Part 1: Elevate the Conversation- HIV/AIDS Awareness
I remember the first time I got tested for HIV. I had plenty of opportunities to do so before this instance, but avoided it out of fear. I used the “ignorance is bliss” saying as my reasoning. But then I thought…what the hell?! This is MY LIFE I’m compromising here.
When we’re having sex, the last thing we’re thinking about is disease, if we’re thinking at all. And whilst we’re not thinking, the condom may be missing. And when the condom is M.I.A, the HIV will come out to play.
Did you know that black women account for 9 out of every 10 women infected with HIV in this country? That is absolutely nuts. And if you think that because you’re straight, you’re safe….you’re not. When HIV was first discovered back in the early 80’s, it was deemed a “homosexual disease.” Shame on the people that believe that ignorant nonsense because today, heterosexual transmission is the most commonly reported mode of HIV transmission among women.
We all have our reasons for not getting tested or not knowing just how serious the HIV epidemic is. As black women, we don’t always see ourselves represented in HIV prevention campaigns. We’re often lumped together with the general HIV population or black men. The harsh reality is that we represent the majority of this group. And now is the time to take control by educating ourselves, educating our peers, and most importantly, getting tested!
The Black Women’s Health Imperative in Washington, DC is the only organization devoted solely to advancing the health and wellness of Black women and girls through advocacy, education and leadership development. divaMissioN is teaming with them to spread HIV awareness in anticipation of National HIV Testing Day- June 27. Visit ELEVATEConversation.org to learn more about HIV testing and prevention.
I’ll be back with another informative post soon.