The rumor mill had it that HIV, the AIDS virus, was spreading among users of “deaikei” (encounter) websites. These specialize in bringing strangers together as potential sexual partners. It sounded at least plausible, and so Spa! got a reporting team together.
Two months of research turned up one man who claimed to have been infected by a woman encountered through a deaikei site. One person in two months is hardly an epidemic, Spa! readily acknowledges. So you can take the following story for what you think it’s worth. Keep in mind as you read, Spa! suggests, that according to a Health Ministry report released in February, AIDS tests in 2006 turned up 1048 new cases of HIV infection -- an increase of 96 over 2005 and the most ever in a single year.
The man whose story Spa! tells is identified as “T.” At 38, married and with one child, he’s a veteran deaikei dater, having frequented deaikei websites and their terrestrial precursors (deaikei pubs, bars, telephone clubs and so on) since college.
He figured there wasn’t much about the genre he didn’t know, and its risks didn’t daunt him, not even enough to use a condom. An occasional dose of gonorrhea was the price you paid for an active night life, and he didn’t mind paying it.
Last fall he dropped into a hospital with symptoms of a minor sexually transmitted disease and was told, “Why not take an AIDS test? It’s anonymous and the results come through the same day.”
When told he had tested positive, his first reaction was, “Impossible!” Well, it was only a preliminary result, he was told; the final one would be released next day. It, too, was positive.
“I’d heard rumors about ‘deaikei AIDS women,’” T tells Spa! “but I figured it was mostly malice.”
Malice takes many forms. “In retrospect,” he says, “I thought I knew who had infected me.” He wanted revenge.
His imagination was working overtime. He would strangle her, but then, he decided, she probably had yakuza protection. He tried calling her, but she had apparently changed her cell phone number.
For a long time he’d been seeing a psychiatrist for depression. The depression deepened. He and his wife divorced. He learned that “the AIDS woman” was still operating at the deaikei site; “she must have slept with dozens of guys since.” He thought of warning them, but then thought, “Why should it be just me? Let them all get AIDS!”
He refused treatment and instead spent more time than ever pursuing deaikei sex. “I slept with more women than I can count -- two, three a week. No condoms. If the girl insisted, I prevailed on her to do it without one. Let them arrest me. I’m not raping anyone. Maybe I’ll commit suicide.”
Does this sound far-fetched? It doesn’t to Dr Tsuneo Akaeda, a gynecologist who for years has offered free weekly health consultations in Roppongi. He tells Spa! of a woman in her 20s who, when tested and found HIV positive, burst out, “Why me? Why? My friends play around much more than I do, without condoms.”
But when she came the following day for more precise testing, Akaeda says, she was calm, even when the positive result was confirmed. “Doctor,” she said, “I don’t want treatment. Instead, I’m going to do it with every guy who tries to pick me up.”
“I haven’t heard from her since,” says Akaeda. “She might very well be active on deaikei sites.”© Japan Today