Monday, August 16, 2010

HIV-Keeping it Safe.

I just read this article about the German pop-star Nadia Benaissa, who was in court today facing charges of aggravated assault for infecting a man with HIV. Not only did she NOT disclose her HIV status to multiple partners, but she also engaged in unprotected sex with them. This story really bothers me. How does a beautiful, talented, seemingly intelligent woman allow something like this to happen, and why are young people still so afraid to talk about HIV and safe sex? 

I have a daughter who is nineteen. She's an honors student, holds a part-time job, is beautiful, smart, and yes, HIV positive. Born with the disease, she came to me at just sixteen and told me that she wanted to disclose her status. She came out to friends, school and our whole community.  That took a lot of courage. Did she lose dates or lose friends because she chose to reveal her status? No, she did not. She still went to prom and she still went out on dates. She'll tell you herself that she's not ready to have sex, but you can bet that when she is, she and her partner will have the maturity and the conscience to talk about HIV and safe sex first. 

Although Ms. Binaissa's choices are unacceptable to me, I don't judge her, nor can I condone her actions. When she was asked why she did it, she admitted that she didn't think that she could infect her partners. I believe that she's telling the truth about that, but is that a good enough reason not to tell... Not to use protection? No, obviously it's not and that's why she's going to do jail time, and someone she had sex with is now going to have to live with HIV for the rest of his life. What she did was shocking and sad. What was she so afraid of? Was she worried that revealing her status would make her less attractive or less of a person in her partner’s eyes? If anything, I think disclosing would have shown courage and the care she had for her partner... I think it would have made her a hero.   

HIV and safe sex: Talk about it. Don't be afraid. And if you're in a relationship where you can't talk about it then maybe you're just not ready to take that step.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Last Days of Summer...

Summer... Hard to believe it's really coming to an end, especially when the heat index today reached a whopping 113! 

Even as hot as it's been, we've had a great summer. Between the late-night swims at our local pool, a trip to the California coast, and a little adventure on the river, I'm happy to say that we've managed to have fun regardless of this sweltering heat.  

I hope your summer has been a blast, too. Is it just me or does it feel like summer always goes too fast? Seems like we barely got started and already it's time for the boys to replace their swim gear with backpacks and books! They are already into their first week of school, and as eager as I am to say goodbye heat and hello to fall...I'll always cherish these summer days. 
Nothing says "happy" like a yellow mushroom dumping water on your head : )

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Born With HIV: Interview with Jake Glaser

I just watched this video. It is SO powerful and so well done. Jake Glaser has grown-up to be such an incredible young man with a message you'll want hear and then share.