When dating, you should always approach the relationship as if the individual has a STD (sexually transmitted disease). Every time you have sexual intercourse without protection, not knowing anything about the person’s health, you willingly put your life in their hands. Often times we get confused when we are dating. Money and status tends to blind us and we act on emotions alone. Does it really matter who he or she is? One woman had to find out the hard way.
Just recently in Memphis, the news stations ran a story on a local pastor who was charged with a Class C Felony of Criminal Exposure to HIV. Rodney Carr, affiliated minister of The Fellowship of Believers in Christ Church, knowingly spread the disease to his girlfriend whom he did not inform of his condition. She did not find out until after they broke up, when she tested positive for HIV. Now while I understand he should have informed her of his condition, she should have been more careful. She was a married woman seeking counseling for some problems she was having with her husband. Carr being an ordained minister, she trusted him a little more than she should have. While it is true, you should be able to trust ministers, deacons, pastors, etc; let’s be real! We have been hearing for years that some of the biggest whores, liars, manipulators, etc are sitting in the pulpit. You trust them as far as you see them; your trust and faith should be in God alone. Any clergyman who would throw himself at me knowing I am a married woman, whether separated or not, would concern me. That was the first red flag! You committed a sin with a supposed man of God. True enough we all sin, but that was like playing with fire. I curse like a sailor when I’m angry, but no matter how I feel at church, I cannot bring myself to curse. Disrespecting the church in any way, is just file. I understand how it feels to fall in love. You do things that you wouldn’t normally do. However, you have to keep in mind that every action has a consequence, and sometimes those consequences are unbearable. In this situation, Rodney Carr is just dead wrong. His wife cheated on him during a separation and contacted the disease, and brought it back to him. History just repeated itself. She stepped out on her husband and contacted the disease as well. This is really sad, and whether he is locked up or not, he already has a life sentence. I can only pray she did not sleep with her husband afterwards, and pass it to him. I know Rodney Carr, a friend of my family, and he does not look like he has HIV. He dresses nice, drives a nice truck, lives in a nice home, well-mannered, and respectful. Honestly, I did not find out until Thaddeus Matthews exposed him the day prior to the News Channel 3 exposing him. This is a prime example of how we cannot assume that because a person looks clean, they really are.
In the United States, having unprotected anal or vaginal sex mainly spreads HIV and the sharing of needles through drug use with an HIV infected person. African Americans are the racial/ethnic group that is most affected by this disease. The social, economic, and demographic factors that contribute to the numbers include discrimination, income, education, and the geographic region. There are approximately 6.304 people living with HIV in Memphis, and 5,753 with AIDS. This does not include the expected 20% more people who are not aware of their condition. There is no cure for HIV, and if not treated it damages your immune system and leaves you vulnerable to other diseases that causes AIDS.
To protect yourself, always ask for health records. Go to the clinic with your potential sex partner and use protection. HIV can go undetected for years, so you’re never safe. Unless you’re married to that individual, protect yourself by all means. HIV does not have a specific type of person it attacks, and the next person could be you.
If you have been exposed to HIV or are concerned about your status please contact your primary care giver or call the Ryan White Program Provider at 1-877-HIV-KNOW (1-877-448-5669).