4. You can’t tell a person’s status just by looking at them.
Young, beautiful, college-educated Josie – does she “look” like the face of AIDS? People infected with HIV/AIDS may not look sick or whatever we imagine being infected is supposed to look like.
5. “AIDS is NOT a moral judgment.”
AIDS is not “a gay man’s disease” nor only for those living “perverted” lifestyles and doing drugs (infection according to Whitley Gilbert). HIV can be “a woman’s disease” and currently, 16 million women are living with it.
6. People with HIV/AIDS are often turned against and treated unfairly.
Before telling folks to have a seat became popular, there was Kim Reese’s infamous read about how HIV is actually spread. You can’t catch it just from walking past an infected person, holding their hand or even looking at them, but Josie’s classmates acted real funny style after her announcement. Sadly, people are still quick to panic and slow to understand the facts.
7. One time is all it takes.
The List. We all have one. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s equally scary to think about how many times you may have put yourself or someone else at risk for a life-changing disease.
8. People can be really, really ignorant when it comes to AIDS.
Did Terrence “Little Brother No Play” really come up in The Pit with a scarf on his face?! Not only can people be ignorant to the facts, but their actions can be even more ignorant (and hurtful).
9. People with HIV/AIDS need allies and support.
Thank goodness for people like Mr. Gaines and Kim Reese. With the stress of managing a disease, work (and the fear of losing a job) and life overall, having allies in their corner is critical to the health of someone living with HIV or AIDS.
10. Couples in healthy relationships talk openly about sex, including the risk of HIV/AIDS.
Talking about sex needs to happen before having sex. Know your partner’s health history, their concerns and talk about the elephant in the room that is HIV. AIDS isn’t just something that happens “to them”; it can happen to you in your perfect relationship, too.
Thank you, A Different World, and thank God for syndication. We need more shows like this. Check out the full episode below.