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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Don't Take That Chance ...

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

October 5, 2012

This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.

I know some of you are planning your weekend, yep! And I know sex is involved, so STOP lying! And I know that some of you are going to have sex without a condom, so STOP lying! And some of you are going to justify the sex with some bullshit, so STOP lying.

Yes, I said bullshit! Some of you don't know your partner's HIV status and you still having sex without a condom. I'm sitting here having my morning tea, thinking, what the HELL are you thinking? Like why are you putting yourself at risk? HUH? Like For Real... For Real... That's real blind faith. About 38% of newly diagnosed cases of HIV, are of people who were infected by people that didn't know their HIV status.

And some of you think you know your partner's HIV status. Yep! They told you that they tested and it came back negative and you smiled and said, "GREAT" You believe their truth as it was presented to you and now you're thinking, "We can get that thang freely." And really that's all you cared about in the first place.

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And some of you even went and got tested with your partner. I bet you're proud of yourself. Well, actually, I'm proud of you to!! Basically because you loved YOURSELF enough to know your own HIV status. And you are grown enough to have the conversation with your partner. Neither of these are small things, so I commend you. I whole heartedly believe that if you can't have the conversation, before you fuck, then you shouldn't be fuckin.

BUT ummm the fact of the matter, at the end of the day, all you know about your partner is what they tell you and what you see. I'm not going to make this long and drawn out. This is the bottom line; YOU JUST DON'T KNOW! You think you know. You pray you know, but at the end of the day, the only thing that you know for sure is two things, YOUR own HIV Status and what your partner tells you. It's a fact, when the penis is not with you, you have NO idea what it's doing!

I know, I know, I know, you are saying, "Gee give it a break Rae. Is there ever a time when I can let my guards down?" And the answer for single folks is NO! There was a time when I believed that a monogamous relationship as you know it should stand on it's own two feet of honor; but with years of experience, banking on someone else to keep you safe could be a deadly mistake.

There's not a week that goes by that I don't get an email or message on Twitter or Facebook from someone that discovered that their partner has been outside of the relationship and now they have some sexually transmitted disease. And I've told you time and time again about the men who have approached me knowing my HIV status and they are otherwise committed. And I've even confessed that I've accept an offer here or there. I know what it's like to be lonely and the foolishness we do to rid ourselves of that feeling. At some point you have got to Love yourself, more then wanting to be loved!

While I want to say yes, go ahead, take a chance, I just can't. A chance could leave you fighting for your life for the rest of your life. Have fun this weekend, but don't take a chance. There's no sex worth your life. #FuckinFriday

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See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
Visit Our "Ask the Experts" Forum on HIV Risk and Transmission
HIV Transmission Q&A
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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Jermaine (Denver, CO) Mon., Dec. 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm EST
There are other means of safer sex than to use a condom. The condom message is not effective for everyone and actually not realistic to assume that everyone is going to use it. Maybe instead of preaching about condoms all the time you could explore other means of safer sex and be more open to discussing those. You have a great message but I don't think it's all inclusive. Opening your mind could even send your outreach to a wider audience.

In this case one could ask why you didn't use condoms with your husband? should everyone whether married or not use a condom? You are saying that we shouldn't trust ANYONE correct? So this includes our spouses correct?
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Comment by: Jasmine R (Detroit, MI) Wed., Oct. 24, 2012 at 9:36 am EDT
This seems more like an attack. People who are made to be ashamed of their unwise choices may also be afraid to learn of the consequences of their choices.
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Comment by: shameika (sumter sc) Thu., Oct. 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm EDT
I remembered the day u came to the hope center and spoke to us about this and you were so beautiful! I admire your strength and the courage you have! You are a strong woman! I still have your book that you signed and gave me
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Comment by: Anonymous Sat., Oct. 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm EDT
this is true but even married people need to be on their guard because they cheat to and sometimes the condom may brake so what then?
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Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

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