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Archive for December, 2009

Whenever we make a blog post, the words are “out there”, accessible to everyone worldwide (at least in theory). Yet, with the Second Life community being one of a limited size and the musings of its members being of no particular interest to anyone outside of it, it’s all too easy to forget that those words can be carried away from the intended audience. It happened to me with my last blog entry on Sunday.

I stand by my words and do not wish to take back any of it. I spent quite a while debating the pro and contra of publishing the entry, but in the end, decided to go for it because the topic is important to me. After all, people can choose to not read it if it bothers them, and I believe that HIV-awareness should be higher than it currently is, for a lot of reasons.

According to the WordPress statistics, this particular post brought a few people from outside the SL-community to my blog, but not significantly more than any of my other posts. There are always people googling for pictures of real-life vintage fashion or seemingly completely unrelated things who end up at “Vintage Verwood”. However, one of those visitors wrote a blog entry herself and decided to quote parts of mine (you can find the links and my elaborations in the comments on the previous entry), and I find that it bothers me – not because my words are used, but because they were taken out of context and are leading a life of their own now and the same incomplete compilation of them appears in various syndications of articles related to World AIDS Day.

What bothers me most is that my original blog post was made in the form of an avatar “speaking” to other avatars, and published together with comments about virtual fashion. Within the context it appeared – on a Second Life-related blog and syndicated to various Second Life-related feeds – it made sense. Being singled out as “the voice from Germany” in between real life-blogs by real-life people, not so much – not because what I wrote isn’t true, but because the real-life me has a lot more to say on the topic than “Aderyn Verwood” put into the original post.

In the end, I guess I would not have minded as much had I known about this before. The topic is a very serious one to me and my original point was not so much detailing why I care about it or that I love my friend and care about his well-being, but to consciously take a break amidst the holiday troubles and remind myself of all the people living with HIV (other than my friend), and to give the readers of my blog a little heads up on it, too. At a time when the number of people who underestimate the effects of a HIV-infection is on the rise and at a time when there are voices claiming the use of condoms is a sin, and when the vast majority of the population of the Western world believes that there is no danger from HIV anymore, or that it is a problem restricted to so-called Third-World-countries, at such a time, I wanted to send out a signal. No less, but also no more.

Most of you who are reading this probably did not come here to educate yourself about HIV. Maybe you believe your knowledge about it already is sufficient – before I learnt about my friend’s HIV-infection, I thought the same, only to discover that most of what I knew was incomplete or not up-to-date anymore. In case you feel like updating yourself, here are two links I found particularly helpful back then, and still do:

http://www.namlife.org/cms1254847.aspx

http://www.aidsmap.com/cms1038153.aspx

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