Posted by: endithinks | October 16, 2007

On Losing Composure

Today was the first day in our seven hour HIV training and I couldn’t help but get emotional.

I was talking about the causes of HIV infection and the ways that the disease is transmitted and I started going to town about “safer sex,” teaching our kids and young people about using condoms and about the responsibility we have as human beings to reach out to those that we care about about their risky and dangerous behaviours.

I was talking about intravenous drug use and how it is our duty as people to try and help those we know at the very least to get into treatment programs and start using safer needle practices.  I was feeling a bit of resistance from a few members of the class and I started talking about how it was our business to help those we cared about and that if people we knew died or became infected with a disease because we were worried about “butting in” their disease and death is on our head.

I took the break after trying to calm down a bit because I have seen people allow their friends, relatives and co-workers engage in unhealthy behaviour and not say anything because of fear of rejection or rudeness.  Forget rudeness!  When a person’s life is on the line you need to be able to stand up to them and get out of your comfort zone.  Confront them about their unsafe practices and behaviours.  If you have a friend who sleeps around and doesn’t use protection (ie. condoms) then they are not practicing safe sex with respect to STDs.  If you have a family member who is an intravenous drug user and you sit and do nothing they may contract not only the repercussions of their drug use on their bodies but also potentially HIV and Hepatitis through the sharing of needles and works(the cooking apparatus, rinse water, all the equipment that is connected to the preparation of the drugs).

Do the right thing and risk losing a friend rather than doing nothing and watching a friend lose their life.

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