Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stigma: the "fear" word

Oh that word, it hangs like Damocles over us, a painted lady or "The Scarlet Letter"

Fear creates an image that produces anger and mistrust.
Lepers would yell "unclean" and steer clear of public places. Despite constant but not recent messages about HIV/AIDS, a fear from people often brings our own fears, sense of inadequacies, lack of confidence and depression.

Stigma: how bold one word can appear.  Did you know a definition is "part of the female reproductive part of a flower?"  No doubt some man turned that to be a diminutive.

Stigma:   back to the "Clean UB2" discussion.  Sure I live in a tropical area- South East Florida but I do bathe often, use deodorant, brush my teeth after eating, clean my nails, comb my shampood hair, etc.

All my clothes are washed before wearing and of course, proper sun care & facial products are used: I am a gay man after all!!!   Being a non smoker, there's no odor surrounding me. I AM CLEAN

UB2 is more a way of saying "Lepers keep away: I don't trust my self to have safe or safer sex"

There is no way in all creation I'd want someone I know or not know, friend of foe to become HIV positive like me.  That, to me is a clean thought. 

Some where I saw a guy on a bicyle wearing a jersey with the words "Positive Pedler" on it and the back of his jersey the words "Eliminating stigma through our positive public example."

How I adore that phrase and it turns out it's the misson statement of that organization

Let's vow to live that, positive or not "Through our positive public example"

Let's talk about our own fears and overcome them with each other: our friends, lovers, family and churches

Get tested and carry on:  Take our meds and carry on. Live life and carry on
Pos or not: lets end the stigma

Learn more by talking and reading   I'd recommend starting here  The Stigma Project who's mission is
The Stigma Project seeks to create an HIV neutral world, free of judgement and fear by educating both positive and negative individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, race, or background and reducing the HIV infection rate through knowledge and awareness.


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