Tuesday, February 7, 2012

An Open Relationship for HIV Honesty?

Could open relationships lower the HIV/AIDS rate in the black community? If everyone could share and accept the truth about our sexual past and present, we could revolutionize sexual health. Of course we can't ignore factors like the prison industrial complex or the dysfunctional American health care system. But we can take control of our romantic relationships and sexual health.
Are you in the closet about being "open"?
An open relationship is a radical outlook on dating and sexuality but a possible gateway to an honest discussion about HIV/AIDS infection. Getting tested is necessary, but first let's get open and honest about our lifestyle. Relationship expert, Kenya Stephens, also known as Jujumama often stirs up controversy with her racy and unorthodox dating beliefs. Stephens defines a non-sexual open relationship as,
"An open relationship is one where you can be open, honest, clear and authentic. It has nothing to do with sex or no sex. It is just the idea of showing up as real person in a relationship."

Some relationships already have a rock solid foundation based on trust and backed up with the HIV medical records to prove it. Other couples, look at each other with the side eye thinking and hoping, "What I don't know won't hurt me." Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can linger and haunt lives causing shame, stigma, pain, resentment and in the worst case death. But often our fear-based and guilt-ridden puritanical ideals about sexuality perpetuate the problem. 
HIV/AIDS awareness starts with  honesty in a relationship.
There seems to be an HIV/AIDS "awareness" event every other month. Activists wear red ribbons, clinics conduct free HIV/AIDS tests and billboards splatter bus stops telling you to "Know Your Status". Yet over the last 15 years, Black people are still disproportionately affected by the disease. With the numbers increasing, we must ask ourselves if we are applying HIV/AIDS awareness to our real life relationships. If not, then its time to open up.

"Do Open Relationships Work? Psychology Today on Open Relationships

For more on Kenya Stephens, Relationship Expert

Blogger Momowilly on Open Relationships

For more on HIV/AIDS in the Black Community

Get Tested for HIV

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