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AIDS in the End Zone

AIDS in the End Zone
Albright, Gavigan, and Petrulis
2014

Submitter: I thought it was odd that this book looked so sharp since it was clearly from the early 80s… but its copyright is 2014. I thought maybe it was written by Jack Chick or Doris Sanford… but its authors are purportedly academic professionals. They say they wrote the book in conjunction with some incarcerated teenagers, but that’s really no excuse for how bad it is. You’ve got to read it if you can, because it’s so offensive, you won’t believe it. It’s like Tyler Perry’s Temptation in graphic novel form. There’s a little devil on different characters’ shoulders to emphasize the moral failings of those who develop diseases.

The story in short is that Brad gets mad at Marcus, so he ORDERS Maria to have sex with Marcus. Marcus thus gets HIV after one encounter. Then Brad and Maria GO TO JAIL. Don’t worry. Marcus lives happily ever after.

Holly: It definitely sounds like a creepy premise for a story, although some people like creepy stories, I guess – so I’m not sure if it’s an official awful “library” book or just an awful book! Fiction is weird that way. One person’s outrage is another person’s absolute glee. I’m posting it here so you all can talk it over and decide for yourselves. Maybe the authors meant to exaggerate the situation to make a point, like a “literary” graphic novel. The GoodReads blurb says “A graphic novella that promotes HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention to teens and young adults.” So…maybe?

More AIDS Scares:

Avoiding AIDS for the Ladies

Alex, the Kid With AIDS

David Dies at the End

15 Responses to AIDS in the End Zone

  • Seems like a variation on the old urban legend of someone with AIDS deliberately going around infecting people. So I wouldn’t go for literary … but yes, some readers would probably find it fascinating.

  • Why do they think if they put it in graphic novel form that kids will read crap like this?

  • The title and cover tell a different story entirely! LMAO!

  • This made the NY Times back in 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/health/graphic-novel-on-hiv-aids-is-aimed-at-southern-teenagers.html According to the article, the teens wrote the story and dialogue, with a professional artist doing the illustrations. I guess they figured if kids wrote it, other kids would read it. This article is somewhat critical of the result and says the professors who put this together are library and information science professors! http://www.hivplusmag.com/case-studies/youth/2013/05/23/aids-end-zone

    I think it’s commendable of them to want to do this, but the result appears to be rather flawed.

  • That’s not totally a myth, I’m sorry to say; there was a case that made the national news in Britain a few years back about an HIV-positive woman who’d pick up guys in bars and “forget” to insist on a condom. The papers didn’t specify if it was because she got infected that way herself and was out for revenge against all pick-up artists everywhere or if she was just the sort of person who makes themself feel better about how awful their life is by making other people’s lives awful, but she ended up going away for a long time once the Crown Prosecution Service figured out what to charge her with.

    • What did they charge her with? My guess would be reckless endangerment, although some places specifically outlaw knowing transmission of an STD/STI.

  • Honestly, having grown up in a world where AIDS was a recognized “thing”, I have nothing but contempt for anyone who gets sexually-transmitted HIV and blames anyone other than himself. I mean, there’s this thing, it’s called a condom? They’re not that hard to find. >:(

    Also, AS IF a high school senior has HIV and the whole school doesn’t know.

    • Right, because every rapist practices safe sex, naturally.

      Sex Ed is also woefully lacking in many places. Sometimes there’s just no information, sometimes there’s active misinformation about STI transmission and safe sexual practices, the fact that sex is often still considered something dirty and shameful means that many people have a hard time asking questions on their own, and I think we all know that even the kids who try to educate themselves online are going to come across just as many lies as truths. Please don’t be so quick to judge people who haven’t got the same knowledge you do – or who may have that knowledge, but had the power of safety and consent taken from them.

      I do agree about the high school environment, though – no way was Brad the only one who knew Maria was HIV-positive before she infected Marcus.

    • It is possible for one person in a relationship to believe they are being monogamous, but their partner is cheating and brings an STI home.

      Not sure I agree about the “everyone would know” thing…I grew up in a rural county, where there was only 1 public high school and 1 private, Christian (Christian, not Catholic. Christians that didn’t believe in dancing or evolution…). Health stats are available on how many people have HIV in some areas, and given that our area was so small, there were only like 6 in the high school age group. Everybody knew ONE of them, but could never figure out the rest…

    • They might not know Maria’s diagnosis, but they’d all know Maria! Would the football jocks even look her way?

  • In in Canada, that “urban legend” of killing-by-AIDS is no myth. Two in particular, Charles Ssenyonga (in the 1980s) and Henry Cuerrier (in the 1990s), both knowingly had sex with numerous women after being explicitly diagnosed with HIV. Being so early in the era, most of their partners died quite soon of AIDS. Both perpetrators were prosecuted; Ssenyonga died before a verdict could be reached, but Cuerrier’s case resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV constitutes aggravated assault, a crime under the law. This was in 1998, and I believe that ruling is still in effect.

    Wikipedia has a summary on Cuerrier’s legal case, which includes a list of five other similar offenders, including Ssenyonga: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Cuerrier. (The “R” stands for “Rex”/”Regina”, Latin for “King”/”Queen”, here indicating good ol’ Elizabeth II.)

  • While it’s not totally unheard of for someone to purposely/knowingly infect others, it’s not that common and from an educational standpoint, I think it would make much more sense to focus on accidental transmission. Most STIs are transmitted because someone doesn’t know that they’re infected. Ultimately, being targeted by someone who wants to infect you for some reason isn’t completely within your control (even if you use a condom, that might be tampered with without your knowledge). But accidental transmission (which is much more likely) can almost always be prevented.

  • Am I the only one bothered by “shoe-in”? It’s “shoo-in”, right? WTF college do these professors work for?

  • …and nobody at the publisher said, “Hey, are we sure we want THIS as the title of the book?”

  • Yep, the “Tyler Perry morality tale” vibes are strong with this one….