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Real Housewives Star Jen Shah Blasted for AIDS Kissing 'Warning'

Real Housewives Star Jen Shah Blasted for AIDS Kissing 'Warning'

Jen Shah and her husband on RHOSLC
Bravo

The Salt Lake housewife told her son he could contract AIDS "if you kiss a girl."

In the series debut of Bravo's The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Jen Shah, the wife of University of Utah football assistant coach Sharieff Shah, made comments about contracting AIDS that are not only inaccurate, but spread dangerous misinformation about how the disease is spread.

In the episode, Shah is eating breakfast with her family when her older son, Sharieff, Jr., let slip that her younger son, Omar, has a girlfriend. Shah was shocked. "What did you say? He has a girlfriend," she asked, before turning to Omar and asking if he had kissed his girlfriend.

When her son replied that he hadn't, she replied "If you kiss a girl, you might be like, 'Oh she's cute,' but guess what? You can contract herpes, probably AIDS." While her husband was nodding along at first, when she made her AIDS comment he stared at her in disbelief.

Her two sons immediately shook their heads, "I don't think that's true," an incredulous Omar replied. Shah, who was raised in the Mormon Church but converted to Islam when she married her husband, moved on to discussing the evils of sexting.

Fans on Twitter also let their frustration out. "Why were we telling ppl they can get AIDS from kissing girls in 2019?" writer and comedian Rae Sanni tweeted, "That's hella irresponsible." Emmy Award-winning costume designer Perry Meek joined in. "I guess there always has to be an tasteless, uneducated one in every franchise and obviously @TheRealJenShah is the one on RHOSLC," he tweeted, "Thinking you can get AIDS from kissing... educate yourself lady ignorance looks on no one."

"This woman telling her son he can get AIDS from kissing. This is already too much," tweeted comedian Phillip Henry. Another viewer tweeted, "Jen said kissing can lead to contracting "probably AIDS" and I have never gasped so loud before."

Rumors like this have long hurt and stigmatized those with HIV and AIDS. When misinformation about AIDS is spread, it makes actual prevention harder, and makes the lives of those living with it much more difficult.

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