Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Do You Know What Yesterday Was?

Yesterday was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the United States. Did you know that? Have you been tested? Do you know your status? You may be asking yourself why there is a designated day for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness. The reason is that numbers don’t lie. While African Americans make up around 14 percent of the population in the United States, they account for more than half of all new diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Digest that for just a minute.

I think that one of the reasons why HIV/AIDS is running unchecked in the Black community is our reluctance to talk about it. All day yesterday, I waited (and waited) for one of my 900+ buddies on Twitter and 800+ buddies on Facebook to mention what day it was, how important testing is, and how to educate your children so that there can be less diagnosis of HIV/AIDS in the Black community next year. I had one very vocal buddy on Twitter (thank you @raelt) and 5 on Facebook. You read that right—6 people. That is shameful. This disease is coming in and demolishing our community. Teen pregnancy may be down overall, but there are thousands upon thousands of teens who are contracting sexually transmitted diseases. We need to be teaching our community that in 2011, an unplanned pregnancy is not the worst thing you can get by having unprotected sex. We need them to understand that not all diseases can be cured. We need them to be taught that taking care of yourself is not just going to the gym… it is getting tested and convincing your partners to get tested.

The problem doesn’t just lie in the Black community. The United States as a whole is very mum on HIV/AIDS. We see the PSAs and automatically think of AIDS affecting some far off, third world country. It is not far off—it is your neighbor, a cousin, a friend… your blind date. You never know who, but the one thing you can be sure of is: it isn’t YOU. Get tested. Do it for yourself, and your partners- know your status.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...