I would like you to meet Jessica. She is 26 years old, a former volunteer in the Peace Corps, and HIV Positive. Do these facts define her, no but they have changed her life forever.
She set out to help others in Zambia but instead after only 7 months was the one needing help. She went to Zambia with the Peace Corps and after being there a while began to get homesick. She didn’t intend to find romance during her journey but she was enjoying all the extra attention.
One person in particular, a local, showed her a good time while visiting the capital city. They were out dancing, talking and in general just having a good time getting to know one another. They exchanged phone numbers and continued their relationship. He wanted more than just casual conversation but she resisted the urges at first.
She eventually after a few days, decided to give him unprotected oral sex because she wanted to fulfill his desires for her. The next day they met up again and the same thing, she gave him oral unprotected sex and on this same night they had protected sex, using condoms.
17 days later, she was really sick with what she thought was Malaria but it turned out to be HIV. You can read her account of these events directly on her blog.
I admire her courage for speaking out about this publicly. She is now back living in the US, taking her medications and trying to live her life. She is an active blogger letting all of us follow her on her journey with this virus.
It made me stop and think of all the information out there, even the CDC provides guidance on oral sex but how big is the risk? After reading her blog, I would HIGHLY recommend if you are going to engage in ANY type of sex, oral included, to use protection. Jessica had to learn this the hard way, so please don’t think you are immune to it and use those famous last words, “It would never happen to me”.
Update: Please read Jessica’s response to this article.