Mo Ivory: Are You Sleeping With A Man Who Is HIV Positive?
That sounds shocking right?
Well, not so much for the woman who slept with Stone Mountain resident Craig Lamar Davis, who is facing 20 years behind bars for knowingly exposing a woman to HIV.
The message being sent by the prosecutor, and in February by the judge (when sentencing takes place) is this: PEOPLE WITH THE HIV VIRUS NEED TO NOTIFY OTHERS OF THEIR STATUS.
Will that change the behavior of men and even women that are infected with HIV and are hanging out in the bars, clubs, grocery stores, book stores, libraries and coffee houses waiting to meet a new person, to date, to start a relationship, to have sex?
Here’s the deal: These days, you can’t specifically recognize a person with HIV. The drugs to treat the virus are so advanced that people suffering with the virus look as healthy as the healthiest person with a perfect medical record.
Have you seen the pictures of Craig Lamar Davis? He looks like any well-dressed man, perfectly coifed, handsome, approachable and ready for happy hour on any Friday night in Atlanta.
Only thing, he’s reportedly infected with HIV and hiding it from you!
So, for all us single ladies, it’s our responsibility to ask the question early on, to find out the HIV status of the man or men we are going to have an intimate sexual relationship with.
Is it an uncomfortable question to ask? Yes
Is the timing of when to ask awkward? Yes
Do you need to get over all of that and ask the questions? YES
And the questions shouldn’t stop with HIV status. It’s all venereal diseases. It’s chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea – and that’s not even mentioning the prevention of pregnancy.
Ladies, we have to put ourselves first. We have to make having an uncomfortable conversation a minor issue compared to maintaining our good health and our lives. African-American women have the highest incidence of HIV infection, and finding out the status of the man you are planning on sleeping with, or are already sleeping with, is crucial to decreasing that infection rate.
What is the real reason that we as women don’t ask the questions?
Is it because we are afraid of asking a question that will make the man walk away?
Is it that we think because he is gainfully employed, handsome and graduated from college that we think he couldn’t be infected with HIV?
Is it because he appears healthy looking?
Is it because when we asked, he said he was HIV negative and we took his word for it?
None of these reasons are valid enough to give up our lives over.
So ladies, today or next week or next month – before your next sexual experience – ask the questions, PLEASE.