"My Pet Virus" is like any other coming-of-age memoir, except with more incurable diseases, less sentimentality and better jokes. And more personal appearances by professional wrestler Ric "Nature Boy" Flair and the members of Depeche Mode.
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. In 1996, at age 20, a change of heart led to the creation of “My Pet Virus”, a web site devoted to Shawn's favorite pastimes as well as a sounding board for his feeling about living with HIV. His humorous and informative take on life with HIV caught the eye of , and Shawn was featured on the cover of the January 97 issue before being invited to write a column for the magazine.
In his humorous new memoir, "My Pet Virus," Decker, 30, "comes out" as a straight, white, small-town kid for whom the great epidemic of his time was his birthright, a kid who, when diagnosed with HIV, stood virtually no chance of living to graduate from high school.
And I'm cool with that. Just the other day I got a message from someone who just completed a high school book report on My Pet Virus. It's out there, floating around. And I love that.