There have been some headlines recently about people who do not disclose their STI status and infecting other people, and in general, HIV has a negative connotation. When I read this article on how the author does not blame anyone for his HIV status, I was intrigued. From my own experience talking to friends, if they are diagnosed with an STI they blame someone, even if it’s only themselves. However, Kirk Grisham isn’t angry at anyone.
Grisham also points out the importance of both communication and condom use. He says, “When I used to get tested at the city clinic, they would tell me that people stay negative by disclosing their negative status. Having a conversation is paramountâ€”negotiating whether and how you want to use protection, talking about the last time you were tested and asking the same of your partner.” Communication is difficult! With practice, it can become easier, but some of these topics can be tricky to work into conversation. I don’t ever remember a whole class devoted to communication in school, or even just a few lessons here and there. However, communication is so important, not just for protecting yourself and your partner, but in every day relationships.
The article also includes stories from three individuals, and how they have protected themselves and made communication part of their lives. As for condoms, I wrote about how to include them in your sex life previously, and Michaela just posted about cute cases for condoms. How difficult do you think communication is? At what point do you talk about STIs and protection with a (potential) partner?