The Los Angeles-based TruthAIDS team, spearheaded by the poet Lily, recently held a TruthCircle for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness day. Lily wrote the following about the event on her blog (lilyliketheflower.blogspot.com):
I recently hosted a TruthCircle event at Mecca Hair Studios in Los Angeles. To provide some background, the TruthCircle is designed to promote honest communication and offer the opportunity for women to share their stories and learn from others experiences. Ultimately, the goal is to identify alternative ways to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its effect on the population most vulnerable to it - women. Ideally a TruthCircle would take place with an all female audience, but the first TruthCircle Los Angeles was different to say the least. Firstly, it was coed with men outnumbering women. Secondly, because it was hosted at a local beauty salon and community hub, we actually had walk-in participants! Overall, it was an enlightening experience and offered the chance the hear answers to controversial TruthCircle questions such as "Are you sexually satisfied" and "Have you ever had sex when you did not want to?" from a man's perspective. Ladies, I must tell you these are questions that we should not only be answering ourselves but asking the men in our lives. The vast difference in the answers can be mind boggling. My key takeaways from the event are as follows:
1) As women, with our emotional and physiological vulnerabilities, we (when I say we I mean me too!) have to be more aware of the choices that we make and their potential outcomes
2) Men think very differently than women, especially when it comes to sex. Relying on a man to put our safety and feelings on any list of priorities is not likely in a casual dating situation and many times not even in what a woman would consider a "committed relationship"
3) We absolutely have to keep up the open and honest communications! I learned so much and look forward to the next opportunity to share! Have a TruthCircle with your girlfriends or visit http://www.truthaids.org/ to find a TruthCircle near you.