Opinion: I Am HIV Positive and I Don’t Blame Anybody—Including Myself

A few months ago, I received an email from a young researcher and activist living with HIV.  Kirk Grisham said some very nice things about my work, and told me that I had inspired him to both write about the issues behind criminalisation, as well as to ‘come out’ publically about his HIV status.

The result is this fantastic analysis for ColorLines around personal responsibility for HIV prevention that really expresses many of my own thoughts on the issue, but in a much more accessible way than I could have ever achieved.

Kirk concludes that for him, criminalisation means that

I bore no responsibility for the epidemic, until I had HIV, when it became entirely my problem.

I’m including the opening paragraph here.  Click on the link to read the entire article at ColorLines.

I am HIV positive, and I don’t blame anybody for it—not myself or anybody else.

He didn’t rape me and he did not trick me. It was through our unprotected sex that I became HIV positive. Since seroconverting, I have been very conscious of the language I use to discuss transmission, particularly my own. To say “he gave me HIV” obscures the truth, it was through a mutual act, consensual sex, that I became HIV positive. When speaking to him a couple months after my diagnosis I gathered that he knew he was positive when we had sex. But that is beside the point; my sexual health is mine to control, not his.

Read the entire article at ColorLines.