Justin's HIV Journal

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Justin's HIV Journal: Tiger Woods and HIV?

Justin’s HIV Journal: Tiger Woods & HIV?

Many people had very strong reactions to the first post I wrote about Tiger Woods. The responses people shared drove me to make another go at this blog entry, so readers and viewers would better understand what I was getting at in the first place.

First let me apologize to all of my readers and watchers for even writing anything about this overly publicized affair. So here we are living in a world of HIV/AIDS and Tiger Woods reportedly has had affairs with around 14 different women.

In my opinion we shouldn't judge Tiger Woods on what he does in his private life as long as he is not hurting anyone or himself.

News reports share that his wife, Elin Nordegren, fears that Woods may have exposed her to HIV/AIDS and other STIs/STDs. Her fear of being exposed to HIV/AIDS and other STIs/STDS has come to the surface because Woods' mistresses claimed that he had unprotected sex with them. Nordegren has moved out and is reportedly ending her marriage; she is also said to want full custody of their children.

So why am I writing this? As an activist and someone who advocates for HIV awareness, I see the HIV story here. Presumably (hopefully!) behind the scenes Woods is getting an HIV test and many other STD tests. Nordegren is upset and has every right to be. Woods' behavior has changed her life and their children's lives forever and Woods put her at risk.

After losing major endorsements and sponsors, Woods has decided to make it easier for all the sponsors to back out by stepping away from golf. While this is potentially a good move, he still has to face reality: His behavior may have put him, his wife and partners at risk. How is it possible today that someone can irresponsibly have unprotected sex in total ignorance of the HIV and STD epidemic? Does Woods think HIV doesn't exist? Does he think he is immune? Clearly our HIV prevention programs have not reached him.

Regardless of his status, Woods could be a powerful HIV advocate. Everyone is fascinated by this story. But are they fascinated because a great sportsman has managed to fall from grace by promising monogamy and then obviously betraying this promise? His story shows how at risk many of us who are in monogamous relationships may be. This story is a powerful example of why routine HIV testing is important. Woods' wife probably did not realize how much at continual risk she was for HIV and other STDs. The most powerful thing in this world is to control life, especially your own. We need to make sure that all people know their HIV status because knowing one's status can be powerful. Tiger Woods can show responsibility by advocating for testing, being tested himself and encouraging others to do likewise. Thank you.

BTW Happy Birthday Tiger Woods born December 30, 1975

According to E! Online there is also an adult movie called "Tiger's Wood" is already in production staring porn actors Kayden Kross & Tyler Knight


Garçon Stupide said...

"What I feel has to be done now is Woods needs to get a HIV test and tell the public the results."

My initial reaction was NO NO NO, it's nobody's business, any of this!

But actually, Woods invited and (profited from) media attention, through his endorsements et cetera, so his private life is fair game. Particularly given his monumental failure as a role model...

So on reflection, I completely agree with you. Making a media event of taking a HIV test, and publicly releasing the results is an appropriate course of action.

corvedacosta said...

I find this really shocking and it brings me to think that he has an issue. He is addicted to something (sex) or he likes having new bodies. Most married men who cheat - cover their tracks and may have one main lover - Tiger has over 20 women over a short span of time (years).

The fact that he is having unprotected sex makes his case more of a concern. I enjoyed the media ripping into him but he has some issues to deal with. Saving the marriage is out of the question. I will not buy the wife's argument to try and sort things out, he will cheat again. He will have tournaments - unless you are gonna track him down each time which cannot be healthy.

Lukas said...

I still kind of think it's not anybody's business. For one, correct me if I'm wrong, these are unsubstantiated claims of Tiger having unprotected sex with these women. Certainly, Tiger has admitted having affairs, but has he admitted to having unprotected sex in his affairs?

What's even more shocking to me, however, is that no one is raising the issue, that these women are *WILLING* and/or *STUPID* enough to have unprotected sex with Tiger, knowing his infidelities. I mean, come on, by now everyone knows about HIV and STD prevention -- and you're having this adulterous affair with a celebrity, and what, you think this is his only affair? Please.

Further more, some of his affairs were with porn stars -- and they would not know to protect themselves? I simply find that hard to believe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not overlooking Tiger's irresponsible behavior, but it takes two to tangle. If people are really concerned about preventing STDs and HIV, they would not only be concerned about how wrong Tiger is, but also to other factors that might contribute to or prevented the spread of these diseases.