A 3-letter abbreviation that isn’t KFC.
This article marks my third for Diverse Reader, and while I was originally going to dive into something both humorous and meaty (like a bukkake, like my ex, like that one time I got spit roasted, etc) I came across a piece of “news” on Facebook over the weekend that caused me to rage-status, which isn’t something I usually do.
The “news” in question claimed that a man had infected a particular brand of butter with his HIV+ blood and was warning potential consumers of said butter not to eat the product. Now, there’s about fifty things wrong with this piece of misinformation to begin with (including that it’s a hoax). However, when I took a scroll through the comments section (bad move) I was pretty shocked/appalled/insert-disgust-here at some of the responses (And for what it’s worth, I was proud of some of them too).
And yes, if you are curious, I am a HIV+ male. I found out a little over 2 years ago (already 2 years into my current relationship) and my world fell apart for all of 3 days before I got all the information I needed and realized that this isn’t going to impact my life in the slightest, save for a single pill a day. And no, my partner never contracted the virus, despite us sleeping together countless times during my “incubation” period – the state in which the virus slowly chips away at your immune system.
So, hunker down readers, because today I’m teaching the class.
First of all, you cannot “infect” food with HIV. Why? Because HIV CANNOT be ingested. Now, perhaps if someone with a high viral load (not on medication) were to slit their wrists open, slash your gums and gush pints of blood down your gullet, then sure, there’s a good chance you’re going to catch the virus (albeit through the open wounds in your gums), but if that’s your pre-dinner ritual then I’d say you have far more pressing issues to worry about.
Secondly, HIV rarely survives outside the human body for long, especially when mixed in with anything edible. Sure enough, there are a few conditions in which it can thrive for a few days (within a needle that contains bodily fluids), but for the most part, you could roll around in a sheet of dried HIV+ blood and be fine. (Although, I wouldn’t recommend it. Save the blood for your weekly sacrifice to the dark lord)
Thirdly, the article (and all others like it) exists solely to incite fear and further stigmatise a group of people suffering from a chronic illness, and the best thing you can do when you see these nonsensical pieces of discharge is to politely
shove your fist up the sharer’s dick hole correct the
unwarranted fear in the comments with facts.
What are the facts, you ask?
- As discussed, HIV cannot be ingested.
- HIV cannot be cooked or mixed into food and remain transmittable.
- People living with HIV (who are on medication) do not have compromised immune systems like you might think. In fact, we’re monitored to make sure our CD4 count (aka immune system) is on par with those who do not have the virus. A cold isn’t going to knock us off our asses anymore than it would you.
- UNDETECTABLE MEANS UNTRANSMITTABLE – there have been numerous studies involving a + and a – partner (and the + partner being undetectable) and in absolutely NONE of these cases has the + partner infected the – partner.
- Some people live 10+ years with HIV without experiencing any symptoms. This is because the virus doesn’t show any symptoms after the initial infection period, and it’s during this period (incubation) that it becomes rather difficult to pass on. You’re mostly likely to contract it from someone who has A) Just been infected, or B) Been infect for a long time. Thankfully, I was somewhere in the middle when I met my partner, and now with medication, there’s less than a 1% chance he’ll ever contract it. (It would be a 0% chance based on studies, but science doesn’t like to give us that number in case the impossible occurs one day)
- Someone on medication is going to live just as long as you are, possibly longer because of the bi-yearly check-ups and regular testing that may catch other illnesses before they can become harmful.
- AIDS isn’t a singular thing. It’s the term used for a variety of illnesses (cancer, etc) one can only contract when they have a weak immune system.
- Coffee is life.
Of course, a lot of the information I’m giving you is watered down like a cocktail at happy hour, but the foundations are solid. HIV is NOT a scary, easily spread plague upon the population (at least, not in any first world countries). It’s not something that should make you feel uncomfortable to discuss. It’s not a subject you should shy away from. In fact, it’s because of the discomfort the topic brings that so many people perpetuate these fictitious, borderline slanderous lies that paint anyone living with the virus to be an infectious monster that merely needs to brush up against you on public transport to bring your world crashing down around you.
I’m more likely to sprout wings than you are to catch HIV from your food. The sky is more likely to turn green than you are to catch HIV from dried + blood. Donald Trump is more likely to be a great president than you are to catch HIV from hugging a + person.
You see where I’m going with this?
I’m going to end this little rant of mine by linking to a trustworthy website that my doctor recommended when I first found out I had the virus. If it’s something that peaks your curiosity at all, I suggest giving it a look: http://www.aidsmap.com/
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