As you may know….as you should know…as you probably know based on all the advertising
today is World AIDS Day
I’m not going to take you through the statistics, or try to ‘scare’ you
at this point the truth is if you’re not already concerned about the AIDS pandemic, i probably won’t be able to change your mind. It’s real. It’s affecting people. It needs to be dealt with. We’re dealing with it but we can’t stop now.
Today I want to talk about sharing…specifically sharing your body
I understand that your body is your business, and what you choose to do with it is also your business
But when you choose to share your body, it stops being about you. It’s community business now, so you have a responsibility to yourself, but also to your community, to know what’s going on with your body.
Now, I know this is a very different angle from what everybody, myself included, has been taking. Usually I would try to appeal to the individual, ask them to take control of their own lives. Get tested as a means of knowing themselves. I still do that.
But i’ve been thinking about this individual versus community thing, and I believe, especially in Jamaica, we still have a sense of community. We haven’t reached as far in the cursed march towards individualism as some of our comrades in the ‘first world’. We still have a likkle of granny teaching left. So i’m speaking as a granny taught Jamaican. We haffi tek care of one anodda. and that means taking care of ourselves, and knowing ourselves before we share ourselves.
You’ve seen the chart. When you have sex with someone, you’re having sex with every person they’ve had sex with, and every person the people they’ve had sex with have had sex with and on and on
But also, when you have sex with someone you’re bringing to them everyone you’ve had sex with, and all the people the people you’ve had sex with have had sex with. Now, this can make for a wealth of experience and style yu can pop in the bedroom, but it also makes you responsible for what you are bringing to this person you’re about to sleep with. It’s not about ‘what they could give me’ and this is not just about HIV/AIDS, there are a host of other STI’s out there that we can volley back and forth between each other. But let’s stop thinking about what they could do to us, and think about what we could do to them.
Yes, what you could do to them. You as a part of a community can contribute to it positively or negatively. You in not knowing yourself can change lives. What you can do to them.
Now let me be clear, I have nothing but love for persons living with HIV/AIDS. I’m not implying that they are a threat to the community. I cannot emphasise this enough. There is no room here for stigma and discrimination. They are my brothers and sisters and they are fighting a hard battle. Support is what I give. This is about the disease, not the people who live with it. I think they would agree with me that we need to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. And what that means is we each need to take responsibility for ourselves as a means of being accountable to those around us.
We are social creatures. We are not in this alone. We are sharing our bodies. We cannot think singularly anymore.
For those who choose to abstain, respeck!
For those who are sexually active, it’s not just about you. It’s about all of us now.
Get tested. Know your status. Practice Safe Sex. Be wise. Be Better. For all of us.
We are literally, all in this thing together.
For more info on testing events going on this week check
I apologise this list is very Kingston specific, I’m away from home and can’t get all the details as easily.
There are, however, testing activities across the island, most likely in your town square. You’ve probably heard about them in the past weeks but in case you haven’t just give the Regional Health Authorities a likkle call and dem will tell yu where fi go
We can actually stop this disease. But first we have to stop being scared and stop being a little bit selfish and think of ourselves as a part of the bigger picture. get tested. if you don’t care to know for yourself, care to know for the people around you. and you’ll be better off for it.
if i may plaigiarise myself…
“Happy World AIDS Day. Respect to the people working on a cure or working in the field in any way. Support to the people living with HIV/AIDS. Love and Blessings to those who have lost loved ones. Courage and decisiveness to those still wondering whether they should go and get tested <–do it!. Will power to those who choose to abstain. Good job tho those who have already been tested today. Prayers for Africa. Fire for the people who choose to ignore the plight there. And condoms, femidoms, dental dams, lube and everything else you need to be sexy and safe to everybody else. Your life is your business but when you choose to share your body it’s no longer just about you. Be responsible, be safe. Know your status.”