Nope…I’m Not Going To Let You Make My [email protected]#&% The Demon!

african american couple play fighting in bed( — I am not going to let a man or anyone else for that matter,  make my vagina the demon in the relationship. That’s exactly what I told my girlfriend who is also living with HIV today. She just got a new boyfriend and they are talking about sex, i. e., “How does one have sex with someone with HIV?”

It’s interesting how, in a relationship when one partner is infected and one is not, all the attention goes to the infected person in the relationship. Like everything begins and ends with their infection. It’s the same thing with herpes. All the attention is on the infected person, not infecting the non-infected person. And I understand this on a whole lot of levels. I mean, no one wants to be the person to infect another.

But I just gotta say,  as an infected person, we spend all our time concerned about not infecting our partner, but do we ever consider that person may infect us not only with another strain of HIV, but with a whole host of sexually transmitted  diseases? Let me tell you, the last thing a person with HIV should want is another STD, especially one that cannot be cured, like herpes, hepatitis and HPV. You all have been chronicling my ordeal with herpes. And the only reason it’s so severe is because I have AIDS. Without an immune system to help me fight, herpes has made my life hell.

But back to the point. Why do we put all the attention on the infected person? So this guy my girlfriend is seeing, has suggested that maybe they don’t really need to use a condom since her viral load is non- detectable.  She called me to talk it over. Well, actually I think she called for me to cuss her the hell out and give her a real reality check.  Close your mouths, yes there are men out there willing to have sex with a woman infected with HIV and not use a condom. I’ve been there too many times. And it has been an up-hill battle. For Real.

So here’s the deal, a non-detectable viral load does not mean that you no longer have HIV, it just means that the virus is in your body fluids at very low levels. And, it is true that a low viral load makes ones risk for transmitting the virus lower, but not impossible.  Recent research even says having sex with an HIV infected person on HIV antivirals lowers the risk of infection.

But I still had to deal with him. Like,what makes a man think that feeling a woman’s vagina is worth his life? Like really, who are you? Why are you willing to take this risk? And if you take such a risk, what other risk do you take? Do you love you? And if you don’t love you as much, how can you love me?

She said to me,  “But we are going to go get tested for everything from A to Z.” And I started screaming in the phone. “I don’t give fuck what you test for, have you lost your mind?” Now, I know some of you wanted me to say to her, “Have you lost your mind, thinking about putting him at risk?” Sorry, that is not what I said. The fact of the matter, he understands his risk and it is his body to do as he pleases.

What I said is,  “Why would you put your trust in this man, just like you did the other man that infected you with HIV? And make no mistakes, the man that infected her, was a long-term boyfriend of 7 years and she loved him and he told me that he loved her, but he still brought HIV home.  He’s deceased now.

Ok, here’s my point. Go get tested for everything under the sun. He comes back negative and he takes a risk with you using no condom. All the focus is on you and your HIV status. But yet you are putting yourself at risk as well. If the penis ain’t in your pocket you have no idea what it’s doing when it ain’t with you. Like For Real.

Why would you put yourself at risk for other STD’s and actually, the risk of being  re-infected possibly with a more aggressive strain of the HIV. Why is the infected person’s vagina/penis been reduced to the demon in the relation? In fact, at least there is no doubt where you stand with an infected person.

“Why was she even considering it?” She said, “Well, it is a lower risk and the type of person he is.” So she is thinking about letting down her guard because of the type of person that he is and obviously he is to.  But then I said, “Ain’t that how you got HIV?” Like really, how many times do you have to travel this road to get it right?

I understand considering not using a condom, there was this big ass ego thing I had going. I said crazy stuff to myself like, “I must have like that, he must really like me.” But truly, it was my low self-esteem dominating the relationship – if I insist that he use a condom, will he quit me?

Thank God I don’t have to juggle that madness anymore. Now,  I’m at a stage, I don’t rightly give a damn. NO condom… NO Sex! I don’t care how much I love him or who the hell he is.

Nope, nor am I letting you make my vagina the demon in the relationship cause your penis just might be the devil. Wrap it up or you may find yourself fighting for your life for the rest of your life. If you are already infected, you don’t need anymore health issue to tackle, HIV is enough by itself.

By Rae Lewis-Thornton, BDO Contributing Writer

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award Winning AIDS Activist. She has been
featured in Essence, Ebony, Jet, O-The Oprah and Glamour magazines. As
well as, national television shows, such as The Oprah Winfrey Show,
Nightline, Dateline and BET. Rae has a Master of Divinity Degree and is
currently working on her PhD at the Lutheran School of Theology. For
more information, visit Rae at