Stop calling me dirty and disease-ridden!

Randy BoydDear HIV-Negative Men: Stop calling me dirty and disease-ridden! Every single time you call yourself “clean” and “disease-free,” you call me, a person living with HIV/AIDS, “dirty” and “disease-ridden.”

Yes, that’s right. I admit it. It hurts my feelings every single time I encounter the words “clean” and “disease-free” in reference to health, and I am not alone.

Using phrases like “clean” and “disease-free” while looking for love and sex only tells the world you’re misinformed about safer sex and thoughtless in choosing your words.

I understand wanting to avoid viruses, but unfortunately, the disease many so-called “clean” and “disease-free” men suffer from is ignorance and a lack of compassion.

THE FACTS:

The medical terms are HIV-negative and HIV-positive.

If you’re practicing SAFE SEX, it doesn’t matter if your sex partner is HIV-negative or HIV-positive.

If you’re practicing UNSAFE SEX with anyone, regardless of HIV status, you’re practicing discrimination and not taking responsibility for your own health.

If you’re using terms like “clean,” “disease-free,” “DDF,” “bug-free,” “no bugs,” and the like, you’re using words that have different meanings to different people. Using those different words with different meanings while negotiating sex could lead to you yourself becoming the opposite of “clean” and “disease-free.”

Wise up. Think. Does using those harmful words represent you at your best?

Ryan White

 

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