Steele’s attorney attempted to make his client some sort of martyr of serophobia. “Charging someone with [reckless endangerment] because they are HIV+ is homophobic and ignorant. We don’t go to people who have herpes, colds, Strep throat and charge them. If that is the standard, they need to be indicting everybody. It’s amazing that, 35 years later, the public is still oblivious to the simple fact that HIV does not equal AIDS.”
I love that. Gay men have called me ignorant when I tell them HIV is icky and that I prefer to only have safe sex with HIV- men. I wonder, though—if I’m so ignorant, why am I the one who doesn’t have to take a bunch of pills for the rest of his life in order not to die?
This new generation of never-to-be-questioned totalitarian tolerance is deeply concerning to me. It wasn’t that long ago you could say on a cruising profile you were “clean,” that is to say, HIV-. Now the inference is that people infected with The Hiv must be “dirty,” so “clean” must never be used to describe your HIV status lest you become a pariah among your queer peers.