Back in the '80s at the height--or should I say, nadir--of the blind hysteria about AIDS, there was no little concern among my group of girlfriends. We were single, slim and gallivanters. Loved going to bars and clubs--our own 20th century version of Lindsay Lohan's life. Okay, maybe not so much in terms of the drugs, but the alcohol? Whoohoo! And the partying? Yes indeedy. I remember one road trip from Texas to LA that should have taken two days but stretched to five or six because we just kept finding another little honkytonk in another little Texas town that had to be visited. Some of us, those of us with a little looser grip on our knees, were freaked (as we said then) by the thought of getting AIDS. As far as we knew, it was a death sentence and could be caught just by breathing polluted air or kissing the wrong boy. I mean, fluids are fluids we figured. I dealt with the whole thing by, first, keeping a firm grip on my knees and, second, leaving LA and getting married.
Whew! I was safe. My girlfriends had their own solutions and none of us, as best I know today, ever showed up HIV positive. And now, of course, we're all midlife women, well past the gallivanting stage. So we're still safe--right? Not so fast.
More magazine has a very scary article this month. It's called "Killer Sex," and writer Alexis Jetter has some sobering statistics. Today, one in three women newly infected with HIV is over the age of 40. We're at risk because we think we're safe. We're married. We don't gallivant. We only date nice men and we only sleep with clean guys. Ha!
Go read the article. It will sober you up--and maybe it will safe you as well.