Fri, 12 Apr 2013 19:44:14
This is my opinion and I’d like to apologize to my brothers and sisters if this is going to offend anyone…
A response to the latest post titled… on 10.04.13
“It is rather strange that as lesbians we fight so hard to not be discriminated against yet it is so easy to shun on a HIV positive person as if being associated with them is a death trap…”
It is not all encouraging if you’re in one of the many places, be it home, school, work or church especially church where self appointed moralists like to stick their prurient noses into other people’s bedrooms but the fact that their curiosity as to how you got infected will always be there.
The fact that it is not a death sentence does not outweigh the fact that it is a life threatening disease with very unbearable final assault on ones health. It can be argued that it is no different from other fatal chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer and that the end results are the same, but the stigma surrounding the virus is incomparable to any other disease.
So, while under the employment of a certain HAST clinic, during one of the lazy days and with willing and open clients. I found myself pondering on the same horrible question
“How did you get infected” and I stuck my nose into their bedroom affairs and the responses were a bit unsavory.
However, whatever happened or failed to happen did not change the fact that some of them are my friends, family and proud African men and women old enough to be my parents who in their own way left footprints in someone’s life.
HIV is not a hereditary disease. Unlike diabetes, cancer and any other life threatening diseases we cannot say that it runs in the family. It is acquired. And unlike these other chronic illnesses, it comes with a huge baggage of stigma, whether it is true to the person infected or not, it still has stigma attached to it.
When I stuck my nose into other people’s bedroom affairs, unsavory as they may be, these are the reasons I got, the reasons that do nothing to reduce the stigma:
• My partner cheated or I cheated unknowingly with an infected person – Cheats!
• I had a little to drink and my libido took charge instead of my brains – Irresponsible!
• I couldn’t use protection/condom, it’s such a mood killer, worse still, I do not eat candy in a wrapper – *speechless*
From my beautiful lesbian sisters overflowing with swagg
• Gloves are such a turnoff, they look like I’m performing a medical procedure instead of making love
• Dental dam has shifting tendencies and I really can’t taste the oysters
• I never use a condom because I don’t have sex with people who have penises, which is true. But I wonder whether the shared toy has been conveniently forgotten.
Then there are our classic blondes
(apology to those with the beautifully colored hair or weave)
• S/He couldn’t have had it,
s/he looked so good,
so clean, has a job and is so successful
• I took antibiotics, herbal medication before and after having sex
• I showered/washed my privates after having sex, I assumed the virus would be washed away (thanks to our leader with many partners whom their sexual practices are unknown)
And they still wonder how they got infected…
If I could, I would call this ‘The wisdom of the educated ignoramus’
If I were to have a blog based on these wonderful special people who get paid about R1000 per month for half a year, get free groceries, free specialized expensive medication, who have specialized research done based on them and can have rallies and have protest marches if those needs are not met, just because they have the virus.
I would either be very popular, have no family nor friends or dead not because they are not only strangers who can build or break my career, but because they are also my friends, my brothers and sisters, my family.
I am not even surprised that the number of virus chasers had increased over the years…
So, my opinion as well…
People don’t like being around HIV people not because they have a life threatening disease but because like most lesbians out there, they have attention neurosis
(A made up condition for people who like attention because they perceive themselves as different from others, demand attention and allow that to define them).
Not to mention that self pity is not a very attractive dress to cover oneself in.
(Not all of them are like that, but the case of one rotten potato spoiling their entire sack is true and really suck in this case)
S/he doesn’t want to be my friend because I’m lesbian = s/he doesn’t want to be my friend because I’m +HIV.
And the really true reason could be personality incompatibly or you simply don’t click/connect!
There is a small percentage of women who have acquired the virus due to Medico legal reasons.
I sympathize with them but for their sake I hope they live as positively as they can because self pity might also cause them friends not the virus. The same goes to those born with the virus.
So whether we like it or not, aware of it or not because, it might be done with your knowledge/consent or behind your back. People will always stick their prurient noses in your bedroom affairs when you’re +HIV until you explain how you got infected or just live your life so positively that your glow outweighs their curiosity
I salute those who have lived their lives and still continue to do so fully, positively and with so much radiance that their HIV status does not define who they are but their true selves shine so brightly that their lives become an inspiration to others.
About the author
Clear Peaceful Mind known as Didi is a graduate from NMMU. Currently working for the Department of Health (DoH).
She is a peaceful, clear minded mother of a pigeon pair, a daughter and a sister.
A writer of short stories and poems based on experiences, feelings, emotions but still faced with the introverted impossibility of writing one paragraph, in third person about herself.