There's something that I have been wondering about. Last week I went to the doctor to do my first HIV test and everything went OK, but I have noticed that safe sex is not something you see in the furry.
I'm sure that unconsciously leads to people to risk themselves with bareback sex. In my country it's common to begin with sex at 14 or 15, but if you are gay you can't tell anyone because they start with "You are going to burn in hell f*g", "What did I do to deserve this?" thing.
And well... The only information you can get is through Internet or friends, but in the time I have been in the fandom, just a Fox friend and ex-mate talked about condom. When I told my friends I was going to do an ELISA [a test for antibodies in the blood that could indicate an infection] they looked at me like I was the devil or something.
Why safe sex and sexual diseases are so excluded in a community like ours?
Toichi (age 16, Bogotá, Colombia)
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Thank you for bringing up a perennially important subject: safe sex.
I think you make some shrewd observations here, Toichi. Papabear has seen some risky behavior in the fandom, indeed. There appears to be some misinformation and false conceptions within the fandom. A big one is the belief many people have that if you’re not feeling sick or don’t show any symptoms, then you are safe. Here are some facts about that:
One factor about the attitude of furries and STDs, then, is that they are ignorant of the facts and the dangers. Another factor is trust: furry communities and friends within it can be tight, and people often extend trust to their friends that are not wise or deserved (“Trust me, I don’t have any STDs. I’m fine. Let’s play without condoms!”) But it’s not just friends, it’s a culture. Once, my mate, Yogi, and I were out with some furries at a restaurant. A female furry leaned over to my partner and, placing a paw on his knee, said (not kidding), “One of the great things about being a furry is you can have sex with anyone.” Yogi looked at her and said, “I’m gay. Don’t you see me here with my boyfriend?” As you can see, stupidity plays into this, too.
This attitude can be encouraged by the atmosphere of the furcon. Furry conventions are often places where young and old furries go to their hotel rooms and have sex. A lot of this has to do with young furs who are managing to get out of from under their parents’ shadows and go a bit wild. To be fair, this is not unique to furry conventions. From what I’ve learned from other business convention attendees, a lot of sex and cheating goes on here. One time, Yogi was at a journalist convention. He opened up a closet door, looking for a conference room, and saw two people making out in it.
Yet another factor has to do with advances in HIV medicine. The advent of PreP (a medicine you can take to protect against HIV infection, although it doesn’t protect against any other STDs), as well as better treatment for AIDS patients has caused people to believe that HIV is no longer as dangerous and that, consequently, safe sex is not necessary.
The website [adjective][species] has a thoughtful article on the topic, too: http://www.adjectivespecies.com/2012/10/08/furries-hiv/. Here, the writer suggests some other factors, including that HIV is “scary,” so people do not like to talk about it, which makes them more ignorant of the facts and dangers. The article also suggests that the “incestuous” furry community has a higher rate of STDs within it, making infection more likely.
And there you have it.
Ignore your friends’ scorn, Toichi, and be the smart furry you are. Always play it safe.
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