Sharing My Story- But Not Condoms- With the Catholic School Board

By: The Dreamer

originally posted at 

I’m quite certain that everyone agrees that we live in a very sexual world, and no matter your beliefs or your grass roots, we’re all at risk of the unknowns. This next week I will be doing two presentations in front of an audience of students where it’s been difficult to give out condoms, and it’s not the students or the teachers that are at fault. I’m downright nervous as there is a part of me that is still shameful of my own past. I’m not in denial when it comes to having had lack of wisdom, as I felt dispensable with respect to my goals and dreams.

Update November 15.Today shed new light on why I continue to share my story publicly, as I do at times get a little overwhelmed with asking myself why? Does the average person really care that I obviously made unwise decisions at some point in my life? I’m aware of them now of course, and I’ve never laid blame on anyone at anytime, nor do I blame lack of education in my grade school years, as again I state, HIV did not exist at that time so there was no need for it to be part of the curriculum.

Two of the questions I was asked by students.....

“Not to be disrespectful” this young gentleman says “but why did you survive when you were so sick in the hospital in 2007. Weren’t people supposed to die when they were that sick?”
My response: “Yes there was a time when people were dying fast and furious because of a lack of education, lack of medications and a lack of HIV/AIDS specialists. There was a day when this was considered to be a plague, and it also appeared to be only affecting the gay community. I still get overwhelmed with how I personally managed to see my way through all of this.”

Another question: “Is there a way to make people get tested for their own protection, as well as, the protection of others? For instance, when one gets their age of majority card.”

My response: “This is a wonderful suggestion and I totally agree, providing it can respect the confidentiality and rights of everyone. All I can suggest is to have a petition signed by students and then taken to your local MP for consideration to be brought forth for further discussion.”

The presentations began with a 101 discussion about HIV/AIDS to help achieve a better understanding, followed by another person’s story besides my own. This other person’s name is also John, a heterosexual man who is a former hockey player. John’s health did not allow him to join us but sent in a CD to share his story. This gentleman’s story captured even myself, and I can’t even imagine where he finds the strength to share it over and over. John also confesses to having made unwise choices that led him down a path of his own. Eventually he meets up with another person living with HIV/AIDS, and she is certainly the one for him. They met through their local AIDS Service Organization, and she always told him every night on going to bed, “that was the most beautiful day of my life and I love you”. She once again said this for the last time and never woke up the next morning…………this was to be the day that they got married.

If there is anything I can do to help comfort this man, it is to help in sharing even a tidbit of his story to help deliver the message to others.


4 comments (Add your own)

1. Rajesh wrote:
Dear bobby townsend and anntohy polimeni, my name is michael delgado and i was a stylist frm Allure salon I would just like to say thank you for letting me be a part of your organization for the day it was a wonderful experiace and thank your for letting me be a part of it ! you guys did a wonderful job and when you guys mentioned that it was a matter of thirty days what a great accoomplishment and great turn out ! also thank you for sharing your storys and educating me more about aids awareness and getting tested once again thanks much ! keep your head up and keep on doing what your doing! In best regards, Michael Delgado

Sun, December 16, 2012 @ 8:18 PM

2. wltopofrone wrote:
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Mon, December 17, 2012 @ 9:05 PM

3. xsckzzfo wrote:
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Wed, December 19, 2012 @ 2:55 AM

4. Steven wrote:
You can get what's called a Duo test at 4 weeks after paitnetol exposure. This test looks for both antibodies and antigens. The standard antibody-only test has a window period of 12 weeks and it's recommended you go back to confirm the result at that time. However, the duo test is highly accurate (around 98%) and it's unlikely the result would change. American guidelines state 6 months, however this would only be necessary if you have some kind of autoimmune disorder. If you have an autoimmune disorder it is something you would be aware of so for the vast majority of people an accurate result can be found at 12 weeks and a very good indication at 4 weeks.If you always use condoms and if you understand how HIV is transmitted and practice safe sex you will not be at risk of HIV infection. This fear you have of HIV transmission indicates that perhaps it would be useful to talk with a health adviser or counsellor to help you learn to control this anxiety. You really won't be at risk if you know how to protect yourself.

Tue, January 8, 2013 @ 8:04 AM

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