A friend of mine e-mailed me the other day in response to my "Awkward Magic Johnson moment". He proceeded to tell me of one of his own awkward moments recently. In a college class, someone in a role of authority decided to tell a couple jokes...
"How do you give CPR to an AIDS patient?" He started stomping on an
imaginary person on the ground with his foot, and blowing in the air
from a standing position.
"The AIDS diet is pancakes because they can be slid under a closed door."
This friend of mine said that in response to each joke, "A room full of my friends cheered and applauded. Again riotous laughter from my peers."
I do not share these jokes with you so that you can go out and use them in your own social circles. I share them in order to call attention to some of the mean and hurtful things that can be and are being said. Can you imagine being an HIV+ person sitting in a college class, where the teacher and students (who you expect to be educated and have a little bit of class) are jointly making these kinds of jokes and remarks? Yeah, of course they don't know that you are sitting there and have HIV. They don't know that it may be personally hurtful to you. But that's the point! They don't know! None of us can know for sure who in our company may be HIV+, or may have a family member or close friend who is HIV+ . So, watch what you say! It is just ignorant and in poor taste.
I am 27. White. A Female. And a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I am HIV Positive. This is my story of how a few months, a few people, and a few events in Zambia changed me and my life forever. This is the story of how I contracted HIV and brought my Peace Corps Journey to a crashing halt... and how I am working now to pick up and put back together the pieces of my life as a newly diagnosed person living with HIV. This was not the journey I had originally planned... my path has traumatically and dramatically changed... but it is the one I am on now. There is no going back. There is only forward. I welcome you to follow along with me as I attempt to explore this new life ahead of me, whether you are someone from the Peace Corps community, or someone living with HIV. I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and opinions. Let us go forward together.