See a Problem?
Be the first to discover new talent! Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts.
Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. I was destined for a life of medical drama from day one," begins this comic memoir with a mission.
My Pet Virus
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. Shawn Decker isn't quite the all-American I was destined for a life of medical drama from day one," begins this comic memoir with a mission. Shawn Decker isn't quite the all-American boy. Sure, he gets caught shoplifting copies of Penthouse , is crazy about pro wrestling, 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. Paperback , pages. Published October 1st by Tarcherperigee first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about My Pet Virus , please sign up. Lists with This Book.
- Courtship and Love among the Enslaved in North Carolina (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)?
- The Battle for Cloray.
- The Museum of Broken Hearts and Dreams.
Jun 29, Mike Van Campen rated it it was ok Shelves: This is a touching book about one person's struggle with hemophilia and HIV. Decker and his wife use their experiences to educate others--a valuable service. However, Decker--like many folks who move from blog or Web sites to books--is just not a good writer--at least in long form. His metaphors are strained, his attempts at humor mostly fall flat, and much of his prose is rather forced.
One wishes he had a good editor or a competent ghost writer to help him share his important life story. Aug 02, Kate rated it it was amazing Shelves: I devoured it in one day, it was that good. This is his story about growing up with the virus and how it forms his life.
He keeps it light and even inspirational at times.
Mar 15, Jessi rated it really liked it. This is not a classic, but I think other people need to read it! Several people I know have read the book and were not impressed by it.
Like the main character, I have a bleeding disorder. Unlike him, I am not reliant on human derived products. Mainly, because of technology that wasn't available to Shawn in the 80s and also because unlike some people with bleeding disorders today, I respond to synthetic factor.
Shawn This is not a classic, but I think other people need to read it! Shawn is one of many people, that my generation and generations after me should get down on our knees and thank. His generation learned a lot of hard lessons and they are paying with the most costly thing they have to give; their life. Because of the insidious viruses people were infected with in the 80s, a time when I should have been receiving treatment for my bleeding disorder, regulations on the products we receive in the bleeding disorder community have been made very strict.
If I had been diagnosed sooner, I may be in his shoes. So hats off to Shawn and his wife Gwenn for sharing their story and working to alleviate some of the social stigmas people I personally know face every day. With all that social commentary out of the way, the book was easy to read.
I laughed and found the book enjoyable to read. Dec 10, Perryville Library rated it really liked it Shelves: Tonka toys were replaced by giant foam cars, and nose bleeds were the cause of many trips to the hospital. One very unfortunate aspect of having hemophilia is the need for blood transfusions. Shawn has received hundreds of transfusions, and because they mix many different blood samples for each transfusion, he has literally been exposed to thousands of blood donors. Because of lax blood screening, he contracted hepatitis and HIV as a result of the transfusions. It has to do with not wanting to be defined by an illness.
Throughout this work, the author delivers sobering descriptions of his life as these conditions worsen over time. One sentence will nearly bring you to tears, but the next will purposely evoke laughter to drive them away. Not only is Shawn Decker a great role model for those trying to overcome the odds, My Pet Virus shows that he is one heck of an author as well. If you enjoy My Pet Virus, you may also like: Sep 29, Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it Shelves: I associate books with places and events.
My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker will always remind me of horses. Decker never mentions horses but I read the first half of his memoir while parked at the start of Bort Meadow Staging Area while three horses were being saddled up for a ride. My Pet Virus is the memoir inspired by the blog of Shawn and later, his wife, Gwen. Take away the virus, HIV, and it's an up beat memoir. For its humor and tone, it reminds me of Alan Alda's first memoir, Never Have Your I associate books with places and events. For its humor and tone, it reminds me of Alan Alda's first memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed if Alda had written the book when he was forty years younger.
My pet virus : the true story of a rebel without a cure / Shawn Decker. - Version details - Trove
Decker's memoir is also about hemophilia. His life as a "thin blood" as his calls it an his dependency on blood derived products is how at the age of 11 he was infected with HIV.
An unfunny situation told with such humour and grace you can't help but laugh. Shawn Decker's take on his For the next ten years, Shawn kept his HIV status to himself, barely talking to his parents or doctors and never mentioning his pet virus by name. His humorous and informative take on life with HIV caught the eye of POZ Magazine , and Shawn was featured on the cover of the January 97 issue before being invited to write a column for the magazine. My Pet Virus is Shawn's first book. The symbol for Cancer? A crab the sexually transmitted critter.