“There’s a belief that because it can be treated, HIV is easy to live with, but this is not the case.
The treatment is life-altering and there are massive side-effects. This involves taking potentially dangerous meds for life.
“While we associate the transmission of HIV with the MSM community, any person who has sex can become infected orally, vaginally or anally,” he says.
One who works hard to spread the message about the life-long damage HIV can cause is Goulding, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1990.
“It can be driven by low self-esteem and by a feeling that you don’t deserve, and can’t ask for, what’s best for you.
It can reflect an unconscious desire to self-sabotage.” Twenty years have passed since homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland. In movie terms, the Irish perception of MSM relationships is now more Brokeback Mountain (romantic) than Philadelphia (doomed).
Sex between men is the predominant mode of HIV transmission in Ireland and MSM is the population group most affected by the virus. “These include heterosexual teens who have anal sex in an effort to lower the chances of pregnancy resulting from unprotected intercourse,” says Donlon.
Other Origami innovations include a male condom that slides rather than rolls on, and an anal condom designed to be inserted into the receptive partner.
The latter will launch in 2015, if FDA, and other necessary approvals, are obtained.
While advances in medical science have removed the fear of AIDS as a death sentence, that fear seems to have been replaced by a worrying complacency towards HIV.
Because Irish heterosexuals receive little encouragement to test for HIV, the number of diagnoses remains low and the true prevalence of the condition, in that population group, remains unknown.
“For me, it’s a show of trust, a search for closeness with the man I want. That’s an easy route to take, as it means he doesn’t have to think for himself.