I want to post the following bits from an eMail conversation I had with Richard Kearns of www.aids-write.org
The topic is not just relevant to people with HIV/AIDS, but it is relevant to every human who has ever feared committing to love because of fear of loss.
I was at a marketing focus group about an AIDs prevention campaign a
while ago. there were some straight young "kids" -- early 20's -- same
age as high-risk gays -- and they just didn't get it about safe sex.
Gay sex was what needed to be safe sex. Safe sex didn't apply to them.
I finally had to ask, "What would you do if you fell in love with
someone who had AIDs? With someone who was HIV-positive?" They blurted
out silly things like, "Well, i hope when the time comes that I might
have to make a decision about it, and I'll be prepared."
"So, in otherwords, do nothing and hope for the best. All you're going
to end up being is another infected person."
At least they had the good grace to be stymied.
But there stands the battle.
Then Richard asked me: What would you do if you fell in love with someone who had aids?
My friend Ron has spoke of this before, about how difficult it is to find a
wonderful ("perfect") partner.
And he has wondered if it was AIDS that made them run the other way, or
some other thing - (Ageism?, etc.).
I had no good answer when the topic first came up. But I have one now:
We are promised nothing more than this day. Not ever. This moment is
what we have. And if in this moment love comes to us, does it matter
what baggage that love carries?
Whether we be gay, straight, young, old, happy or sad, we are destined
to live a limited time in this world. What the method of our demise
might be can not be foretold to potential lovers.
If I were to fall in love with someone who has cancer, or has the
genetic tendency for cancer, would it matter? Why should our future
death intrude on our present loves?
Life is too short and uncertain to deprive oneself of love because of
the fear of losing that love.
We all lose loves. Whether it be to death, or another person ... love
comes and love goes.
That we love at all is what keeps us human, connected and at peace.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. Here are my blessings. They are two secrets that go along with the post.
1. I fall in love with a new HIVer, a new person with AIDs every day.
2. It’s no different than falling in love with anyone else.