Thursday, December 01, 2005

Knowing is Beautiful: World AIDS Day

Support World AIDS Day
Today is World AIDS Day, and if you haven't been touched by this epidemic in some way by now, it's time for you to be. Now, I don't know anyone who has AIDS, but I was tested this summer and it was a life-changing experience. Below is a journal entry I wrote about the day. This was real personal for me, and I was reluctant about sharing, but one thing about being on top of urban culture is staring the statistics about me and my fellow Ghetto dwellers in the face. I hope it will inspire you to do something to commemorate the lives lost to the disease.

September 6, 2005

I feel beautiful. For the first time without the assistance of anyone else. My test came back negative. And unlike other people's experiences where they feel time stood still, the time between me deciding to go to get an HIV test and the actual results was sped up like a Kanye West sample. It took 20 minutes for the counselor to get my results, which was bridged by questions that made me sure I was infected.

"Have you have unprotected vaginal sex in the last year?" Yes. "Have you have unprotected anal sex?" Yes, I mean no, I mean I don't remember. She put a star by that response. "Have you had unprotected oral sex within the past year?" The only thing I can think of was a guy telling me real women don't suck on condoms, and I was a real woman.

When she left the room to get the results, I cried a little. This would be relief regardless of the results. The ignorance about my status grew from bliss to an 800-pound elephant in the middle of my life that I worked overtime to ignore. And besides, me being clueless about my status was more like a lack of wisdom than ignorance.

I knew all of the statistics, even did stories on AIDS as a reporter. I was just too careless, too passionate and too confident in a man's ability to pull out. That wouldn't stop me from getting HIV. But something did. Something beautiful that was like armor from my environment of indiscriminate sex. Something that couldn't have been man made because if anyone deserved to have HIV, if it was handed out on merit, I'd have it. Bar none. But I don't and I feel beautiful.

I feel like pieces of me are back from the men I've given my pussy away to. I feel new and confident. I asked Jesus to walk with me into that testing site, and He didn't. He carried me. And I didn't deserve to get a negative test, but I did. In spite of my behavior. I was given a chance by God to improve myself and help others be wise.

I love me today, despite of who I was because for the first time, I see who I am.

Resources about HIV/AIDS

BET's Rap-It-Up

Columbus AIDS Task Force

National HIV Testing Resources



At 10:49 AM, Blogger j. brotherlove said...

Like many other black, gay men, I posted about World AIDS Day, today. As varied as those stories are, I was hoping to find a woman's voice.

Wow! This post is beautifully personal and poignat. Thank you for sharing it.

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