Today is World AIDS Day. For those of you who are regular readers of our blog, you are already aware that this day has particular meaning for our family. Our dad contracted the virus just over ten years ago. I’d encourage you to read his testimony here, which he wrote last year for our blog. It is the story of man coming to terms with the unthinkable, what had seemed imaginable.
The misinformation that leads to the stigma associated with this disease is astounding. With Charlie Sheen’s recent announcement, I saw so many people condemning him because of his HIV status and hesitancy to tell people. There are plenty of reasons for people to dislike Sheen, but contracting HIV is not one of them – nor is his hesitancy to tell people. You are talking about a disease that many people instantly judge someone as “deserving” as soon as they hear they are HIV positive. You are talking about a disease that immediately transforms the relationship you have with others due to the misinformation and beliefs to which people cling. Let’s stop judging people for their HIV status and/or their process for coming to terms themselves and sharing this deeply personal disease with others.
So, today, tomorrow, this week, take some time to educate yourself (and others). Check your assumptions. Check your bias. Talk about HIV/AIDS for what it actually is, not what people think it is. And get tested!
Here are some great sites for more information: