Monday, January 4, 2010

Words = Potential Lifesavers

Several years ago, my good friend Alexis was working in Mumbai doing HIV/AIDS education amongst poor women, because she's rad like that. One day, while sitting in an internet cafe, an Indian man at the next computer spoke to her:
"Sister, what are you doing here in India?" (Alexis is very clearly not Indian)
"I'm teaching women about HIV and AIDS."
"Oh, I am so glad you are here! I was with a prostitute last night, and I am worried that I could have gotten AIDS. Can you tell me if I am in danger?"
"Did you use a condom?"
"Oh yes, I always use a condom with prostitutes. But I kissed the woman on the mouth. Am I in danger?"
"Well, it's very good that you always use condoms with prostitutes, and you should keep doing that. It is very unlikely that you could have gotten HIV from a kiss. But I will suggest that before you get married, you get tested, to make sure you and your wife are safe."
No hesitation, no embarrassment, no judgment. And I love how she connected getting tested for HIV with his responsibility as a husband - people will often do something for a partner that they won't do for themselves. She gave factual, relevant information in an open and honest way that very well may have saved lives.

For that, and countless other things, including once saying "If I had $5 for every boy I deflowered, I could buy a sweater at the Gap", Alexis will always be a winner here at Chakabox.

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