Take the test, TODAY!!!!

Did you know that in the U.S. one million people are living with HIV and more than 500, 000 of those are Black? What’s more alarming is Black women make up almost 60 percent of all new cases of HIV among women in the US.

In a recent conversation with TBT, HIV/AIDS was brought up, as it should be in any relationship where you are intimate or plan to be intimate in.  We talked about Magic Johnson and even about how much times have changed since HIV/AIDS was first introduced to the United States. 

There are several conspiracy theories about the disease but one thing remains true. If you don't know you have it, you are doing more harm to yourself and to others than any theory can ever do.  Here are things I think about when HIV/AIDS is the topic of discussion:

    •  We, people of color, are afraid to go to the doctor. We don't want to know the truth. When it comes to our health, we take the ignorance is bliss apporach. This is not only pertaining to HIV/AIDS but to diabetes, cancer and even the annual pap smears.  Early detection in ANY of these cases can save your life and the lives around you.
    • Church folk don't want to talk about HIV/AIDS because "we ain't supposed to be having sex outside of marriage anyway". Welp, it's happening rather we are supposed to be doing it or not. It's happening; young and old. Gasp!
    • Men on the low just need to be honest, say, "I am gay" and stop living a double life.  What happens is men on the low are having sex with their boyfriend(s) and then with their wives or girlfriends and NO ONE IS WEARING A CONDOM! That is a cesspool of disease waiting to happen.
    • Older single men and women are being infected with HIV/AIDS too.  I remember watching an episode of Oprah and HIV/AIDS was the topic.  There were over 10 older women, with adult children, that had all been infected with HIV or AIDS by the same man. Some of them admitted that they never thought to get tested because they trusted the man. Others thought that HIV/AIDS was a young person's disease. Then there were others that were ashamed because they based the man's HIV status on "he looked healthy"
    • Men who have been recently released from prison have infected because they have had unprotected sex with an inmate who was infected or they have contracted the virus by using an infected needle to get a tattoo while in prison.  No one thinks about those things upon their release but they should because the first thing they do when they get out is go see their "boo" and they have sex. 
It’s time for us as women and men of color to stand together and do what we can to fight this epidemic.  There is a great campaign already in motion responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis, Greater Than AIDS.  This campaign aims to raise the public’s knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS and is seeking to tackle the stigma surrounding the disease.

It’s time to start talking about this epidemic.  The time is now to discuss what we can do to reverse the statistics. Greater Than AIDS proposes 5 ways to be greater than HIV/AIDS:

1.    Know             Know the facts about HIV/AIDS
2.    Talk                Start the Conversation
3.    Protect          Use a Condom
4.    Get Tested   Find an HIV testing Center
5.    Take Action Get Involved Locally           

TODAY, June 27th is National HIV testing day. It's imperative that you know your status.  Here's info on where you can get free or low cost HIV testing TODAY http://www.greaterthan.org/get-tested 

The time is now! Check out Greater Than AIDS at http://www.greaterthan.org/ on how you can get involved and make a difference.

simplyMinah  > HIV/AIDS

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