The morning after. Feeling good?
HIV/AIDS means to be responsible- for yourself.
Do you really expect anyone to tell you they are infected, when disclosure for them could mean:
– being killed
– being beaten up
– being shamed, spat on, pushed around, yelled at, seeing faces of disgust and fear
– losing their 11 dollar an hour job when they are not educated enough to get any other and they were so g-ddam happy they found this one
– losing their very much loved mother, their loving father, their giggly sisters, their sweet brothers, their cool cousins, their aunts, their uncles
– when it would mean being shunned by their (immigrant or not) community and not accepted anywhere else as Canadian
– being deserted by friends when you thought they would stick with you through thick and thin
– being treated like a leper with others shying away from your body
– when it could mean police hauling you off to jail
– being in jail until you get acquitted or sentenced three years later. With little access to the medicines that others can get so easily.
Can you ask that of a fellow human being?
when they are poor, black, first nations, trans, sex worker or anyone else who has little power or privilege.
So what can YOU do for yourself?
1. Use condoms, even with sex toys.
2. Get tested every 4 months.
3. When you have open wounds or abrasions, be even more careful.
4. Do volunteer work for an HIV/AIDS organization: help spread the word about prevention.Advocate for clean needle programs, for decriminalization of sex work.
5. Cook dinner for someone who is HIV positive. Fresh food is what their body needs. You might have to do this through volunteer work first. It’s not as if people will be automatically open to you about their status. Don’t think of it as charity, but as regular socializing.
6. Read up on the myths around HIV/AIDS.
7. Use clean needles. Throw your needles away in the container if there is one. (This involves the privilege of being in a neighbourhood where there are those boxes and/or where there are places to safely inject.)