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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

HIV and Family

This isn't what you think. I am not writing about being a family member of someone who has HIV or AIDS. Actually, I am writing to tell you why you need to consider everyone else in your own sexual choices. See, when were young we're told that out actions affect others as well as us. The same is true about your sex life. Ok, well clearly if the you or the person you are with is HIV positive sex is a risk, and it will affect the other person. Now you're hot and heavy and you know your partner is positive...what do you do? You use protection, right? (You'd better) Right.

Ok, so what if your partner isn't positive? Or I guess I could say has never tested positive. Get it? HIV/AIDS doesn't always test positive right away, or even for years in a few cases. So, while you are out having unprotected (or, you know...stupid unsafe) sex, you're putting your life at risk. Every. Single. Time. Ok, ok but where does my family fit in? So, do you have parents? Siblings? Friends? Yeah? Well, what if you had to break the news to them that you contracted HIV? What then? So you're sick, and well, dying. Ok, now your family has to process this information, digest it, and figure out how to cope with it. They will be left, broken, in pain, and lost. All because you made a choice. I tell my baby sister that unprotected sex is selfish (uh, she's 21 so we all know)...let me tell you our story.

There are three of us. Sisters. My older sister, me, and my baby sister (who plays no part in this story other than the fact that she exists). My older sister is a bit of a umm...well...she's friendly. The kind of friend you meet at a bar, take her home and she never goes herpes, but she talks (a lot...about herself). She's special, not one of a kind, but special. I don't get along with her for various reasons, one being that I don't agree with her judgments of my lifestyle while she comes up with excuses as to why she cheated on her adoring husband while he is at work. Anywho...that actually has no bearing on my story, so on we go.

My sister parties, she plays hard, and sometimes she gets hurt. She's been in her share of bar brawls, and seen her fair share of violence and drinking. She's a social alcoholic, meaning she goes out and gets drunk with friends to have fun. She meets guys at the bar and drags them home with her. They usually leave, some stay and live in her little fantasy world where they love her and take care of her. Until they get sick of it, then they leave like the others. I have seen it my whole life. It's how she functions. Night after night, guy after guy.

Since she can't have kids she has sex "bareback." She claims she enjoys it more...well fuck, I like tigers, but I am not inviting one into me bed. Good lord. I have asked her on numerous occasions about STD (STI what-the-hell-ever)...she said she'd go to the doctor and get something for it. Umm...yeah. Herpes...nope, can't fix that, HPV (well, she had that to begin with), Hepatitis...uh, can't cure that. Fucking HIV!?!? Are you serious woman? You will get something for it? Yeah, ya will...guess probably won't work. She just laughed and said they guys she was with were clean. How the hell would you know that? Now, my sister...she's a nurse, so she's not retarded, she knows HIV can lay dormant, along with other diseases. Unfreaking real. Apparently since it has nothing to do with me, I shouldn't be pointing it out to her.

Ok, well then, after she contracts HIV, it becomes AIDS (because she won't take her meds and will inevitably more sick), and she winds up dead, she had better get her ass back here and clean up the fucking mess. I will be the one sitting with Daddy at the funeral, I will be the oldest sister now, I will have to help Grandma get through it. Really, and that is just my part. What about the grieving parents? What about the funeral? What about explaining to everyone just how this happened to such a "sweet and innocent girl" in the first place? Families don't get over things like that.

You see, people rarely think their actions affect everyone around them, but they do. So, if you are one of those people like my sister...grow up. Take responsibility. If you have casual sex or any other sex, get tested regularly and use protection. Imagine the example we are setting for today's' youth. What if it was your child having unprotected sex with the possibility of contracting an STD, especially HIV? Consider how you might feel. Now, that is how your family and all your friends will feel. HIV is relatively least try not to contract it and spread it. For all you know, your partner was never tested and should be treated as though he/she does have the safe is all I ask.