Someone tweeted a link to this story yesterday (apologies, I can’t remember who to credit you) in the Huffington Post, a fascinating piece about the term ‘clean’ in the context of HIV.  The author – Mark S King – notes how the term is used as part of the HIV conversation, as in: “Are you clean?”  In other words, are you HIV free?

Back in 2011 I posted this video, which brilliantly satirises the DDF narrative which has become common among men seeking to hook up with other men, particularly online.  The question is often asked of men who bareback: “Are you clean?”  as if that amounts to an HIV test.  Say “yes” and you’re in, say “I don’t know” or “I’m HIV positive but…” and you’re typically rejected.  The culture rewards dishonesty and thus embeds an ironic ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy into causal sex.

King addresses this issue, the growing involvement of law and also the cultural implication of referring to someone who is HIV+ as being in some way ‘unclean’.  It’s a brilliant piece well worth a read.

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