A4P Guest: “How about taking HIV/AIDS as a topic by itself out in the open? Our community (Ethiopian and Eritrean) is disproportionately infected by it and lots of studies have shown that fact. Yet we as a community of people especially at the churches are very quiet about sexually transmitted disease (STD) because it’s still considered as a very sinful and taboo thing to talk about. It is by far worse here among the diaspora than back home in Africa. I for one have been closely following this issue for years being HIV positive myself for 18 years, I can say with certainty that we are going backward. I tried to bring the dialogue going around churches but the doors are closed. I believe it’s time to talk about it out in the open because it will ease the stigma and help reduce the spread of all the STDs as it also encourages people to get tested. That’s what needs to be done.”
A4P: First, let me say this – I was blown away when I read your “being HIV positive myself for 18 years” comment posted on A4P Facebook page! Wow! I wonder how that feels like, to come out and say it like that in the open! It should feel good in and out! “No secret to hide” kind of life feels wonderful! Doesn’t it?
Especially knowing the society you came from, wow, I am very proud of you and I applaud you!
I passionately hate secret because it almost destroyed my life! Secret is the devil’s hiding place; and I don’t want to give him that place in my life! Oh, LORD, help me do that until I die!
Well, talking about STDs, some of us escaped HIV and other STDs not because we led a sexually pure lifestyle throughtout our life but because the consequences of our sinful lifestyles came in different shapes and sizes, packages and styles. (Just a quick note here: Not all HIV positive people got the virus from sex; some got it by birth, some through rape, some from blood transfusion and like.)
Whether someone is HIV positive or negative, I don’t think it is easy to talk about it in the open like you for the reasons you mentioned; the stigma attached to it. It is a taboo! I guess everything related to sex is a taboo; not only among the diaspora but also among any society. Why? I think because if the truth, nothing but the truth, about sex comes in the open, devil will be out of job. Wow! Do you see that?
Sure, we need to talk about all STDs. As you already alluded to it, many research studies have confirmed that immigrants who came to the US with HIV-negative status, after their first or second visit to their home country, their HIV status will be changed from negative to positive. Hmm! Made you think, didn’t it?
I remember one true story which went viral few years back. So, looking for a wife, this young man went back to his home country, Ethiopia, from one of the states here in the US. Somebody introduced him to a very cute and attractive girl who was known to be very spiritual and active in her home church. The young man was told that the girl’s whole family is active and known in the church. So, he felt very safe to let himself fall in love with the girl. Wanting to speed things up a bit, he met her whole family within two weeks of his stay. Then he outright told her parents his intention. They agreed after they heard about him and his upbringing but the mother asked him one important question: “We only give you our only daughter on one condition; if you give your blood to the clinic we want you to give to so that we know your HIV status. We hope you understand why we are asking.”
The young man respectfully said, “Of course I understand. After all, we are talking about your only daughter and I so respect you for protecting her this much. I consider myself to be blessed to end up in this family. But I also ask one thing: The day I go to give my blood, I ask that she gives her blood too.”
The mother smiled with confidence and said, “That is not a problem at all. You have nothing to worry about.”
Well, you know the end of the story, don’t you? The young man returned back to the US thanking God and the family of the girl for saving his life from HIV because it was found that he was HIV-negative but the girl was found to be HIV-positive.
Yeah, these days, it is only a fool who marries someone without knowing their HIV status or any of those STDs status, such as Herpes which has no cure.
I’m a science student and I believe in creating awareness for the well-being of the whole society. I love to hear about all those researches which are going on to find a cure to all STDs. I also love to hear about those medicines which protect innocent children who are for the most part reaping in bounty the seed of their mom’s and dad’s reckless sexual behavior.
But, after saying all that, for me personally, I see it this way: Life is more than HIV and Herpes. I rather spend my time telling others about Christ, the Mystery of God, than how they can protect themselves from HIV. I rather spend all my time telling others about who can save them from the evil of this world than telling them how to “dodge” and avoid HIV as they sleep with one or multiple sex partners.
Let’s have straight talk here: How many of us had sex with the person we had no knowledge about their HIV status, even after we knew all about the danger of HIV Aids? Hmm!
You see, the bottom-line is this: The most important thing is not to be found as an HIV negative or positive person but to be found in Christ leading a life that is worthy of our calling, children of God.
I mean some people successfully avoided HIV using condom; didn’t they? Yes, they did! But they live with mental sickness as the probable consequence of their sexually promiscuous lifestyle. Some are still HIV negative regardless of their sexually promiscuous lifestyle but consequently have lost their chance to get married and they live as single contrary to their wish and dream to get married. Some managed to cheat the virus after sleeping with many people and at last married someone but their marriage is a war-zone and they pray daily to die than live, again because of the probable consequence of their unrepentant lifestyle. Some avoided HIV by sleeping with only one person but they are sleeping with a person they are not married to; they still come to church but their spirit is callous to the things of God and they are slowly dying from the inside out.
What is my point here?
This: A society CANNOT be wiped out by a virus but by neglecting God and His Word!
That is why I rather celebrate the life of a repentant HIV positive married couples sexual union than the sexual union of unmarried HIV-negative Christian couples. Why? The former brings blessing to the society but the latter brings curse.
You see, I choose to gaze on the big picture; and the big picture is: the Holy God we follow and serve!
That is why you don’t hear me that much talking about STDs. I am not denying their existence; but I rather talk about the truth that can help someone escape both STDs and the consequences of sexually immoral lifestyle than talk about how one can avoid STDS.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4)
“. . . The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins (sexual immorality verse 3), as we told you and warned you before.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6b)
So, I strive to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” behind sex and sexual pleasure. (1 Corinthians 10:4-6)
Yes, I rather teach an HIV-positive person, who strives to follow Christ, about sexual purity than teach HIV negative people, who don’t know God, how to protect themselves from HIV. I choose to speak in churches the truth about sexual immorality (which BTW includes STDs as the consequence of a sexually immoral lifestyle) than tell them about the danger of HIV Aids and how to avoid it.
That is why I’m against the American public school “sexuality” education. They give condom to kids to protect themselves from STDs without giving them “the helmet” by which they can protect their minds, hearts, souls and spirits from the consequences of sex outside the one-flesh marital relationship of one man and one woman. That for me is nothing but baloney!
The slogan goes like this: “Safe sex is with condom!”
Hmm! Are you kidding me?
I rather talk about the safe sex the Bible is talking about; the sex that protects us from STDs and protects our body, mind, soul, spirit and heart from pain and hurt. And did I say the sex that happens according to the Will and Word of God, comes with a fulfilling and amazing pleasure, without adding to it any pain and hurt? Yeah, it does because it glorifies God! ///