HIV won’t happen to me… I thought.

3 out of 10. 30%. Less than half.

This is exactly how I answered a survey in August. The question was simple and I remember answering the question. But I answered with a “3” because answering with a “1” or “2” seemed like my luck would run out and a little too small-minded. So I went with a “3.”

The question:  Using a scale from 1-10, In your opinion, how likely are you to contract HIV in the next year? 

August 2011, I answered with what I believed… what I felt. December 18, 2011, I was exposed to HIV unknowingly and I didn’t realize how quickly that simple “3” wouldn’t matter. It could happen to anyone. “Anyone” actually meant me.

Anybody can get HIV. HIV is a virus; once it gets into your body, it can make you sick. It does so if you are rich or poor; 14 years old or 70; black or white; gay or straight; married or single. It’s what you do, not who you are, that puts you at risk for HIV. Source: Thebody.com

Since we’re on the subject of numbers… FACT:

“Gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men remain the population most heavily affected by HIV in the United States. CDC estimatesMSM represent approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population, 2 but accounted for the majority of all new HIV infections annually from 2006 to 2009 — 56 percent in 2006 (27,000), 58 percent in 2007 (32,300), 56 percent in 2008 (26,900) and 61 percent in 2009 (29,300).” Source: CDC

IF you are HIV negative, using a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to contract HIV in the next year? 

Make your answer “1” because you consider yourself your #1 priority. Protect yourself.

Get involved in a vaccine study. BREAK the stigma.

I’m still Josh! You still be  YOU!

-xo

josh