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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Put a Ring on It?

By Rev. Andrena Ingram

September 26, 2012

Put a Ring on It?

"Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers." Hebrews 13:4

Beyonce came out a few years ago, with a catchy tune and club song called "Single Ladies (Put a ring on it").   It tells the story of a couple who have apparently broken up, the girl is out in the club having a good time, and another guy shows her some attention.  The "ex" is apparently not happy with this turn of events, and girlfriend goes on to tell him:

Cause if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it
Don't be mad once you see that he want it
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it

Meaning, he should put a ring on her finger if he wants it to be an "exclusive" relationship.

Now, there are quite a few things amiss about this ... is she suggesting that just because he puts a ring on her finger, she will belong only to him?  Does "putting a ring on it" imply getting married?  One would hope so: "if you like it, then you should marry me." And one would hope that before you get married, you would both be tested for all STDs ... not just HIV.

For the past few days, I have been seeing a few of those little "message cards" that seem to be the craze lately:

Put a Ring on It?   Put a Ring on It?

They seem to imply that the only safe sex is when you have a wedding ring ... or that safe sex is "married" sex. It's starting to irk my nerves, "stop it"!

We have to be very careful when sending this type of message.

Now the messages in and of themselves are not untruthful, and let me be clear, by no means do I wish to taint the sanctity of Holy Matrimony.

For those who are married, I do not wish to imply that your marriage is not "safe" or "unhealthy." Quite the opposite! If both parties were virgins when married, and have been faithful ... there should be no cause for concern. (Note: oral sex is not risk free.)

For those who have had *relations* before marriage, both of you really should be tested to ensure that you are indeed negative for all STDs. (And be faithful.)

The "safest" sex, however, is NO sex. Period.

I want to introduce you to Renee' LadyByrd Burgess, a friend and fellow activist, who is living with HIV. How did she contract HIV? From her husband.

Please listen to her story.

... and it doesn't stop with Renee. There is an increasing number of older persons finding out that they have contracted HIV from their spouse.

Here is yet another story:  All but forgotten: Middle-Aged, Older Black Women at risk for HIV.

Get tested and know your status.

Send Pastor Andrena an email.

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See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More Viewpoints on HIV Prevention

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Is the Ribbon Enough?

Rev. Andrena Ingram

Rev. Andrena Ingram

Reverend Andrena Ingram (also known as "Pastor Andrena" or "Pastor Ingram") has become a strong advocate for those living in the margins, as she once was. She is an activist in the HIV/AIDS arena, herself living openly and unabashedly with the HIV virus for over 22+ years.

Raised in South Jamaica, New York, Reverend Ingram served seven years of active duty in the U.S. Army. She would later move to the South Bronx, where she attended Transfiguration Lutheran Church with Pastor Heidi Neumark as her pastor and mentor -- empowering her to rise up out of herself and her life challenges, which seemed to her, at the time, insurmountable.

Reverend Ingram is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with a Master of Divinity. She has been the pastor of St. Michael's Lutheran Church on Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa., for the past four years.

Reverend Ingram can frequently be found speaking about HIV/AIDS, encouraging everyone "to know your status, get tested, and be informed." Silence = Death.

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