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Andre Davis, a former professional wrestler, who went by the names Gangsta of Love and Sweet Sexy Sensation, has been sentenced to 32 years in prison  for having sex with women without telling them that he’d tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.

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Davis, a 29-year-old man, was sentenced on 14 counts of felonious assault in this case, after it was determined that at least a dozen of his partners were not made aware of his HIV status.

Davis claims that he is a sex addict and that his addiction was also driven by losing his dream of becoming a pro-wrestler after testing positive for HIV:

Drugs and alcohol are terrible, but sex is something everybody wants. I am not a monster, he said.

Davis tells the world that he is not a monster, but he certainly acted like one.  His decision to be so terribly irresponsible with his body has ruined countless lives and made our society a little less safe.  What’s most frightening about this “monster” is that there are thousands of other monsters in our society, some of whom have no idea that they are walking bio-weapons of mass destruction.

Quite a few men, especially those who are athletes and entertainers, have been taught by media to pride themselves on how many women they can sleep with.  When our kids are bombarded with lyrics like “I wish I could F*ck every girl in the world,” (thanks to Lil Wayne) they are filled with a warped sense of masculinity that teaches them that you are to have sex from any attractive woman who offers it.  If women are attracted to you, your rolodex is never too full.

Unfortunately, many women become so hypnotized by the amount of “swag” that a man has, how well he dresses, what he’s driving, or how good he looks, that they don’t take the time to find out if he might send her to the morgue.

Most of us know men who’ve had a lot of sex with a lot of women and haven’t been to the doctor in years.  For some, sex is the perpetual hunger that can never be fully satiated.  While most women grow up accustomed to regular doctor’s visits for pap smears and other routine check-ups, many men do not. Therefore, Davis is actually unique in that he even knows his HIV status in the first place.

Given that he lost his job as a wrestler because of his status, chances are that he was forced to take a test that he would not have gotten otherwise.  How many other Andre Davis-like men are out there who never took the test and will never be prosecuted for spreading HIV because they had no idea of their status?

So perhaps an honest reflection on our sexual decisions might be called for in the strange times in which we live.  Is Andre Davis a monster? I’m not sure.  What is most frightening is that he might not be a monster, abnormality, or uniquely malevolent human being – he might actually just be a regular guy.  I’m sure Davis has quite a few friends just like him.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.


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