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This point comes up frequently among the straight men participating in Antoniou’s research.

He and the men he works with have observed that portraits of straight men with HIV in the media are often monstrous: “They are depicted as being threats to their community, as being these shady people who are deliberately infecting women.” G. “Heterosexual men are under a lot of stress in terms of what it means to be male and heterosexual,” he says.

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As GAP-VIES’ Douyon notes, “Every program is designed either for gay men or women.

Heterosexual men are really left behind in terms of interventions offered to them.” G.

I kept hearing that some just couldn’t afford to come.” Despite these barriers, he knows of at least one successful meeting to have come out of these events: “At one of the parties I held, I met a girl.

To this day she’s my girlfriend and we have a son together.” Disclosure and confidentiality remain important concerns for straight men with HIV even once they are in relationships and have families.

I may have gotten the virus that way but to have to live with that label for my whole life because of one incident all those years ago is really unfair.” Their epidemiological invisibility may be contributing to the lack of appropriate services for straight men with HIV. His research grew out of his clinical work: “We would see these men who became engaged in care very late in their illness and we realized how little support there was for them.

Most of these guys were going through this completely alone.” Patrick, a man in his late forties who lives in Toronto and was diagnosed with HIV in 2009, agrees: “There’s no real sense of community among straight men with HIV.” Over the last few years, Antoniou has organized focus groups and community events with HIV-positive straight men across Ontario to identify priorities.A key priority is to have straight men recognized as a group in its own right.“The thing that these men want to achieve more than anything is to have their sexual identity recognized,” Antoniou says.ACT’s Winston Husbands says that the idea perpetuated by media accounts “that black men are difficult to work with in terms of service provision, that they are out of control, gets in the way of understanding black men’s experiences.” For many men, being a wage earner is a source of pride rooted in their sense of masculine identity.But living with HIV often means living with reduced financial means and, in some cases, becoming dependent on monthly government disability cheques.Fanta Ongoiba, executive director of Africans in Partnership Against AIDS (APAA), and Winston Husbands, director of research at the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), also find that black men are being tested for HIV and diagnosed less routinely than black women: “We know that in terms of heterosexual transmission, there are more black men living with HIV than black women,” says Husbands.

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