Thursday, 16 April 2009

let he who is without sin...

This woman should be the poster child for the new Safe Sex campaign. Durex should recruit her and plaster her face on billboards across the country.

Read here how a pretty 26 year old singer had unprotected sex with 3 men, knowing that she was HIV+.

Now she has been arrested and charged with grievous bodily harm. But is she guilty?

There's is no doubt that HIV is a debilitating virus. After the initial infection there is a latency period which can last anything up to 20 years during which an infected person can live a pretty normal life. But eventually the immune system is destroyed because the lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) population is depleted. Most HIV infected people develop AIDS. The weakened immune system leads them to contract oppurtunistic infections and cancers such as Cytomegalovirus or Kaposi's sarcoma (did you see Philadelphia? yeah - that) - you'd rarely see these in healthy individuals.

Sex with Nadja (for that is the singer's name) may have given these guys a long, drawn out death certificate (much like tobacco companies do, everyday - I digress) but where is the personal responsibility of these men considered? Why were they not concerned enough with their own health to wrap up and strap up? Unprotected sex is like playing russian roulette and unfortunately these guys got the bullet.

For Nadja to be charged with GBH a jury needs to prove that she acted with malicious intent. The BBC story doesn't really clarify if this is the case. If this was an "I hate men" campaign on her part, then throw away the key! But please bear in mind the ability of good sex to cloud sanity and good judgement. In the heat of the moment, protection is often forgotten - it has happened to everyone! But for Nadja and the guys the consequences were a little more severe.

Edit: Yes I am aware that this woman is completely in the wrong, don't read me as condoning her actions. I am a huge fan of personal responsibility and I feel it's being lost in modern culture and replaced by blame culture, so here is an alternate view...

Maybe this story is motivation to judge if our own practices are healthy:

When was the last time you got a full sexual health MOT?

Do you always wear some kind of barrier protection method when you have sex?


  1. I'd imagine learning that you're HIV+ is such a dread blow that you'd never be able to lose yourself in passion enough to forget to use protection and risk delievering the same blow to another. I think the choice is made.

    Though I do allow for the fact that maybe I'm not doing the passion bit right so don't full grasp the power of it.

  2. Passion makes people act/ think crazy - if you're not acting or thinking crazy, then bwoy, I don't really know what to tell you.

    But I think you're right about HIV being such a blow that it would always be on your mind, up to a point. People have this amazing capacity to adapt to the worst of situations, so after a few years of living with HIV, maybe it's no longer top of their agenda.

    I hope we'll never have to find out.