Posted by: sternenfeeinflorida | 27 January 2010

The Gift isn’t really a gift!

A couple weeks ago, I watched a documentary called “The Gift”. It left me speechless and absolutely aghast. I still don’t know if I’m actually able to write about it, if I processed it.
Maybe it’s just me, but who in the world would want to consciously infect themselves with HIV, so they can continue to have unprotected sex? This concept eludes me, especially since HIV is only one of many sexually transmitted diseases. I mean, I can see where the guys are coming from, if their partner is positive, they don’t have to worry about getting infected if they’re positive with the same string. If it’s a different HIV string, however, things can get really messy. But that’s a different subject and it’s better explained by someone who knows more about it than I do.
Those guys, however, weren’t in a stable relationship, they just wanted to have sex with whomever. Since most of the men in their circles were positive, they thought that being positive themselves would give them the freedom they longed for and take away the recurring tests and the fear of a positive test result. Before I watched that documentary, I had no idea that there were parties even, where one could “receive the gift”, meaning having unprotected sex with dozens of positive men with the goal of obtaining an HIV positive test result, too.
Luckily, some of the men interviewed eventually realized that it may not have been their best idea, but of course by that time it was too late.
The part that scared me most, I think, was that I understood the concept and where they were coming from. However, I know enough to know that the tests are nothing compared to life with HIV.
I wish my boyfriend would write about it a little more. I asked him to but he doesn’t really want to, he doesn’t want to sound whiny. I told him, he wouldn’t because he never is. Besides, many people don’t know what it’s like and although I do get a little more insight, I’m sure he doesn’t tell me everything either. Aside from that, I think it would give people a better understanding and a new perspective. Maybe he’ll read it and see how important it is that people realize that not only do his medications keep him from getting really, really sick and pretty much keep him alive, it’s not the same as taking a something to get rid of a headache. A lot of people still don’t know much about HIV; it doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore, it seems to only exist in Africa, where people still actually die from an infection worsened by AIDS, while in the developed world the perception is that people just take a few pills and live happily ever after. Education seems almost nonexistent these days and certainly excludes the importance of prevention. I wish more people would get tested on a regular basis, why not make it a point to get tested when it’s time to see the doctor for a physical? They draw blood anyway, why not include this test?
Although prevention is the key, an early diagnosis can be life-saving as well.



  1. I am just speechless. Why would anyone want to contract HIV just to have freer sex? Seems like the more logical solution would be to get the number of people in their circle who are positive SMALLER!I wish your boyfriend would write more about life with HIV as well. It would help a lot of people understand what it's like better. I'm sure he wouldn't come off as whiney, either. He's a pretty tough dude.

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