We had an interesting conversation on the way home from the park. I don't remember every word, but I remember most of it, so we'll just go with the flow.
J (out of nowhere): How does someone get AIDS?
Me: There are several ways. Sometimes they get it from contaminated blood. Like giving shots at the doctor (there was more here; he understood I meant using the same needle for more than one patient, not getting shots in general) or donating or receiving donated blood. (which started a side discussion on blood types)
J: So they don't wash the needles in between people?
Me: No, they just throw them away and get a new one.
J: So how else can someone get AIDS?
Me: Along the same lines, people who use illegal drugs sometimes use a needle and syringe to inject the drugs into their blood. When you're using drugs like that, using a clean needle is the last thing you care about. Several people will sometimes share needles and they spread diseases like that.
J: So they do two bad things. They're using drugs and using contaminated needles.
J: So how else does someone get AIDS?
Me: By having sex with someone who has it.
J, after a minute of silence; I assume he was trying to think of what sex is: Like what a man and a woman do to make a baby?
J: So how does somebody catch cancer?
Me, happy he didn't pursue the sex thing: You don't catch cancer. It's not contagious. It's kind of like cells in your body multiplying that shouldn't be multiplying and they attack your body and your body can't fight back.
J: Like where the clones on Star Wars multiply and attack?
Me: Something like that.
He asked something else about cancer and I explained that environmental problems often cause or make cancer worse, like the chemicals in our food, the chemical cleaners we have in our houses and the pesticides on food and in the air.
J: So can you catch Asperger's and dyslexia or whatever that other thing is?
I think he was trying to say dyspraxia, but the answer is the same for either one, so I just answered his question.
Me: You're born with it. Just like with cancer, the things around us and the food we eat can make it worse, but those things don't cause it.
J, without missing a beat: Okay, so I know a decade is ten years and a century is a hundred years, but how long is a millennium?
Nope, that last question had nothing to do with AIDS, cancer, or Asperger's. Welcome to my world. LOL