Did you know you can buy condoms at the 99 cent store? Did you know there are condoms for males and females to wear? Did you know you can order them online? Did you know that condoms are the number one way to effectively protect you and your partner during a sexual encounter from STD’s including AIDS and HIV? So, if you are nodding your head and saying, yes, yes, I already know all of this…I have one question for you: “Why the hell are you not consistently using condoms with your partners?!!!”
A man in Missouri was recently arrested and charged with purposely infecting people with HIV. He was aware of his status and upon learning of it, slept with-according to him-over 300 people without the use of a condom, and without disclosing his HIV status. He is an unassuming guy who worked at the local grocery store in a small town that would probably never even catch your attention as being an HIV infected man purposely giving it to others. Knowingly having unprotected sex while HIV positive is a crime and happens more times then you know. Does this scare you because I hope it does.
There are so many reasons why this story angers me, but the main reason is that this man did not rape or force anyone to have unprotected sex with him. All of his partners were willing participants, and are now in danger of carrying and having passed on a potentially deadly disease to others as well. My anger is strong…my anger is overwhelmingly abundant when I read these stories because all it would have taken was one person to ask, “Do you know your status?” or “Let’s go get tested together.” I know this is not always an easy step to take…trust me, I’ve been there, but it is a life-changing/saving necessity.
Sex is amazing. Sex is natural. Sex can be a spiritual connection between two people in love, or a lustful experience between two people just hooking up…and sex can be deadly. When we meet someone we like we have an instant attraction and of course that in most cases-unless you are celibate/waiting for marriage- will lead to intercourse, or some form of sexual intimacy right? We don’t see our partners as unclean and we choose to believe what they tell us about their past because we have an emotional connection to them.
Let me just say that we all lie. You’re nodding your head in agreement right now, or saying to yourself, “I don’t!…I told my boyfriend everything about my past and I know my status!” Well, good for you but have you seen his? I mean seen, as in, the results letter, email, or form he or she was given from their doctor? Then no, you don’t know their status.
When we apply for a car loan, mortgage, cell phone plan or even a job, background checks are done on us. Our credit report shows all of our purchases, gains, losses, defaults and penalties. You know you wanted that iPhone and had to give your social security number at the wireless store just to be approved for the service plan, so why do we put more value on our phone plan then our bodies?
You, me, we, all of us deserve to know the ‘Sex Facts’ of our partners past. Ask for the ‘Sex Facts’! Seriously…and if he/she is unwilling to give them to you then have a serious talk about sex, STD’s and the use of condoms. Ask your partner to show you the ‘Sex Facts’ report and if he/she does not have one, then go and get tested together, or on the same date at your respective centers and learn your status. Keyword: Learn.
This conversation can be tricky for some to handle out of discomfort or embarrassment, but let me say that you put on sunscreen before you go outside, you wear a life jacket when you’re on a boat, you have a cover for your iPhone so it doesn’t break, so why not use a cover for your man/lady parts and protect your body? I’m just saying…Ladies, you should also be carrying condoms on your person, or have condoms in your home. Also, buy female condoms if you are engaging in oral sex (for those of you who are celibate/saving yourselves for marriage and don’t need male condoms, these are great for you as well). The female condom can also be used for anal sex as well people.
Guys, this goes without saying that you should always have condoms on you, as well as in your home. Do not ever be embarrassed or afraid to purchase condoms, get tested annually for all STD’s including HIV and AIDS, ask your partner about their sexual history aka ‘Sex Facts’ or refuse to have sex unless your partner wears a condom! You are literally saving your life and the life of your partner by doing so…you’re a hero dammit!!
If you are in a committed relationship and have been tested for all STD’s, and your partner has as well…awesome! Do know that you still need to be tested annually because not everyone is monogamous although they say they are? Unfortunately you need to not be paranoid, but be realistic and know that everyone no matter how much they love one another are capable of mistakes. An STD test takes less time then it does to watch your favorite reality show, so just go and do it! There are NO EXCUSES! Free testing centers are available everywhere…don’t be afraid, be a hero.
1) How to use a female condom: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/female-condom-4223.htm
2) How to use a condom consistently and effectively: http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/brief.html
3) How to find a testing center in your area: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/stds-hiv-safer-sex-101.htm
Sound off below…Does this conversation make you uncomfortable? Are you aware of your status? Are you HIV positive? I’d love to hear your comments and stories… xo Jonesie