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History page 3: 2002 - Today

SUMMARY:

As the years rolled on and HIV-based social and sexual gatherings for MSM grew in popularity, HIV Status Disclosure became common and accepted.  At this point, nothing was off limits and the opportunities were unlimited. The concept of HIV Prevention shifted away from the experts and professionals and into the control of the general public. 

2002 - MANHUNT.net becomes the first for-profit MSM (men who have sex with men) gay hook-up website allowing members to publicly disclose their HIV status in their profiles. Profile HIV status choices are HIV+, HIV-negative, and Don't Know.

 

April 2002 - OUT Magazine publishes an article written by Steve Weinstein titled: POSITIVE THINKING on page 48, thereby making the concept of social and sexual behavioral change based on HIV status a national movement overnight. Sadly, Steve omitted two keywords from my statement – he omitted “TO INFECT”.

The article tells how HIV+ and HIV-negative gay men are willfully disclosing their HIV status to others, forming social and sexual relationships, and communicating with "code" words online. Brandon's POZ Party - NYC and Brandon's POZ Socials - NYC became the foundation of a national HIV+ Online movement and set the standard for decades. "Certainly, many HIV-negative men remain concerned enough about their health to improve their encounters with other HIV-negative men. Just check out the code words in AOL profiles; "SAFE ONLY", HEALTHY", "CLEAN UB TOO", "DISEASE AND DRUG-FREE" (D&D FREE), "NEGATIVE-UB2" (HIV-UB2)".

 

Jan. 2003The Gay Circuit Party experience gains acceptance and support not only in California but also in: NYC, DC and Philly as noted in this email to Casey and Ron at Camp Palm Springs in Palm Springs, Ca. 

Feb. 2003, NYC - With HIV Status Disclosure becoming ever more accepted in our community nationwide, I updated the party ads. Here is the FAX to HX magazine. And here is the MISSION STATEMENT.

2003 HIVPlus Magazine oped "Was Credit Due?" . The oped makes note the widespread impact of HIV Status Disclosure,  and the reaction of the editorial staff to the idea of HIV+ MSM meeting for sexual behaviors.

Sept. 2003, BREAKING THE CYCLE AIDS RIDE. It has always been my privilege to do whatever I could to help empower others and represent the HIV+ MSM Communities in a favorable and respectful manner, that included the inaugural Breaking The Cycle AIDS Ride in 2003. The form, the group photo, the newspaper pic,   the thank you and the next ride ad for 2004.  

March 11, 2004 - Christian Grove email research request.

June 2004 – Available for the HIV+ MSM community and an addition to the BPPNYC Yahoo Group of 2000 - THE POZ YAHOO CLUB  featured: Messages, Chat, Photos, Links, Polls and a Calander of events.  A standard BPPNYC email was 6 pages long  .

In 2004, Dr. Robert Grant (Gladstone Researcher, UCSF) published the world’s FIRST official Serosorting research study in San Francisco, California, proving that the gay community is actively engaged in Communication, Respect, Understanding, and is UNIFIED in our efforts to physically break the cycle of new HIV transmissions. "One theme has become apparent to Grant over the course of the study. It’s clear that, to some degree, HIV-positive individuals prefer fellow HIV-positive partners, a phenomenon known as serosorting,” he observes. In this way, they avoid the risk of infecting HIV-negative partners.” (See Gladstone PDF)

 

August 2004, Cambridge, MA. It becomes clear to me (personally) that my idea to just find an HIV+ boyfriend in 1996 has become something much bigger than myself, and that I have a moral and ethical responsibility not only to my event guests but, to the MSM community at large. Therefore, it is my desire and obligation to attend the 2004 MSM Health Summit in Cambridge, MA where I will meet face to face with dozens of HIV and MSM researchers, experts, professionals, agencies and organizations. Over the next few weeks I will be contacted by them and explore future HIV+ MSM HIV Status Disclosure research opportunities. Here are a few details:   Health Summit details, Alex email to me, Ana email to me, and my 3 hour (detailed and very personal) interview. I am listed as "R" and Gary is listed as "I" for interviewer.

October 12, 2004 - With HIV Status Disclosure as the new normal and MSM become more accepting of status disclosure both socially and sexually, Christian Grove emails me regarding his interest in promoting his research opportunities with my guests. The Stonewall Bar walks forward into the history books again by providing the NYC MSM communities (and those visiting) an important voice in the future of HIV prevention research.           

October 21, 2004 - The 3 hour long interview about MSM and The Internet at Columbia went well and I get a "Thank You" email.

October 29, 2004The Boston Public Health Commission is interested in learning more about the progress regarding Brandon's POZ Socials and how HIV Status Disclosure has become "natural" within the MSM community in NYC.

December 2004: FIRST PERSON HIV Plus Magazine (READ ARTICLE) - My first uncensored article about me and my innovative HIV Prevention efforts nationwide, New York City, Washington, DC, Palm Springs, Cali, and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

December 2004 Carter email THANK YOU

2005, NYT article: "Good Report on AIDS and Some Credit The Web" (read article). The New York Times takes the conversation of HIV Status Disclosure to a higher level and empowers the general public.

May 24, 2005 - Christian Grove emails me regarding more safe sex packets (a Brandon's POZ Party staple since 1996) and a note from me regarding my ADOPT-A-PARK outreach efforts. The outreach concept was simple: promote HIV Status Disclosure in MSM cruising areas in NYC where MSM hang out to hook up (in this case a wooded park area in the Inwood section of NYC - status disclosure takes a walk in the park LOL). 

September 28, 2005 - The Brandon's POZ Party - NYC Research study gets published and the news goes global.

October 21, 2005 - Peter LaQueur invited me to attend monthly meetings he is involved with at G.M.H.C. and is attended by members of the NYSDOH, NYCDOH, GMHC, other LGBTQ agencies and organizations. The Commercial Sex Venue Working Group  meetings become a staple of my calendar and I enjoy the debates and discussions about the current MSM health issues concerning our communities. This allows me to learn first-hand from the source (NYSDOH and NYCDOH) about MSM issues AND be the voice of the HIV+ MSM living in and visiting NYC. December 6, 2005 minutes p1 / minutes p2.

 

January 25, 2006 - Duncan Osborne writes an article for Gay City News about "HIV Outreach at Sex Parties" "AIDS groups, including some that are not traditionally associated with the gay community, are seeking to strengthen their presence in the sex clubs and private sex parties that are popular among New York City’s gay and bisexual men."

February 20, 2006 - Email about the IIAG meeting February 21, 2006 . Peter introduces me to his director and we begin a discussion about HIV Status Disclosure on a state level. April 3, 2006 email between me, Peter and Dan, Page1 / Page2. The July 13, 2006 email regarding my public forum at The LGBTQ Community Center (page 1 / page 2)

May 2006, Palm Springs newsletter

November 29, 2006 - The New York State Department of Health hosts a Division Meeting via video conferencing between their NYC office and their Albany, NY office, between the two locations there are about 24 managers and directors. I am the guest speaker. Here is the "Thank You" email. 

December 2006: After the Division Meeting of Dec. 29 and my input supporting the MSM communities and our community driven HIV Prevention efforts, The Department of Health of The State of New York (NYSDOH) supports Status Disclosure and Serosorting (having sex with your own HIV status) as an effective HIV Prevention Strategy. "Page 19: " Serosorting among HIV-positive persons may be an effective strategy for preventing additional HIV infections. Information on serosorting, covering both the benefits and the potential risks (e.g., reinfection, STDs), should be developed for both providers and target populations. This information should be specific for HIV positive and HIV negative individuals, since serosorting among negative individuals has different and more significant risks."  (read PDF) And if you meet Humberto Cruz, Dan O,Connell, Peter Laqueur or William Karchner tell them I said "Hello, and thank you for your support."

 

February / March 2007 - POZ Magazine publishes the article STATUS SEEKERS by Lucile Scott "In the late ’90s, having lived with HIV for more than a decade, Robert Brandon Sandor found himself, thanks to the protease revolution, suddenly looking at a longer life expectancy-—and looking for love." (READ ARTICLE)

 

November 2009:  HIV Testing and Status Disclosure among MSM are increasing and helping to prevent new HIV transmissions. "Under realistic scenarios of sexual behavior and testing frequency for men who have sex with men in the United States, serosorting can be an effective harm reduction strategy." (read report)

2008-2009 – Brandon’s POZ Party – NYC and Brandon’s POZ Party – Palm Springs came to a close thanks to the overwhelming success and acceptance of HIV Status Disclosure, Freedom of Choice (Serosorting), political support (local, state and federal levels) and the lack of funding. To this day no one paid us for our right to pick and choose our sex partners based on our comfort level.

November 2009 - My first TV interview. (Read the outline page1 / page 2) It's clear that because of HIV Status Disclosure, the sexual behavior of Serosorting are working parallel and are a united HIV Prevention program - you cannot Serosort unless you disclose you HIV status. A new HIV Harm Reduction strategy that centers around our Freedom of Choice to choose our sex partners based on HIV status, and risk level - to PHYSICALLY BREAK THE CYCLE of new HIV transmissions.

 

2011-2016, Yale University research "Serosorting Intervention for HIV Negative MSM" "...Serosorting - limiting unprotected sexual partners to those of the same HIV status- has emerged as a risk reduction strategy with little input from public health agencies."  (read report)

June 17, 2013 - A community driven freedom of choice (page 17) outreach effort uniting both HIV+ and HIV- negative young adults is published. This is the FIRST booklet of its kind in America that is written FOR our MSM youth, and UNITING our HIV-negative and HIV+ gay communities through Empowerment, Trust, Communication, Unity, Harm Reduction, Prevention, HIV Testing, Making Friends, Belonging and MORE. These topics are addressed in the "Sex Venue Etiquette Resource Guide" for America's sexually active gay and bisexual young men; because not everyone wants to get infected with HIV or wear condoms. A single publication, a foundation for national respect and understanding thereby RAISING the standard of HIV prevention in America. Don't let the title fool you.

 

March 14, 2014, AIDSMAP  Research: By now, HIV Status Disclosure is leading to increases in HIV Testing, Awareness, Communication, Prevention, Harm Reduction and more. "Only having sex with same-status partners is an HIV prevention strategy for 40% of gay men"  (read report)

2014 Research: NIH 2014 Gay Men and The Internet "Gay and Bisexual men's use of the Internet: Research from the 1990s through 2013". Note that Christian Grov of C.H.E.S.T in NYC, NY is the primary researcher. (if you meet Christian, tell him I said "HELLO").

October 1, 2015 - NIH research report: "HIV Serosorting, Status Disclosure, and Strategic Positioning Among Highly Sexually Active Gay and Bisexual Men" Christian Grov (C.H.E.S.T) and Ana Ventuneac (Columbia University) team up and publish this report. "We believe we can conclude that men were serosorting; however, given that there are more HIV-negative men available as potential partners than HIV-positive men."

August 11, 2016, University of Washington research: "UW Study Finds Serosorting Can Be Effective HIV Prevention Strategy for Some Men" (read report)

TODAY - The HIV-negative community continues to thrive socially and sexually "underground" thanks to the internet and the HIV-negative "code" like; D&D FREE, HIV-UB2, CLEAN UB TOO and the like. Other MSM sites (BarebackRT, GRINDER, ADAM4ADAM and the like) and Gay Bareback Porn Companies worldwide have taken notice, and the HIV Prevention Strategy of the Serosorting concept evolves further to help meet the needs of the MSM social and  sexual needs worldwide. Thus proving that HIV stigma is gone, HIV status disclosure is increasing, and we have stopped HIV.

The copycats that follow with: POZ radio, POZ camping, POZ cruises, POZ parties, t-shirts, POZ Twitter groups, POZ Face Book pages, # hash tags, websites and the like; help the concept evolve into a social and sexual behavioral change that is globally accepted, empowered and very profitable.

 

Congratulations, you have proven "the HIV experts" wrong. HIV has been stopped, one only needs to connect the social and sexual dots and understand the research. (NIH 2021: Multilevel Elements Associated With HIV Serosorting For Sexual Encounters: A Scoping Literature Review)

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