Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Break The Twink, Grindr,Scruff, and Vanity Fair. The new "Have Load Will Travel".


~This entry updated 1/26/2012


Two articles:

First the Vanity Fair article.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/05/grindr-201105

Then Break the Twink weighs in---

http://break-the-twink.blogspot.com/?zx=63d4df3c68ca3c34

Yeah, the second link, it's gonna take you to a partially adult site.  It's not safe for work, but neither are death, divorce, God, and Lady Ga Ga. Get over it.

This blogger is young, articulate, smart, and represents the change we can all believe in---a generation that is mostly fearless, and not entirely impacted by all the baggage that some of us older folks are still sorting through. You know, the cost/toll of HIV/AIDS, the difference between rural and urban gay culture, the gay working class divide...all that stuff. He knows what he wants, can tell you about the swag he's collected along the way, and hopefully a generation of guys like him will help undo the previous generations of secrecy, down low, and back story. Anyway, in checking out his blog, this entry of his caught my attention.

Maybe you've never heard of "Social Media." or "Social Networking" or Grindr, Scruff, or tons of other hook up app's.  I hadn't--at least not until last year and upon my introduction, I sat there stunned thinking this changes everything. 

I've been published on peer reviewed HIV and Mobility studies, CB Language Studies etc. Already these efforts are outdated as they are still focused on Facebook and Internet sites as the ultimate in potential outreach targets.  That whole bit of research is now as stale as Conway Twitty and Twitty City. Recently other studies have been published. some of their publication dates are less than two years old,  mostly in early 2010, and in just a year they are also so dated.

I can only wonder what will come next---Twink finder?



Many of the readers who land here are conservative Christians. So this topic is probably totally off your radar screen.

But, whatever. 

Get yourself educated, the Rev. Teddy Haggard wasn't so unique and the pews are filled with double lives and secrecy.  Newt Gingrich isn't the only conservative hero to have strayed or played in the gray.

I would lay money on the table that even if you are a regular at the mega church, you probably know someone--- who you'd probably also never guess--- has been doing the grindr or scruff happy dance. That's why you might want to read on.

Even though it's probably gonna make you squirm or get ya all hot and bothered and want to send in dues to the American Family Association, or maybe make you want to go all Colorado Springs and just focus on your family while trying to look away.  Just don't. Especially if you have teenagers who are only beginning their launch into the wonderful world of glee, wicked, and weird.  You need to be fully aware of the recent trend that 39% of all new HIV infections are occurring in the under 25 set.For the record, these are 2009 numbers. Those numbers reflect trends present before the advancement of phone app hook up sites.


You better watch out. You better not cry. Because Grindr is cumming to town.  It knows. If you've been naughty or nice. It's keeping a list.
 
 
 
So for folks basically not in the know--- Grindr and Scruff are GPS guides tracking one's proximity to currently available penis. A straight version is also in the development, to be called Amicus. The current technology works off a smart phone application.  Instead of gas, food, and lodging, it's gonna give you turn by turn directions to lust, lube, with a side of wham-bam, thank you! man. Possibly waiting at the next exit or maybe after school but certainly numerous pings before its time for dinner.
 
From the Vanity Fair Article:
 
"Openly gay celebrity jack-of-all-trades and devout technophile Stephen Fry introduced Grindr to British television viewers on the BBC’s hit show Top Gear, which is about the rather heterosexual subject of cars. “This one may not be quite so up your strata,” he warned Top Gear’s host, Jeremy Clarkson. “It’s called Grindr.” As Fry showed off the app, Clarkson’s incredulity shifted to enthusiasm. “You can find the nearest cruising homosexual with one of those?,” he marveled. “Imagine in traffic jams!” Grindr downloads spiked by 30,000 in the days after Fry’s appearance on the show."

Over the last year, I've ridden shotgun with trucker friends and a few admitted manwhore friends. I'm a bit surprised to discover just how easy and plentiful strange dick on the fly now is---no more years of lost time, the chase through Damron Guidebooks and all that wasted diesel fuel, lost out the stacks, idling. No more cops pretending to be tops, reaching their hand, ala Larry Craig, under the restroom partition.  Instead of the local rest area or park dedicated to a replay of Something about Mary, or the ruin of Tye Herndon's Country Western Career, it's now more about harry, buck, chuck and hairy--who it so happens, turn out to be fueling at the next fuel island over, about to empty out at the grain silo across town, or who is trying on a pair of new CK's one store over at the mall.  Better yet they may waiting for the green arrow in the lane next over from you.

Isn't life good?

The apps in themselves are not bad.  They are simply a sign of the times.

But in rural, closeted, youthful hands and in big road applications, the options are completely different than the options in the gayberhood.  And that's where the rubber hits the road, the recapped tire separates and it's blowout time.

Our national public health leadership---the castrated, inept, underfunded, and career goofballs--- who three decades into HIV still don't have a clue because even though everyone knows sex, blood and semen is how you get HIV, we still can't really talk about these realities---just oozes incompetence. They are still developping web based interventions and have no clue that these are already out dated. 

Worse for many public health workers, you know those actually working in the field, they are legally unable to access social networking sites and I Phone apps without getting their butts fired due to the explicit content often found on these sites.

Even though Scruff and Grindr represent the potential trigger point that may signal the start of the next big wave of HIV infection, public health is unable to even access these sites in many juridictions.  Facebook based interventions and gay.com interventions are so like yesterday.  You gotta have the app man.

Yet why bother with reality?  National public health strategies have funding clauses that force these fencelines and prohibit many of the very intervention strategies that might be most successful. Even when there is flexibility as a result of non governmental funding, local leadership realities means agencies continue to design these happy little pamphlets to make conservatives happy---and they do so even while knowing these efforts are a waste of time--the final product looking like some rejected comic books from the last century's Sunday School lessons. 

So fine, be that way, and waste more precious resources.

But know that as I've rolled with my gear slamming buds through BFE Montana, Idaho and even Wyoming, and dang if that Grindr/Scruff app wasn't going off like a  pinball machine or SWIFT driver missing gears straight out of truck driver school training.


 



(disclosure 2)

I'm app-less in Pend Oreille.  No such animal exists on my droid phone. No profile. No Scruff or Grindr.  My phone seems created by Fisher Price in comparison with my trucker friends.

Still, I've gladly accepted the invite to hold friends phones and felt the love, the ping, the good vibrations, the five ticket ride coupons that are appearing on the house, one after another, as any number of potential just passing through opportunities announce their interest in my fellow road warriors.  While sitting there minding my/our/their own business at a loading dock, let me count the ways other Grindr's and Scruffies offered to provide their loads, regardless if they required a fingerprinting, delivery confirmation, or spill mitigation in return.

Yeah it's graphic to put it out there like that, but really, I'm long past being sensitive to head-in-the-sand conservatives who show no end of discomfort with plow sharing and harvesting seed but seem perfectly fine pursuing greed, theft, and war mongering via prosperity theology and who don't seem one bit upset that abstinence approaches are a failure as evidences by all the young folks contracting HIV. Their worry over the explicit detailing of spilled milk is not my problem. Milk spills.  Often in the last places you'd expect.

Neither my trucker friends nor their manwhore devotees seek to ruin any one's good time. They offer all thsee shotgun-side views because they worry as well  and as they invite me into their Grindr and Scruff profiles, locales, and show off tales, they do so with a purpose. Their reveal of their locked and loaded road tripping profiles is done for one reason---they are a bit worried that in the hands of some, the promise of hook ups in wonderland represents a slippery slope. They know what may lay ahead, that sexually transmitted infections are on the upswing, and this app enabling the joys of "if this sleepers rockin' don't come a knocking" can jackknife. Instant real-time experience might have a downside.

Through interviews, looking at their usage, I too see an introduction to the origins of the next big thing in scary epidemiology. Because drivers are masculine, manly men, with plenty of meat on their bones and they don't look wasted or in danger of losing weight, folks don't think about the potential infection risk presented via mobiity.  Especially when a hot booted man jumps out of his ride and he's got all that sleeper just waiting to be explored.

Truckers represent the last of American Cowboying, and just as Marlboro once borrowed on this sense of virility, even as black tar lungs resulted, so do many gay (and even "straight") men fantasize about the sexual abilities of the just trucking through set.

Many married drivers do not identify as gay.  They will only seek out other married drivers, because they perceive that all the other trolls tip toeing through the rest area tulips aren't "real-man" enough. They discount the risk of messing around with other non gay identified men , offering that since they don't see themselves as gay---and the other guy doesn't walk, talk, or act gay either, it's just a couple of straight buddies messing around.  Top?  Bottom? Condom? No worries---this ain't real sex, its just casual fun---like going with a bud to Cabela's or Bass Pro or Daytona. 

There's no need to tarp anything, there's no reaching for latex, and even though this is not intentional bug chasing---bed bugs and virus like to travel just as much as the next pathogen.  What starts as just a little slip and slide or slap and tickle while enjoying the large car sleeper might end up going south a decade down the road.

Check out the documentary Big Rig.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rig_(film)



Did you catch that bit at the beginning of the film clip?

The dude hollering for an oil change over the CB radio? The one you hear announcing his hospitality during the opening credits, just before that bolt of lightning hits?  That offer isn't about a truck service and he's not gonna need any filters or heavy weight Rotella to get the job done.  Although he didn't scream "good buddy" or announce his intentions, everyone knows, cus this is code talk for down low in the slow lane land of the heartland.

He'll meet ya at the next get-off ramp, smiling as he opens the door, leaving one cab for another, with no needs on his mind other than hoping that the driver hosting has a ton of lube, some spare sleeper bedding and no ill will. Cus its gonna get messy and that drive will climb in the bunk, and he'll request that you dump the airbags in the air ride to keep the CB antennas from going all shake and bake and dead give away.  CB land is metaphor land. The big double talk. The big day-tripping, gone for weeks on end, driver whose well schooled in trucking through the valley of the shadow of "take it up to channel 29 for the milkman" so he can take it up the ass is an open secret in the industry. 

10-4 Good Buddy.

Funny Vanity Fair completely missed all that. All that completely forgetting about the heartland makes the story incomplete, don't ya think?

In fly over, BFE land, the territory between Casper and Billings; Buffalo and Bonners Ferry; Butte and Boise, it's mostly married dudes looking to get plowed, or young kids who haven't yet escaped to greener pastures of disco palace land---  Truckers are considered safe, they don't know the locals, and they are always just passing through. They won't blab what happened at the grange, out on the range, or probably even wanna meet again. In doing the math, the ease of hooking up this affords is, well, mind boggling.

For the record, most truck drivers are not promiscuous, they are faithful and monogamous.

But...

As the NM department of health documented in 2007, interviewing over 700 drivers while doing STD/STI testing, for those that are looking for a good time (roughly 15-20%)---the ramifications for general public health are serious.

Nearly 25% of the drivers in NM advised they had used controlled substances in the last five years, and another 10% of those in the last year.  Meth and other fun stuff adds in more risk taking. and with the use of illicit drugs, the transparency of monogamy gets clouded. The pain in the ass represented by informing your partner you just took one for the team might be problematic. Witness the staggering number of undiagnosed STD infections uncovered in that survey.  Its far above the mean for the general population.  And these guys are highly mobile. So the NM study, first published in the October 2009 American Journal of Public Health, provides the overview and offers a snapshot into the challenges of mobility.

Then consider this: All of these already accelerated numbers NM Department of health documented were pre-Grindr, pre-Scruff, pre-phone apps. 

At the time, many of the drivers who tested positive for STD's/STI's didn't even know they were infected.  Many infections are now presenting asymptomatic. 40% of truckers have no health insurance.  For those that do have health insurance, it is hardly valuable when they are out of state and on the road.

A few years ago the Feds, brain dead numb nuts that they are, decided to look into commercial driver health.  Surely sexual and reproductive health would be a basic part of this important undertaking. You'd think that right?

So, just to make sure, we asked, thinking of course they'd want to address this if it had somehow been overlooked.

"What about sexually transmitted infections? And driver reproductive health?"  Our question, is still posted, along with tons of other questions. 

We got silence. Nada.  Other questions were addressed.  Stuff about back issues and hernias or whatever.

But the Feds don't wanna talk about the SEX or reproductive health. It was if they'd predetermined that drivers are non sexual beings.  Instead the survey only looked at the risks of a life filled with consumption of chicken fried everything and getting run over by a fork lift. The survey hailed straight from leave-it-to-beaver land.

Still we raised our hand and asked.So they should have responded. What about sex? Butt Sex? Vaginal Sex? Where do drivers turn when they have a drip that doesn't revolve around the oil pan?
 
It's not like we didn't have recent issues from our own local case management files prompting our concern.

In just one week, a couple months before the public comment period ended, the local health department advised me that we had two cases where HIV infected drivers traveling Washington State Highways, unknowing that they were infected, presented themselves to local E Rs. These drivers were so sick from AIDS related Pneumonia they had to be carried from their trucks into the hospital.  Just minutes before they'd arrived at the ER, they'd been trucking down the highway, near delirious, fully loaded with 80,000 lbs of freight.  Now their loads sat undelivered.  They were so sick they had to be incubated, and unresponsive and sedated, their families didn't know where they were for over a week.  Nor did the company know.  And it wasn't like we could notify anyone, as disclosing someones HIV status is against the law.

So yeah, it is kind of serious.  We all share the roads.  And not to demonize drivers, but as I've mentioned here on this blog, multiple times, the job is so taxing on driver health, that industry-wide truckers face an 18 year accelerated mortality rate over other professions.  Their life expectancy is 13 years less than other Americans.

And yet the Feds seems to shrug and ignore the potential HIV represents. Big Whoop.

So we sort of mentioned this to the Feds, out loud, just in case they'd missed it thinking they'd address this.

I've even met with congressional staffers, and both Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell Staffers.  Yet Health2Go still isn't funded.  It's all polite and kissy face.  The staffers tell me, year after year, to minimize the talk about HIV.  Talk about heart disease, which hell yes, that's important as well.  We submit the request for funding through official channels.  Then silence.

Seriously, really. Sexual health is just as important as the old ticker health. And as these studies suggest, in all areas, when it comes to truckers, driver health is in the toilet and that disease is spread unintentionally along transport routes.

Funny that.  This is a federal research project, coming from the higher ups in DC.  The same site of a metro publication that is publishing a link to yet another Grindr story. One wonders how many Grindr/Scruff pings a guy might get at the DOT, the FMCSA, or CDC?

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/yeas-nays/don039t-ask-don039t-tell-just-grindr





In nearly every commercial driver health study (of which there are precious few funded in north America), I'm aware of at least one person who was found to be HIV positive---and more importantly, completely unaware of their infection or status at the time the researcher found them.  These respondents also then don't know the accelerated risk they present to infect others---mainly their sexual partners.

Half of all new HIV infections result when people have sex and don't know their HIV status.  And if your recently HIV infected, your chance of passing the virus onto someone else is also most elevated during your first year of infection---when you might not know you're infected. 

Also, not to beat this horse into the ground, but remember all those other STI/STD infections that NM Dept of Health found?  The presence of these untreated infections double a persons chance of contracting HIV.  We have lots of numbers from India, the Ukraine, South America, and even Mexico.  Hell, even Somalia (where drivers, to be in good standing with the local Muslim clerics know that condom use is a sin and have abandoned their usage.  So now, instead, these resourceful guys just use little plastic baggies as a substitute to tarp their loads.).

Here in the U S, where no one talks about HIV anymore, several studies--- even with fairly small sample sizes, document multiple previously unknown HIV infections among respondents. Some of this research, for reasons only the NIH took years to be published even though the research was conducted at the beginning of the last decade. I'm specifically referring to the Truckers and Community Health Project in conjunction with Emory University.  Read Discover Magazine and their August 2004 cover story "Forbidden Science" and then wonder---Why were these clowns, who at the time were charged with safeguarding the nation's health, and who were paid to keep us on the cutting edge of valid scientific research, not fired for delaying the publication of this research? 

Over a million bucks, worth of research delayed for nearly a decade.  Strong language? Yep. But how much data do we need?  The rest of the world, mainly funded by Bill and Melinda Gates, World Vision, Oxfam, and the WHO gets it.  Even U-2's Bono, during a north American "Red Campaign" stopover---gets it. 

Bono made it a priority to visit and speak at the nation's largest truckstop---in of all places, Wolcott, Iowa. He reached out to the nation's truck drivers, doing what public health can't seem to do: Talk about HIV and mobility in North America.  The resulting media coverage?  Yep. Nada.

I've seen three documentaries not finished on this issue.  I've seen trucking trades pull their coverage. Editors cower.  I've spoken to these folks who have no problem doing exposes on truck stop prostitution, who are in a position to get the word out and they tell me all sorts of reasons they don't want to talk about HIV on the big road.

Because Peterbilt might sh*tcan them and shut off ad revenue.

Because drivers might get angry.

Because the numbers aren't alarming enough.

Because the studies that are published are too regional.  Not enough drivers participated. 

And all that denial has been firmly in place long before Scruff and Grindr became a basic essential in your average cowboy trucker's "gotta have that" equipment list.

(disclosure two)

I work or have worked on some of the research efforts cited above, and/or I continue to engage in research efforts about to be published.

In presenting some of these findings, standing alongside my colleagues at the American Public Health Association convention---or speaking at human trafficking symposiums or in interviews with media, I just don't get why public health still doesn't get it.  Why the trucking industry trade writers can't grow a pair. Why no one gives a damn.

When we presented this information in Philly in 09, not the CDC nor the NIH nor the DOT nor the FMCSA bothered to attend. As a consultant on the Emory Study, I knew the data suggested big trouble and in conducting some of the truck chaser interviews, it seemed that chasers who might normally chose safer sex in other situations, felt no urgency in pursuing such tactics in rest areas.

No one wants to connect the dots or say this out loud---not the trucking industry, not public health, and not the gay community, that the American Cowboying Trucker, the guy who has a "friend" or "favorite parking area in every town" just might be about the worst choice for a sexual partner.  These drivers have little access to HIV testing, yet trucker hawks throw all caution to the wind in their encounters with these studs riding big hooded, chromed out large cars---The truck chaser is far more fixated on the idolatry of the straightest acting, rather than addressing head-on the risks of going straight to bed unprotected.

Just because "he looks clean" or seems more masculine than the neighborhood hairdresser, all bets are off regarding that driver's potential to infect them with HIV. Similarly many drivers aren't consciencely willing to admit they have sex with guys. So of course they aren't going to stock up on condoms or carry a supply in the sleeper. 

I'm astounded that countries like India and Cambodia have more invested in this issue than we do and that much of their funding comes from the U. S..

And what does this discussion regarding Grindr, Scruff, have to do HIV and mobility?  Why cover both in the same blog? Just do the math.

Nearly 3 million truckers are on the road at any given time.  If 10-20% of those guys are engaged in unsafe behavior, or they have undiagnosed STI/STD infections, or they don't know that they are HIV positive, and have no way to know their status, and now we have Grindr and Scruff beeping like a wake up call or an air brake failure, don't ya think that's kind of important? 

Especially when no one in general talks about HIV anymore?  Did you see HIV exposure risk even mentioned in either the Vanity Fair article or addressed in the blurb about these trends in the Washington Examiner?

Over twenty different trucker HIV related studies were compiled by the University of Washington's Synergy project.  They found in South Africa that for every one transport related HIV infection, researcher could trace nearly 300 additional infections.  They have documented that HIV spreads along transport routes very efficiently. 

Translated here in north America, HIV risk mitigation has to be part of the driver safety empathsis.  Because drivers are continually confronting the possibility of an oil change---just like the one featured in the beginning of Big Rig.

Just take it on down to "take time" for your one stop service. 

Don't feel the resulting lightning strike.

Do clean up afterward.

Do grab some gears and start making up the lost miles. 

That is until the next offer comes along either via the CB Radio or grindr or scruff.

My focus has traditional centered on HIV and mobility.  But add in Hep C (preliminary studies show that north American commercial drivers are infected with a staggering 10% prevalence rate with these infections). Then there's all the other risks.  HPV, Syph, etc.  The access, anonymity, and lack of schedule accountability truck drivers enjoy---plus the convenience enabled by truck sleepers---means that if you visualize the convenience of an hourly rate hotel room and apply it to a truck cab, all this combines to translate that what's happening in the sleeper via Grindr or Scruff is not just--- yawn, a statistical variation. 

Worldwide countless studies demonstrate that truckers and mobility represent a prime conduit enabling the spread of HIV from high risk groups to low risk groups.  Everywhere else on the planet agencies work very hard to mitigate, educate, test and document trucker health issues.   Now that we find that Hep C can be sexually transmitted and that HPV has eclipsed tobacco use as among the greatest risks for oral, cervical and anal cancer,doesn't it seem, well, shocking that only in North America is this population completely ignored?

Public health has failed truckers.

Disease prevention, education and response efforts overlook their existence.

Our incompetent, head-in-the-sand national health policy leadership is completely unable to address their realities.

That cute little HIV and Mobility project, Health2Go that I mentioned just a few paragraphs back has been shovel-ready for six years. It's won awards, and the ire of conservatives.  Truckers like the project because they would finally have an "On the Road---Off the Record" means to know not only their HIV status but they'd also gain an important resource to monitor countless other health issues.

Yet no big surprise, Health2Go remains completely unfunded.  Our little agency can't do this alone. It must be a national priority. On the Road, Off the Record is 100% accurate.  If the feds won't address driver sexual health, what other agency is going to have the ability to do so?



We have five, potentially fatal, sexually transmitted infections that are now on the verge of blowing out whatever available medical interventions to treat them remains---Drug resistance is up and its a bit naive to think that something new and even worse isn't just lurking around the corner.

We have over 9,000 newly HIV poz folks on medication waiting lists, and with the latest trend in conservative politics--- entitlement bashing--- I see this only getting worse. We know that if people know their HIV status, we can get them on medication that will vastly improve their life expectency and many studies now also suggest that if an HIV positive person is faithful in taking their medications, they viral count is undectible, then it is nearly impossible for them to pass on the virus to the sexual partners.

Seriously, if the conservatives are willing to bash teachers and firemen as overpaid, and not worth the cost to taxpayers, does anyone  think for a minute that Ryan White AIDS funding will continue to enjoy support and remain capable of medicating an army of the newly infected, people who are mostly young, and who will need life extending HIV drug cocktails indefinitely? Does anyone really think that conservatives will care that once people are on these life extending drugs, they're less likely to be capable of infecting others? Do you think Kenworth or Peterbilt or Freightliner are going to step up and fund something like this, even if it preserves their own customers lives, if they don't even know their customers are potentially infected with HIV?

This is a federal issue.  And the feds, especially our local representatives Senators Murray, Cantwell and congressperson Cathy McMorris have all been informed of these issues.  And they've done nothing (other than to urge us to focus on Heart Disease and reapply for funding next year.).

Most of my former driver friends are dead. Not sick and happily taking pills, not just dealing with the minor inconvenience of medication, but dead, taking a long extended dirt nap.  Some of the ones who are still alive, found out way to late that they were infected and their immune systems were in ruins, or their needed meds denied as a pre-existing condition.  One such driver is now blind, unable to work.  Recently another friend of mine, who loves his truckers and rest area action, lost a good portion of his tongue and jaw to cancer that is probably related to the HPV virus. 



I'm not trying to ruin any one's fun, but the situation is increasingly messed up.  No one is talking about HIV in general, but especially not on the big road.  The urgency is gone, even as I see the startling new numbers long before they're published.  To be HIV positive in Baltimore or Boston is not the same as the lack of options a guy has once he's infected in Billings or Round Up.  Small town America is only just beginning to deal with what NYC and LA have wrestled with for three decades. In most places, the budgets sustaining these efforts are slashed and help is not forthcoming. 

Ask any trucker about the sex that goes down out on the road.  Indeed read all the ads in Gay Truckers Classifieds. Rural married truckers will engage with a wide variety of partners, and that farmer sitting next to you during Sunday church service may also be the same guy first to bail from softball practise once his Scruff or a Grindr ping diverts his attention.. Even as plenty of people are hooking up with all those gear slammers in the party row of the truckstop, such detours are the last thing disclosed to partners, spouses, girlfriends. 

In the case of both drivers I previously mentioned who got sick while trucking thru Washington, each was married.  Neither knew they were infected. Until the decimation of their immune systems neither thought they had engaged in anything to put them at risk. So of course, neither of them announced, along with "Honey I'm Home", that they'd brought company.  And that it would be staying awhile.. 

If the scene portrayed in Vanity Fair is accurate in urban area's, imagine how much fun Iowa and Utah and Kansas may face. Fun indeed.

"The blog site Celebrifi declared Simkhai responsible for the “biggest change in gay hookups since the hanky code,” yet Simkhai tirelessly downplays Grindr’s obvious sexual undercurrent. “From my perspective … it’s not sex. It’s a precursor to sex. It’s just before,” Simkhai told The Observer (U.K.) in July 2010. “That’s how I see Grindr. We want to be sexy. We think sex is part of life, the basis of life. But Grindr is sexiness rather than sex.” Huh? Try as he does to finesse his widget, when cornered Simkhai tends to retreat to the safety of a formulaic distancing maneuver: “I’m just a technology provider,” as he told Rosen."



The 500 mile rule, that anything goes as longs as its more than 500 miles from the front door, is hardly an urban myth. And whether you're a Nebraska long hauler or a Coloradan crop duster just looking for a game of Twister via a sleeper cab diversion---one coming courtesy of your I Phone, both demographics find near zero access to rapid HIV testing. It's not likely that the subject will come up with the home town doc. 

In fact, its almost a sure bet the subject won't come up at all.  Until one day, late on a load, that driver feels sicker than he's ever felt, barely making it to the ER, and by then its too late. Allow me to recall the old Act Up! saying. Silence Equal Death.  Even if it isn't listed on an I Phone menu. Or referenced in the opening credits to a little documentary called Big Rig.

So Grindr and Scruff away like you mean it.  Just do it with a tarp on that load.




Buck 65. From Big Rig.

Health 2 Go driver assessment:


Other health issues also claim truckers:


The Federal Comment:



1 comment:

The Hermit said...

I just shake my head... will we ever learn? How many generations will it take before we wake up? In the 80s, I lost literally half the people in my address book. The only good thing I can say is I'm glad that you are writing about it. I hope a lot of people read about it. And I hope that still more think and act based on the words you've written.

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