Identity

What This HIV Activist Learned from STI-Testing in Gay Bathhouses

Hint: Harm reduction works.

by VICE Staff
Mar 4 2019, 9:21pm

Photo via Getty Images

In his recent article for TONIC, writer and activist George Johnson explains that the HIV epidemic is not over, and it’s affecting people of color at disproportionately high rates. It’s estimated to affect nearly half of black men who have sex with men, while black women are still the highest group infected of all women, and Latino men who have sex with men have a contraction rate of 24 percent over their lifetime. These high numbers are at least in part due to the stigma that surrounds HIV, which often prevents people from getting tested and seeking treatment. For this reason, Johnson has taken his work as an STI-tester out of the clinic and into his community—specifically, into gay bathhouses. On this episode of The VICE Guide To Right Now Podcast, TONIC Editor Raj Punjabi talks to Johnson about what he’s learned from this experience.

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