I had HIV once…
God, I miss that kid. We had so much fun. Unfortunately, we lost touch when I dropped out. He was pretty lucky.
But I had HIV once. I caught it in “Family Life”. I walked into the classroom, and this kid I was hopelessly in love with – who always talked to me more than the other girls, but I was too chicken to ask him out – walked up to me and shook my hand. And I just sort of stared at him while he proceeded to begin a discussion with me and a couple of my friends. He shook each of their hands, too, and then took mine again and put his other arm around me. And I thought I was going to fall on the floor.
I tried to keep up with the conversation, but secretly, I had no idea what was going on and hoped it wasn’t too obvious. Thank the Holy Purple Cabbage that no one asked for my opinion on anything. I’d have looked like an idiot.
He walked me to my desk and then moved his stuff to a seat next to me. And as I tried to look around nonchalantly, he leaned close to me and whispered, “I just gave you HIV. Don’t tell the other girls. Coach is going to make you stand up first, so I figured I’d warn you. I know how much you hate that.”
I guess I don’t have to tell you I was in shock. I kind of stammered “Thank you.” while I tried to make sense of what he said to me. “Wait… You gave me HIV?”
“Yeah. Look at your hand. It should be covered with the virus.”
And so it was. I had little sparkly virus cells (also known as: glitter) all over my hand. Instinctively, I moved to wipe my hand off on my pants. My crush said, “There’s no cure. You can’t just wipe it off.”
Sure enough, wiping the virus on my pants only transferred it from my hand to my pants. And then, the more I scrubbed, the more the virus spread. I laughed nervously and he smiled. The door to the classroom banged closed and class began.
Coach called my crush up to the front and asked him who he “boinked” first (His words, not mine. Honest.). My crush smiled at me and said, “How could I pick anyone but Rayne?”
Coach made me go up to the front and stand with my crush. I’m pretty sure my face was redder than that World AIDS Day picture up there.
“Unfortunately, she dumped me when she found out I have HIV. But she kept my secret for me, and I passed it on to her friends Holly and Jessica.”
I cracked up.
Coach turned to me and asked, “Who’d you boink?”
And my crush said, “Oh, I told her how dangerous the virus was. She didn’t boink anyone after that. She figured abstinence was best.”
I just stood there, confused. No one told me I could “boink” other people! Apparently, my crush forgot to tell me that part of the equation.
One of the kids in my class asked the coach if he was trying to tell us HIV and AIDS could be transmitted by shaking hands. Coach made some sarcastic comment about stupid people and stupid questions and proceeded to explain those and other diseases. Then he taught us about contraception.
Our class was taught from two different mediums. One was a video and pamphlet distributed by a Christian nonprofit organization about the costs and realities of raising a baby, and the other was a health textbook that discussed the reproductive organs in their entirety, including the orgasm, sex, STDs and all forms of contraception available on the market and their effectiveness.
I know! After hearing all the horror stories of what others learn in school, even today, I was shocked, too.
But guess whose high school had one of the lowest teen pregnancy and STD rates in the state. Yeah… It was mine. Try as I might, I could not foil that statistic. Lol.
All the boys I knew carried condoms in their wallets. All the girls I knew had them tucked in their purses next to their birth control. I didn’t have birth control because I was petrified to approach my mother and ask her to take me to the doctor. But I carried condoms. Back then, most of the stores kept them behind the counter, and they wouldn’t sell them to you if you looked under eighteen. So I always had to give my friends money to give to their parents.
My friends’ parents hated my parents. With a passion.
Teens being sexually active is scary. But it’s something the human race has been dealing with since the dawn of time. Wouldn’t you rather your kids be protected just in case? Isn’t that the lesser of the two evils? I think so.
I wish schools were allowed to be as thorough in their sex ed classes as my high school was. I’m willing to bet the number of kids getting pregnant or passing around diseases would decrease.