""My test results came back positive. ""
Lee Thompson (affectionately known as Uncle Poodle) on the hit TV series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo announced that he was HIV positive to the nation last month. He has known of his status since early 2012, but only recently shared it with the public. It has been known since his early appearances on the TV show that he was homosexual, but had reserved his infected status from the public eye until recently. He revealed to Fenuxe in an exclusive interview that found out he was infected in early 2012 by a former boyfriend.
“My test results came back positive.” Lee admitted in the interviewed.
Lee had always been careful to get himself tested regularly, and on March sixteen of 2011 he tested negative, at his following test in May of 2012 he received positive test results. At the time he had been having unprotected sex with his boyfriend. His boyfriend knew of his positive HIV status but had not informed Lee during their relationship. He also was not taking medication to treat his infection and Lee had no way of finding out his infected status. With hesitation Lee pressed charges on his ex-lover. The ex-boyfriend is currently serving a five year sentence in jail for his negligence. Lee says he doesn't regret his decision to press charges on his former boyfriend.
Here in the United States the intentional or reckless infection to another person is a criminal act in more than half the states. More than thirty states have prosecuted individuals for exposing another person to the HIV infection either intentionally or recklessly. By law, transmission is not limited to sexual interaction, but can also include the donation of tissue, organs, or blood of an infected person, or even spiting or other exchange of bodily fluids (particularly where the target is a prison guard) as a criminal offense. These laws and punishments vary from state to state, and can range from a felony or a misdemeanor charges. There is a seven year ban on blood donation in the US for any man that has any sexual activity with other men. Many activists have questioned if these laws and strict punishments are counterproductive to the public health goads of treatment and screening. Lee feels he has done the right thing. Now he can bring the public eye to his story.
Lee decided to come out about his HIV status to help raise awareness of bullying and the importance of safe sex. Lee said he wouldn't have minded his partner’s HIV status but he would have practiced safe sex. There are number of couples engaged in sexual relationships with one partner positive and the other negative. It is possible to avoid contracting HIV with open communication and the use of safe sex.
Watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, it is easy to be won over by the loving and dutiful Uncle Poodle, but he says it isn't easy being a gay man in the south. When he came out at the age of 16, his mother fully accepted him. His father came to support him a few years later. Lee seems to have a great support system, and a large family, but that isn't enough. When he came out during his late years in high school the bullying was both verbal and physical. He reports that even his car had been vandalized and suffered injuries such a broken jaw and ribs. Lee seems to moving in the right direction for creating awareness. Instant fame can be difficult to cope with, but he has taken the chance to tell his story. His tale is a cautionary one, an unfortunate one, but something to we can learn from.
Oh, and if you're wondering why he is called Uncle Poodle it is because Alana calls all gay men “My Poodles.” So her Uncle Lee became “Uncle Poodle.”