My Pet Virus: The True Story of a Rebel Without a Cure

Shawn Decker, Author
Shawn Decker, Author . Tarcher $9.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-58542-525-9
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4406-1062-2
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4406-2914-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 256 pages - 978-1-4406-1128-5
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Growing up in the small town of Waynesboro, Va., Decker was diagnosed with hemophilia at 18 months, and then in 1987, while in sixth grade, he found out that one of his many blood transfusions had infected him with HIV; the diagnosis of full-blown AIDS came 12 years later. His drug regimens and general ill-health made him unfit for an eight-hour workday, and finding a woman who was comfortable enough with his HIV status was less than easy. For the purposes of Decker's book, he's not interested in pity, preferring instead to take the offensive—usually with purposefully bad humor, referring to himself as either a "thinblood" (for hemophiliac) or "postoid" (for his positive status). It's a refreshing tactic, for Decker focuses more on what he's doing to move ahead in life than on how he's suffering. Decker's bravery is inarguably admirable, but it distances him; by book's end—when he has married a beauty queen, with whom he tours the country speaking about sex and HIV—we respect him but hardly feel as though we know him. (Oct.)

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