red scaffolding poles. With his legs pushed back, his exposed button is entered by a young buck, who in turn, has his arse split by an older and more forceful pig! Next is a lustful six-man feast of kissing, gob jobs, rimming and hard, deep anal thrusting. Two lads are tagged by two slightly older porkers before the two groups break for a solid duet and a four-way on a padded table. The cameraman contorts to capture some superb close-ups as thick boners disappear into tight holes, with one young piglet getting double penetrated in his adorable arse. Join these dirty oinkers down in The Play Pit for a night of rigid pounding and spunk spilling! – Official Marketing Material.

Scene 1: James Allen, Kenric Wilson, Scott Dahma, Drew Marks, Biker Top
Scene 2: Aaron Deutsch, Jamie Bassett, Randy Rob, Adrian Hole, Marcus Paulus


There has been some great feedback about this movie based on comments at Xhamster, such as crownn, who stated “When raw dog bros are so fucking horny they can’t even wait to fuck the boy in the sling, and just start fucking each other!!!” and hncuteboy who said “This goes straight to my all-time favourites. Admired the blonde bottom and the dark haired top twink in the first scene – and then wowed, when that cutie turned versatile getting fucked himself. Also like the sling fucking and fuck-trains.“, not to mention rubberff who commented “Always a good session at Playpit, especially with hot young lads like these cumdumps and the Poz fucker needing to breed them.” and rubberrat who stated “I remember the blonde boy – he was a regular at Playpit on a Thursday night. Hot for it all the time used to get fucked over and over.” and a year later rubberrat added “Yeah – it was always hot and horny down there. The guy in the red jock with the hazard tatt was toxic as hell and put it about freely! Well before PReP was available.

After you check out these movies, leave a comment below to share your favourite part of the movie from the series and who you liked watching the most, along with any other details you would like to share. The links to the movies provided below are offered for your convenience and are not revenue generating links – so no commission will be derived from you clicking on them. It’s almost impossible to buy these movies on DVD, so Video on Demand (VOD) is your only option for checking them out.

Watch London Cum Pigs 1

Watch London Cum Pigs 2


Featured Photo: © Load XXX Enterprises
Article ID: CC069
Version Control: 1.0 – October 12, 2023: Original article published.