Every year I participate in the MN AIDS Walk.
Last year, I wrote a post on why this is important to me: Why I Walk
This year, I want to share a story that reminded me how important it is that I partake in this event.
I was recently back visiting my parents, and I met up with a friend of mine from high school still living in the area. She is just about done with PT school, and she told me all sorts of stories about her clinicals. One, though, was about working with a gentleman living with HIV. Just before her working with him, he had had some sort of blood draw or something — I’m not clear on the details, but the person who had seen him right before her had been working with his blood.
She chose to wear gloves.
And I get wanting to protect yourself. I think gloves are always a good idea when a patient’s recently been bleeding and that could continue. But when she told me this story, that this man was positive was an important factor. One that produced fear. The decision to wear gloves was for her own safety, yes, and medical professionals wear gloves all the time, true. But that HIV detail woven into this decision and the later recapping of the story — the gloves were a barrier between her and another human being that reeked of stigma.
We have a long way to go. I’m going 6 miles further on May 18. Donate here: http://mnaidswalk.org/kelseylied