You Down With HIV?
I remember a comedian riffing off of Naughty by Nature’s song Other People’s Property (O.P.P.) Instead of the song’s hook, “You down with O.P.P.? Yeah, you know me,” the comedian would add his own words….”You down with HIV? Hell naw, not me!”
That comes to mind on this 27th day of June, National HIV Testing Day.
I guess no one would readily admit to “being down with HIV.” But our actions, and in some cases inactions, speak louder than our denials.
If you are having unprotected sex, you’re down with HIV.
If you know your man/husband/fiancé/man of your dreams isn’t faithful and you continue to have unprotected sex with him, you’re down with HIV.
If you’re embarrassed or ashamed to ask your partner his HIV status, you must want to be down with HIV.
Perhaps central to this conversation is fear. Fear of what happens once you get the results. Fear of what he’ll do if you ask him to take the test. Fear of being alone.
I can’t pretend it isn’t scary. I remember getting my first HIV test. Yes, I remember how good I felt finding out I was negative. But also I remember the empowerment I felt and the responsibility I felt to keep it that way.
I was never going to let another man put me in a situation that I would have to face that fear..of not knowing.
Every year since then I have been faithful to myself and faithful in getting my yearly HIV test.
I beg you to do the same. Be faithful to yourself.