Question: How does the gay community conceive of HIV?
Hauslaib: I think one huge mistake the gay community – and I think that the American community as a whole – has made is that HIV is a treatable disease; and thus contracting it is a non-issue. And while that may be the case, and many HIV-positive people live long and “healthy” lives, the cost and trauma to that person and the family I wouldn’t think anybody would voluntarily want to sign up for. I think there are institutions . . . I do credit MTV, which I have plenty of problems about; but I will give them kudos for raising awareness about HIV and getting tested. I think there is a huge part of that equation missing. What do you do when you get tested? It’s one thing to walk into a free clinic and have your blood drawn. It’s another thing for you to be told the results that you’re positive and then there are zero marketing messages about what goes on there. And I think that’s a huge dilemma. Getting people tested is the first part. Beyond that it’s almost as if that whole possibility has been ignored. I do think especially in New York City that the . . . that the use of, you know, crystal meth is resurging among young people, and that leads to plenty of unprotected sex. And I think it is this carefree lifestyle. But again I think it’s up to each individual to really make that call and to protect themselves. But there are so many industries out there that can lend a helping hand.
Recorded on: Jan 23 2008