Tag Archives: HIV/AIDS

Lowered Expectations — Media, Money, & Mad Men

It’s not that I’m in a bad mood on this rainy Tuesday, it’s that I don’t have any energy left for annoyances. Yesterday started off with someone relaying a situation to me: what if a woman was being pestered to get an HIV test because a previous boyfriend of her hers was HIV-positive (or so they presume). What if the boyfriend refused to get one for himself and refused to use a condom? Could I test her and call him to say she was negative? Also, can people get AIDS from toilet seats?

There are so many things wrong with that hypothetical that I scarcely know where to begin. But maybe this is a good Square One:

screen still from Mad Men: The Crash

What about this syringe looks like a good idea?

If you’re concerned your sexual partner has HIV or AIDS, don’t have sex with them without a condom. I don’t know, seems like decent practice to me. Also, if your fiancee insists you have an HIV test, tells people on social media he thinks you have AIDS, refuses to get a test himself, and IS SUCH A DUMB ASS HE SCREWS YOU USING NO PROTECTION, do not, under any circumstances, marry him.

I open up my work email inbox, and lo and behold, there are two messages asking for me to donate money to a person who is crowdsourcing some thing or other. My work email. And I have no fewer than four personal email accounts. Read More…

The Small Town HIV/AIDS Organization

walla walla wheat fields combinesShe comes in, won’t make eye contact with me. I have to hold my breath so I can make out what her mumbles mean. But before I’ve had time to process the low tones of her language, I know why she’s in my office: She wants to get tested for HIV.

There’s definitely shame in the eyes of the people who come here looking to exchange their used syringes for new ones, but oftentimes they’re so desperate to be done with me that there’s nothing halting about their speech or presentation. The folks worried they’ve got the granddaddy of sexually transmitted diseases well, they have a reason to put off the potential certainty of a diagnosis. Those exchangers are all too anticipatory, and it is a readily accessible difference that I can assess inside of five seconds.

No matter the need of a given individual, I put on my most reassuring face. Get professional, avoid any hint of judgmental snark or attitude. In most engagements, they’ve spent copious amounts of time beating themselves up for their behavior, their mistakes, their bad decisions. I’m not one for piling on. Read More…

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