03 October 2008 ~ 0 Comments

(Book) My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker


I was expecting this book to be touching and sad. I was feeling a little down and decided, what the hell… cry a little. Um. Not so much. I realize that what the author goes through each day is very serious and I’m sure sad in it’s own right. But ya know what? He is living – LIVING – proof that life goes on and you just have to keep getting on with the getting on of living life to the fullest. He’s funny – oh, he’s got some dark humor about him – but he’s really funny. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much at a memoir EVER.

Shawn made me laugh – and yes, cry a little – for him, for his mother, for his wife, but mostly it was tears from laughing so hard. He’s a bit twisted and well, I like that.

I did, however, learn a lot about his myriad of illnesses and about what it must be like living with them. He did an amazing job of educating his readers while being entertaining. A dark, serious subject has a bit of light to it. This is an absolute wonderful read. Read it.

From the Publisher
I was destined for a life of medical drama from day one,” begins this comic memoir with a mission. “I was born in the month of July, and my horoscope sign is a disease (Cancer). The symbol for Cancer? A crab (the sexually transmitted critter). Not only that, my parents named me Shawn Timothy Decker, which makes my initials S.T.D.

Shawn Decker isn’t quite the All-American boy. Sure, he gets caught shoplifting copies of Penthouse; is crazy about prowrestling, especially “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair; and never has a problem getting dates. But he’s also a hemophiliac who discovers, at age eleven, that he has contracted HIV from tainted blood products.

Instead of becoming self-pitying and dying (as first predicted), Shawn develops a twisted sense of humor, meets Depeche Mode through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and writes on blogs and in Poz magazine about what it’s like being hetero and HIV-positive in rural Virginia. He also turns to gay men for advice on dating women and, almost twenty years after getting HIV, marries Gwenn Barringer, who is HIV-negative and a former competitor for the title of Miss Virginia. Together Shawn and Gwenn travel the country, speaking to high school and college kids about how to live and love with HIV (and how to avoid getting it).

About the Author: Shawn Decker lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, Gwenn.

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