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Living dangerously.

Further to your interview with Michael Shernoff [Q&A, January 31], unprotected or bareback sex between gay men (or even straight folk for that matter) should not be shocking. All people practice self-destructive behaviors (usually only for brief periods) over the course of their lives, whether it be unprotected sex, overeating, smoking, drugs, drunk driving, alcohol abuse, etc. What is sad is when someone does permanent damage.

Within the gay community, perhaps some of the reasons we are having a failure communicating successful HIV prevention are due to political correctness run amok. For example, the inappropriateness of a lesbian running GMHC is glaring. Can you imagine a white man running the NAACP or a straight man running an abortion clinic?

The most effective messages to keep HIV-negative men from seroconverting are doubtfully going to come from lesbians or HIV-positive men. To successfully communicate with a constituency, we need to have leaders with whom they can identify.


While barebacking between men scares me, Shernoff sheds some very cogent light on the issues surrounding sexuality and sexual practice. I do believe his remarks apply somewhat to us lesbians as well. I've yet to meet a lesbian (myself included) whose definition of "safe sex" included any more than sanitizing the toys.

PENNY DUFF Silver Spring, Md.
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Author:Duff, Penny
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Feb 28, 2006
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