Shawn + Gwenn

Summer Vacation…

Is it possible to have an “AIDS-free” summer when you’re living with AIDS? I’m attempting that, with mixed test results.

My wife partner and I speak at colleges about our relationship in a program called “A Boy, A Girl, A Virus & The Relationship That Happened Anyway.” We’ve been doing it– speaking together, that is– since 2000, and I really don’t mind answering the same questions over and over again. And I don’t mind putting our relationship out there, either.

But in the summer? I like to dye my hair a crazy color, and rekindle my romance with the Xbox. I used to talk about AIDS a lot more casually, and didn’t mind dropping the A-Bomb to strangers. But now? I like to stick to, “Oh, what do I do? I teach health education.”

If someone pries, I’ll give them the spiel. It’s just funny that, the first ten years I wouldn’t talk about HIV, then the next ten I wouldn’t shut up. And now? I have to think about it. I guess that’s what the greatest invention of my generation, the pause button, is for.

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