Do you remember when Danny Pintauro, at the time a new HIV advocate, pissed off HIV activists everyw after he pointed his finger at himself and answered how he believed he was exposed and contracted the virus - through oral sex ?
Almost everyone I knew that was working in HIV awareness at the time, on some level, had a very big opinion on Pintauro announcing that information.
I laughed because I felt sorry that Danny actually believed that he contracted HIV exactly THAT way.
I was mad at Danny for using his situation to help make himself look better by actually stepping on everyone’s toes that are living with HIV, by spreading misinformation and not discussing how relatively small the risk of oral sex really is.
I believed, he is going to ruin the work of HIV activists for years, all in a matter of days, from his media tour.
I was really shocked by anyone ever believing that it was cool to even ask how he contracted HIV. Why? Because it really isn’t any of our business.
When would it be okay to ever ask anyone how they were exposed and contracted HIV? Never.
We can always debate the information presented in the media about HIV. And most of those debates are rather pointless in the grand scheme of what we are all working towards, but we must never allow that to instigate our community to turn against new advocates, and those more newsworthy than our own journey.
People should never feel compelled or comfortable enough to ask.