I guess honestly I can’t speak on how “good” it is in Canada, as I haven’t lived here long enough but like, reception so far seems okay. Like to give you a mental picture of say Taiwan for instance. They only just lifted the deportation requirements in 2015. Before that you’d have to somehow prove that your spouse infected you with HIV, and get them to vouch for that. Or that was it, peace, bye bye.
You’ll still see ridiculous things happening in Taiwan in regards to government regulation and people trying to draft bills like requiring those who are HIV positive to disclose to emergency response techs prior to emergency treatment and discrimination in hiring practices for companies still, but you really have to take into account as well the current climate in Taiwan, same sex marriage is not even finalized yet and you’ve still got crazy Christian groups campaigning against it and calling gay people down to the dirt.
Maybe Canada is still bad towards those living with HIV in some situations I’m not really that qualified to talk on it yet, but I haven’t seen anyone suggesting that if we allow same sex marriage Canada will become a country of AIDS or some wild shit like the Christian groups in Taiwan have made up.
I can really only speak on Taiwan as that’s where I’ve been for the last six years but like, Taiwan is progressive. They made progress on things argueably faster then elsewhere in Asia, but in general Asia Pacific just hasn’t received enough love in campaigns and education about HIV and stigma as western nations have. And that really then filters it’s way into public perception about those living with HIV.
I haven’t had anyone like call me anything but like I have just been like. I mean people have like not wanted to be friends or date because I have HIV yeah. That sucks but like, ignorance is quite common in some places in Asia still and that’s the reality.
TAIWANS GROWING METH SCENE AMONG GAY MEN
My concern for Taiwan really is more like, the governments way of dealing with drugs. Recreational meth use in Taiwan now is like, Orange is the new black, Meth is the new Poppers. Like seriously. HI Fun is all the rage.
It wasn’t always like that like, you would never have seen it on Grindr or profiles as bluntly as you do now, it went from seriously like within 2 years from the occasional person to like, the common person having Hi Fun. And now it’s like, the numbers of people who are now transitioned to “Slam” or injecting themselves is starting to grow as well.
So if you take a look at the HIV stats from the CDC and compare those with how fastly drug use has become second nature in Taiwan amongst gay men recently it’s like, at least for those who fit the category of or identify as gay men, (not saying everyone) but the numbers don’t really lie. I remember when I got diagnosed as well and it wasn’t due to drug use like I wasn’t using drugs. But Vivian the case manager was like, yeah most who are testing positive are those who’ve used currently or in the past so it’s like, obviously there’s a correlation and it’s not some secret or anything, people do fucked up shit when they’re on drugs lol.
But you see the logic right? People don’t seek help because of fear of punishment, especially in Asia like come on it’s more shameful for western nations where like addictions are not as taboo and stigmatized as in Asia. So people continue to use, which increases risky sexual activity, increases the risk of transmission through needles or shit like that, and so yeah. HIV becomes a problem. Because whether or not you agree with government policies like, drugs and drug users exist in any society, and the way they find help is not by threat of punishment.
Just sometimes I think like, when is the government going to actually wake up in this aspect like, those kinds of people need help not threats. And it’s not saying like all people who have been diagnosed with HIV in Asia have been because of contact with drugs or something like that, obviously, that’s not even near true and some people just have been infected through a one-time thing, but at the end of the day no one needs to judge about how someone gets HIV, you just treat it and it’s going to be okay yes, but I just feel like the Taiwanese government also has to take a look at how they deal with people who are involved with drugs and perhaps take a different approach.