In his work as an HIV prevention specialist, Bernard Jackson has observed how "clever" HIV can be -- often entering people's lives when they are both vulnerable and unaware of their vulnerability. So, he decided to try writing in the virus' voice.
I will be here for you always if you let me in. I am more than you could ever dream. I will be there for you when no one else will. I do not care if you have millions of dollars or just one cent to your name.
People always tell you that you will never have a connection with me because you do not travel in the right circles or because you are married already so you will never meet me. However, trust me when I tell you these things, I want to be with you no matter what and I will use even your best lover to get close to you.
I know that they did not see me coming in the door with them the other night but once they invited me in and I saw you, I knew I wanted you too. So just remember: if you think that you can't have me simply because you don't hang out with the people who know me and so you'll never have to worry, just let your guard down and I promise you that I will take advantage of that one night you let your guard down. I will be there for you and the only way you will know that I am there is if that busybody OraQuick tells you. It will only take 20 minutes to stop me from giving you all I have to give. Hello, my name is HIV.
If you think there is no way for you to meet me face to face, let your guard down and I will be there forever and ever.
GET TESTED -- NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE, IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Bernard Jackson is a prevention specialist at Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1999.