Staying Safe

Posted on | January 27, 2011 | 25 Comments |

I don’t often talk about what killed my brother. While I don’t shy away from talk of suicide (my mother’s death) or bowel cancer (my father’s), somehow – despite my job and my blog – I don’t often talk about AIDS.

My brother caught HIV, six years ago. He died from Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a cancer many AIDS patients get. He sucked the health lemon, getting sick fast, and dying in under a decade. And I should probably talk about it.

Thank you, Buck, for your latest Public Service Announcement with Rebekka Armstrong, which got me thinking about this:

Is there are reason I don’t talk about HIV? Am I ashamed or embarrassed to say that my brother had AIDS and died from it? I don’t think that’s it, but maybe.

Here’s how it happened. It’s pretty simple. He was with a guy. The guy – who was supposed to use a condom, and told him that he was putting it on – stuck his unprotected cock in my brother’s arse. A cock which attached to a man, we found out later, who was diseased (and knew it. Good thing he’s left the country …). He wasn’t a stranger, but he wasn’t a friend. Just another guy looking for some sexual pleasure. And my brother got sick because of one mistake – trusting someone he didn’t know well.

It’s that easy.

I don’t blame my brother for this, although there have been times that I’ve wanted to. Because I’ve had unprotected sex in the past. I’ve had unprotected sex with people whom I didn’t know very well, hadn’t asked about sexual health, hadn’t gotten an STD check with. It could have been me. I’ve been lucky, and have nothing worse than an HPV variant making me more susceptible to cervical cancer.

There’s a good reason I stay safe these days. Why I get an STD check at least once a year, make sure new partners and myself are tested prior to any sexual contact, and use condoms for vaginal and anal contact even after that. Dental dams and condoms are a must-have part of my toy kit, and there are always condoms tucked away in a cool part of my handbag.

I practice safer sex because sex can kill you. (Anything can kill you – but why up the risk factor?) Nothing’s 100%.

One cock, from one man, missing one condom, ultimately led to my brother’s death. And that sucks. So look after yourselves, okay? Use barriers, get checked regularly, and communicate with your partners. Live longer so you can have amazing sex for longer.

Too many people have died from this already.

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Comments

25 Responses to “Staying Safe”

  1. Dana
    January 27th, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    Ah, shit Dee. Good on you for sharing. And FUCK that guy. Damn right not using a condom when you said you would is a form of sexual assault, and this is why.

    I’m sorry you had to lose your brother because of one selfish piece of shit. Lots of love to you, and him.

  2. Amie
    January 27th, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. x

  3. J
    January 27th, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us Dee. I think it’s so important that people continue to talk about these things, and sharing your experience makes it more real for others.

    Jx

  4. Kiana
    January 27th, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    You are a brave and wonderful soul, my lovely Dee. Many hugs and much love.

  5. Dee
    January 27th, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    Dana – Thank you. I think, more accurately, DON’T FUCK that guy. But I know what you mean.

    Amie – You’re welcome.

    J – It needs to be shared. Thank Buck for doing his PSA and encouraging me to get off my arse.

    Kiana – It’s what I do!

    xx Dee

  6. Oonai
    January 27th, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    Thank you for sharing Dee. It’s an important message.

  7. Buck Angel
    January 27th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    WOW! That was pretty heavy! Thank you for sharing. Rebekka is my adopted kid. Long story but we met when she was down and out and playboy dumped her because of AIDS. Well I saw a beautiful person who need love not sex and I took her under my wing and every since I have been her “Dad”. She is doing amazing things in the world educating about AIDS.
    I am so sorry about your brother. You are doing a good thing sharing.
    People do not want to talk about AIDS. You can see that with my PSA, Not as many hits as the others because it is a touchy subject.
    Thank you all for supporting my work.
    XXX
    Buck

  8. Dee
    January 27th, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Oonai – I’m proud of you for getting tested the other day. Good on you!

    Buck – Thank you so very much for commenting, hon! Rebekka is awesome and I’m delighted to have been introduced to her via you. I miss my brother terribly, but if this can make a difference for someone else, that’s a good thing.

    xx Dee

  9. Midwestern City Boy
    January 27th, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing the story. It’s sad that you lost your brother so quickly and so young. XOXO

  10. Wendy Blackheart
    January 27th, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing this with us Dee. Its a shame that no one talks about AIDs the way they should.

    I had a particularly passionate teacher this year, who, when it came for our cursory AIDs class re:massage, she sat us down and gave us a three and a half hour lecture on it above and beyond what the state required. Because she was alive during the AIDs crisis in NY, and watched her friends die.

    It sucks that it takes that sort of thing to talk, but talk we must.

    <3

  11. Deliciously Naughty
    January 27th, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Can I link?

  12. Dee
    January 27th, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    MCB – 30 really is young, isn’t it? Thank you for commenting.

    Wendy – Your teacher sounds awesome. And yes, it’s odd how no one really talks about it. Such a shame!

    Delic – You’d be most welcome to. Please do!

    xx Dee

  13. Iona
    January 27th, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

    I think in having a close affinity with language one can find oneself not talking about things that are particularly poignant for one.

    Thank you for posting this. I don’t know how hard or easy it was to write or how many drafts it took to get this down but it has a beautiful openess that just gets me. Ya know, here. points at chest

  14. Dee
    January 28th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    *hugs* Iona. Thank you, my dear.

  15. Viviane
    January 29th, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

    Dee, I remember seeing your tweets whilst you were taking care of your brother in his last days. I am so sorry for your loss. Even though I lost friends and family in the late 80s and 90s to HIV, it’s easy to forget how important it is to always practice safer sex. Thank you for posting the message and talking about this. I can’t imagine how difficult it might be to talk about this so soon.

    Many hugs,
    Viviane

  16. viemoira
    January 30th, 2011 @ 10:12 am

    Wow Dee- you never cease to amaze me. You’re truly an amazing person that I *really* look up to- wish I could meet you IRL so bad! You’ve been dealt some hard cards in life and instead of letting it get you down, you use the situation to help educate others. You warm my heart and remind me of the good in this world.

  17. Dee
    January 30th, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

    Viviane and viemoira, your comments both made me smile, so thank you! Many hugs to the both of you.

    xx Dee

  18. Kiwiana
    February 6th, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    It took me a while to get to reading this, but I have to say Dee, I love you so much for your stand on safe sex. I love you so much full stop. I miss him.
    I know you miss him more, he will ever be a living memory reminder of the truth that we all need to be so careful about our own safety.

    Bug hugs

  19. Dee
    February 7th, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

    Bug hugs? I like that. And there is no missing more or less. Just missing. Was lovely seeing you on Saturday, even if we were knackered!

    xx Dee

  20. Joanna Cake
    February 15th, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

    Oh Dee, this is so poignant and to the point. Cutting through all the bs and telling it like it is. I am so sorry for your loss x

  21. Dee
    February 16th, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    Thank you so much, Joanna. *big hugs*

    xx Dee

  22. GaryE
    March 13th, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I just found your blog because of this post (or more correctly because of the ELust post on Adele Haze’s blog).

    First I just wanted to say good for you for talking about what sounds like a very difficult thing.

    Secondly, I was poking around and I saw your Curvaceous Cast page . I just wanted to know if you had ever read the book “Gods Behaving Badly”? http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Behaving-Badly-Marie-Phillips/dp/B002HLVNXI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299968964&sr=8-1 . If you have not I have to tell you that simply based upon your choice of cast member names that I think you would love it.

    Cheers!

  23. Dee
    March 13th, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

    Hi Gary,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment – I really appreciate it. And that book looks awesome! I’ve ordered myself a copy, as it looks like just the kind of thing that’ll amuse me no end :)

    xx Dee

  24. garyE
    March 14th, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    I have only read about 10 or so of your posts but I really think you will enjoy that book. I got it on CD from my local library (and then onto my ipod) and I have listened to it at least 4 times. I really think you will enjoy it.

    I know talking about a fun book in response to a blog entry like this one is kind of . . . well not exactly tasteless but maybe a little tactless but I am glad you are taking it in the friendly manner it was intended.

    But in all seriousness I really am sorry for your loss and I again applaud you for talking about this in such a frank and real matter. Everyone is different and while I realize that talking about something like this is easier for some than others it would be something very difficult (if not impossible) for me especially when it happened so recently. I know it sounds trite but again good for you. Hearing stories like this really sends a clear message that people need to hear.

    Cheers.

  25. Dee
    March 15th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    I didn’t take it as tasteless at all Gary, especially as you mentioned the book, and also talked about the post itself.

    And I appreciated that you feel my message was clear, as that was my intent with this post.

    xx Dee


  

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