MAN TO WOMAN – How men would handle infection
WHILE HIV/AIDS REMAINS a very important part of societies everywhere and continues to carry a stigma that most people try to avoid, Man To Woman sought to find out from a few men what they would do if they had contracted the HIV virus from a woman. With continuous education about the disease, how it is caught and how it can be avoided through protected sex, we also wanted to ascertain whether men would be so offended that they would pass on the virus, or still try to live a normal life by choosing to use protection to stem the spread of the disease. How would you handle it? In a worst-case scenario where you couldn’t handle the negative news, would you choose to end your life? Responses were mostly positive.
Piano Man: I would definitely not take my life or run around spreading it to every woman I could. However, I would be so hurt and pissed off by the individual (if she knew) that I would make her life an eternal misery. I would tell her friends, relatives and workmates (of course keeping my identity a secret). I would stalk her and probably hire parros to beat her every month. I might even beg for piece more in a nice way and videotape her and post it, and I’m dead serious.
Man To Woman: I can understand your anger, but what I don’t understand is how you could want to go all the way out trying to ruin this woman’s life while still hiding your identity. You both have feelings.
Roger: If it were me, I’d do the honourable thing and not look to infect other people; after all, I’m a man with daughters!
Man To Woman: That’s a positive way of looking at it. Passing on the virus would never be the ideal thing to do.
Mr Handsome: I definitely wouldn’t have unprotected sex. That would be completely despicable and selfish. But I would probably be tempted to use protection and not tell anyone, which also wouldn’t be right because condoms aren’t 100 per cent effective and can break. This is a tough one because we all have needs – and what woman would want to be with a man who tested positive? I would be tempted to end my life, but in the end I think I’d realize that there are lots of people living with the disease so I’d do some research to see how they cope.
Man To Woman: Thank you for being so honest. There are lots of counselling agencies that you can turn to, some who are specially trained to deal with HIV/AIDS cases, so never let ending your life be an option.
Suga Sweet: I would let her know about it, seek counselling and inform our family. I would never pass it to other women out of spite. I would want to get the best care there is and live my life while trying to guide others about being safe. Handling the news would not be easy, so I would try to handle it the best I can. But as far as taking my life is concerned, that is not an option for me. I think I would be even more scared at the thought of the pain I could go through while trying to end my life. Meanwhile I wouldn’t give up hope that one day there will be a cure.
Man To Woman: There is a saying that “the Lord never gives you more than you can handle”. I’m happy to see that ending your life won’t be an option, so my advice to you is, have faith that there will be a cure and live your life to its fullest.
Williams: I would not end my life nor would I go about spreading it, but I am not sure how I would handle it either.
Man To Woman: Seeking counselling would be one of the best ways to deal with such a situation. Coming to grips with the situation, crying if need be, and advice on how to prolong your life would be best in a situation like this.
Ryan: Life is the most precious thing, so I would never end my life because it’s a gift. Making the best of it as an HIV-positive person would seem like the only proper option as opposed to being bitter. In my right mind I would never be able to do that to another human being because the same way I treasure my life other people do too. So protection would be the way to go along with honesty and hopefully some understanding on their part.
Man To Woman: Life is very precious and if you offer them honesty, I can only hope they will be understanding.
Controversy: If I were to contract the HIV virus from a woman, I would blame myself for not using protection and would start to value my time more on this earth while making sure I don’t infect anyone else. What would be hard for me to accept is if I had unknowingly infected my partner who was faithful to me when I received it from an outside fling. It would be very hard for me to live with the knowledge that I had infected a partner [whom] I love.
Man To Woman: Being infected and infecting someone else you love unknowingly would be very hard to deal with. The shock would also be very hard on your partner – so in a situation like that, maybe you should seek counselling and also have counsellors there when you inform your partner that she has been infected.