I finally got my ass over to Palm Springs, California for the Blatino oasis gay event
late last month. Something I had been thinking of doing for the last 6 years but couldn’t, due to (in no particular order) work commitments, personal finances, weddings and a morbid fear of being used for target practice by a jacked up US law enforcement officer.
But I overcame all these obstacles and found myself in the sweltering Palm Springs desert heat of 36 degrees centigrade and looking forward to the entertainment, lined up for the year’s Blatino gathering.
“Blatino Oasis is a retreat (not a pride event), started in 2007, and held annually in Palm Springs, California. The next event will be held April 27-April 30, 2017. The retreat offers a variety of activities geared towards gay and bisexual men of color and our friends & lovers, to help us to party, relax and enjoy ourselves, in the beautiful, very gay friendly and legendary Hollywood vacation resort getaway to the stars, Palm Springs, California.”
Passes for the activities are released 12 months in advance and the early bird passes sell out really quickly, so I purchased mine not too long after they were released last year.
As is the norm for such events organised in the US, there is a host hotel, where most of the activities are held.Read More »
Last September I was on holiday in Los Angeles and as usual whenever I visit a new city, I went sight seeing during the day and cruised the local talent at night. I logged onto the gay hook up apps and websites to check out the local talent. Being LA – Land of Hollywood where a large number of the residents are fit aspiring screen actors/models waiting for their big break and also staying in the predominantly gay West Hollywood, I had high expectations.
Yes the guys were hot, however on most of the profiles that I found interesting, I noticed that most of the guys were on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). The guys I sent messages to, though according to their profiles were HIV negative, said they wouldn’t mind having bareback sex because they were on PrEP. I did some digging around on the internet to understand PrEP, and I found quite a bit of information and research based data on it.
“PrEP is the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV negative people from becoming infected. PrEP is approved by the FDA and has been shown to be safe and effective. A single pill taken once daily, it is highly effective against HIV when taken every day. The medication interferes with HIV’s ability to copy itself in your body after you’ve been exposed. This prevents it from establishing an infection and making you sick.”– Source – http://www.whatisprep.org
I knew then it would be a matter of months before PrEP hits the UK and now it is being trialled.
No HIV prevention technique is 100% effective, but I think some are more effective than others. Clinical studies carried out show that HIV virus did not infect 86% of the men on PrEP when there were exposed to the virus. (For condoms, its 97% (assuming the condoms are used correctly – 100%), plus condoms protect against other STDs.)Read More »