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Were I to say The STI Project’s mission is an easy endeavor and one without challenges or opposition, I would be lying to each and every one of you and losing sight of the very motto The STI Project is perpetuating: Be Authentic ~ Break the Stigma (and now, A Positive Voice)!
While I believe it is imperative to the mission itself I challenge other’s preconceived STD notions and encourage constructive dialogue amidst the sharing of our unique stories, it is without question, in doing so, opposition and sometimes, harmful words will be exchanged.
Consequently, I have decided to address a particularly nasty comment I recently heard.
Everyone is Not Always Supportive
I’d love to be able to tell my readers everyone is always uplifting, supportive, and kind to one another. (So far, the vast majority have been!) However, were that entirely the case, our mission would be unnecessary. (I look forward to the day, though!) In the meantime, I’ll share the not-so-wonderful side of contracting an STD and living with an STD too.
And then, as quickly as I write about it, I’ll drop it. (Of course, if you have an opinion, you are welcome to comment.)
Lastly, while reading what comes next, remember to look at this as a growth opportunity and without complete animosity toward the people who have said these horrible things… They, too, may change their minds one day, and it is important The STI Project is willing to love them, respect their opinions, and demonstrate understanding once they do. 🙂
Sleeping With as Many People as Possible in order to Spread Your STD
Someone had the gall to say I slept with people intentionally trying to spread my infection. And I’ve heard this voiced about others with infections as well.
To boot, I’ve heard this from more than one unrelated person. They assumed I was so angry about contracting an STD, I proceeded to sleep with as many people as possible in order to spread my infection – a different iteration included me wanting to hurt as many men as possible. (Read more about my opinion on anger and STDs in this post.)
My initial response included expletives inappropriate for the website – something along the lines of, ‘Are you kidding me?’
I wasn’t even certain whether to laugh or be terribly offended…
It was/is such an outlandish accusation I didn’t even want to address the sentiments at all, but then I began to chew on it.
Having heard this from a couple of people about myself and others, I wondered if people actually believed someone else would do something like that?! Again with the shock.
However, I remember having heard something similar about people who had contracted HIV/AIDS years prior. At the time, I thought it a horrible thing to do to someone else, and I never really thought about it again – until now. Back then, I think I believed someone probably had done it, because that’s what I had heard. I was also naive, probably high-school aged, and I believed most things I heard – gossip spreads like the plague, er, better yet, like STDs!
Anyways, I was guilty of buying into the gossip, as so many people are.
So, I thought about the whole concept some more. Could I believe people really were so mad about contracting an STD they would want others to experience the same thing and thus, would proceed to share their bodies with as many people as possible?
Who does that?!
To be honest, I don’t want to believe it.
Am I aware of all the horrible injustices and rotten things people do to one another all over the world? Yes. I still don’t believe this is true for most people. I don’t believe most people contracting an STD would wish their worst enemy to suffer the embarrassment, horror, fear, etc. that people generally feel upon first contracting an STD.
This would also mean the person trying to intentionally infect others would be subjecting themselves to additional STDs. Isn’t one awful enough?
All of that would then mean the people who contract STDs are rotten, vengeful, hateful people. And I know that to be untrue.
STDs Don’t Discriminate
Here’s the catch – STDs don’t discriminate. They don’t pick the meanest, most cruel people and infect only them. They can be contracted by anyone – even the people who say mean things about others (one of the folks uttering such hateful remarks later contracted an infection and came to me for help).
An STD doesn’t stop and ask a person how often they do nice things for others.
Needless to say, after digesting the comment and deciding how I felt about the sentiments, I decided to feel badly for the individuals who would believe it.
It is completely illogical, and it illustrates a lack of education and a complete disregard for others.
If you happen to also be of that belief, I encourage you to take a closer look. Do some research (there is some great info here and here) and inform yourself. I think you’ll be surprised by the things you learn.
And for goodness sake, and the sake of all my readers, get yourself tested – else, you may also be accused of sleeping with as many people as possible in an attempt to spread your STD too.
The STI Project will not rest until it has challenged all misconceptions – one at a time, if need be.
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Do you think people would intentionally infect others? Have you experienced a similar opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!