The stark reality as sex relates to you and other USNA alumni: although no longer a death sentence, AIDS has been by far the number one killer of the LGBT alumni ahead of you, followed far behind by murders, natural causes and suicides. And despite current day knowledge and precautions, we know of USNA alumni who have seroconverted recently, long after the knowledge on how to protect oneself has been available to everyone.
The causes of recent infections have included condom failure, but also total stupidity. Alcohol was often involved. As a Midshipman and junior officers, we trust that you aren’t using drugs, but alcohol, particularly excessive use of alcohol, will impair your judgment, and your impaired lack of judgment can be a very big risk to your life long health.
Here are some “facts” about HIV infections among alumni as shared with us by the HIV+ academy alumni.
- HIV does not discriminate based on warfare specialty: there are marines, submariners, pilots and surface warriors. HIV is equal opportunity.
- All but one alumnus who has shared his story were infected by men who thought they were negative.
- One alumnus was infected the very first time he had sex with another man. The other man had recently tested “negative” and “proved” he was negative with his recent test results. But as discussed previously, antibodies detected in HIV tests will not appear for weeks to several months after the infection. A recently infected person who still has not developed the antibodies detected in HIV tests is at their most contagious stage a few weeks after the initial exposure and will test “negative.”
- Alcohol was often, but not always a factor.
- At least one alumnus was infected by a condom failure. His infection would most likely have been prevented had he only been aware of “PEP” and commenced treatment immediately after the exposure. If you have an “accident” and act immediately, you will be OK.