December 1 is World AIDS Day.
And by now most everyone has gotten the message about getting regular testing if they're sexually active, or about how to avoid risks or protect partners related to HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections. Prevention info here. Find a testing site here.
Since fiction often reflects the lives of the society around us, many authors have featured HIV, AIDS, and other STD-related storylines in their novels. In my first novel, Down For Whatever, I featured a "popular with the boys" character Rafael who faces his own health crisis after a number of fun, yet unprotected, encounters in L.A.
Some others that I've read and enjoyed include:
What Seems Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage. Features a main character who discovers she is HIV-positive, and decides how she is going to live her life and future in victory and not defeat.
Just As I Am by E. Lynn Harris. Features a very moving (I remember crying when I first read it) HIV storyline as friends who recently graduated from college learn a member of their clique has become infected.
Lil Mama's Rules by Sheneska Jackson. A 30-year-old woman in L.A. has set very stringent dating and relationship rules. When she finally lets someone in, the results are life-threatening and eye-opening. Absolutely LOVED this book.
The Day Eazy-E Died by James Earl Hardy. When news of Eazy-E's death due to HIV hits the news, it causes the main characters of this novel to reflect on their sexual and relationship choices.
What I most like about these novels and their approach to health education is that the messages aren't preachy or beating people up for their choices. They reflect daily lives of likeable characters who face and deal with challenges head on.
What are other novels you've read that feature AIDS, HIV, or other STD related storylines?