A New Life: Being a Gay Man in the Era of HIV

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9780761807179: A New Life: Being a Gay Man in the Era of HIV

A New Life is a collection of essays and true stories about gay men. The portrayal of gay life presented in the book captures the intricate undercurrents in the age of AIDS: the anguish, disillusion and disappointment of HIV-positive youth, electricity between an HIV-positive man and his negative lover, the journey of a mother who lost her son to AIDS and why it is so difficult to be gay and proud in the inner city. The principal characters of the book―the young and old, Black and White, HIV-positive and HIV-negative―reflect the diversity of the gay community and the varying degrees to which gay men have been affected by HIV. Essays included in the book provide a background for the personal accounts of gay life. Large-scale information presented in these essays were derived from the data collected by the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, the largest sexual-and social-behavior survey ever funded by the federal government. The book shows how easy it is at present for a young gay man to become first a victim and subsequently endanger the lives of his fellow men. The seemingly complex picture of recent HIV infections would become simpler if we were to consider the link between sexual ethics and the transmission of HIV. Could we interpret an HIV-negative partner's willingness to engage in unprotected sex as acceptance of consequences? If a man who might be carrying HIV does not use a condom during sexual intercourse with a partner who might be HIV negative, is he being 'unreasonably negligent'? It appears that group values that emphasize protecting sex partners from HIV may be our best weapon against the spread of AIDS to the next generation of gay men. A New Life reveals insights into the impact of HIV on the relationships gay men form with each other and with their parents. The true stories presented in this book indicate that, confronted with a small but vicious virus, many of us, gay and straight, have reassessed those cultural values that divide rather than unite us. Those who have been hit with the hurricane force of AIDS have opened a path toward a new social order in which homosexuality is understood to be neither a choice nor a disease, and showing respect, love, and affection to an individual, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, is a norm.

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About the Author:

Aydin T'zeren is Professor and Director of Biomedical Engineering at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

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Aydin Tszeren
Published by University Press of America (1997)
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