Healing HIV's 'Viral Divide' Will Take Time and Empathy, Latinx Journalist Says
October 14, 2016
"Even though we're on the same page now, HIV-negative people are still the people of privilege in this relationship, and when you're talking about criminalization and the legal divide, we still need to recognize that," said Rodriguez, who is HIV negative. As a young, gay Latinx man whose father died due to AIDS-related complications -- and as a person taking HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) -- he lives at the intersection of many roads into the HIV community. And as TheBody.com's community editor from 2012 to 2015 who is now a staff writer at Mic exploring U.S. culture and LGBTQ issues, Rodriguez is in a unique position to see and discuss these issues.
Although science now strongly supports the statement that HIV-positive people with an undetectable viral load have a negligible risk of transmitting the virus, "We have to allow ourselves to hear that and to internalize it, because we still operate from a place of fear -- we still let our fears dictate how we're gonna treat other people," Rodriguez said. "It's not a learning process; it's actually an unlearning process, where you have to take so many years of conventional wisdom and say that that was wrong -- or say that it's been updated. It takes a long time to undo that kind of thing in your head."
The viral divide was just one of a host of issues Rodriguez discussed with TheBody.com's managing editor JD Davids on Facebook Live, including:
You can watch the archived video of the 30-minute interview below.
Follow Myles on Twitter: @MylesatTheBody.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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