Okay. Here’s the story. Our church has “adopted” a home around the corner from the church where a woman looks after six children- ranging from a few months to about 6 years old. Some of the children are HIV positive. I have added my name to the list of people who will go and help out, visit and play, read stories, and the like. Saturday afternoon will be my first visit and I am more than a little nervous. I have had a lot of training when it comes to HIV and AIDS, and I know how you can and cannot get HIV. I know the law around it too, and I have had so many HIV tests I’ve lost count. But I have never yet KNOWINGLY been in contact with someone who has either HIV or AIDS. I’m sure I already know a few people who are “infected”- to use an ugly word- and there are one or two people I have suspected are HIV positive. The statistics alone all but guarantee that I know someone with HIV or AIDS, that we all do. I like to think that I will not treat someone differently if I know they are HIV positive or have AIDS. That I will be able to shake hands with him or her and not want to wipe or wash my hand afterwards. But honestly- I don’t know. You never know until you are there- in the boat- so to speak. Thinking and doing are two very different kettles of bananas you know. Like nearly everyone on the planet I have some very strong personal views on the subject of HIV and AIDS, but this is not the place for them. Can I ask how you feel about it? Could you shake someone’s hand knowing they are HIV positive or sick with AIDS? Have any of you already done something like that? And if you have- did it worry you afterwards?
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