The collective psychological response to the HIV pandemic by gay men in South Africa is a powerful sense of denial.
It must be stressed that many of the issues below are also applicable to straight couples. However, de Swardt concentrates on the gay community in the article below.
Paradoxically, our very fear of HIV and Aids is often acted out in the ritual of unsafe sex, unquestionably the most manifest and blatant expression of our collective denial. This behavioural expression of denial, which is essentially deceit of both ourselves and our partners, demonstrates that many of us would rather risk our lives than deal with reality.
We think that young twinky guys must be negative and that HIV only happens to older men. Or poor men, or very promiscuous men or thin men or black men. Always other men.