Got protection?

It was really difficult for me to write this post. Not because it would reveal something about myself but because I’ve grown weary of some conversations. I’ve grown weary of the ones that fall on deaf ears. Why is it that African-Americans have the highest HIV rates (nearly 70 percent in Black women) but no one is seriously talking (or listening) to this topic? And by people, I of course include myself. I’ve concluded that it must be that we believe that HIV/AIDS could never happen to us. But it can.

Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV.

Just the other day I was speaking with someone via Twitter that said her father passed away from HIV in the 80’s. Back when it was considered a “gay man’s disease”. And maybe people still have that mindset. This young lady’s father contracted the disease from needles. And that’s not the only way you can get it.

Aside from needles, you can also get HIV from body fluids (blood, unprotected oral, anal and vaginal sex, breast milk), or from an infected person. I think what bothers me the most is our communities lack of interest in meaningful subjects that affect our growth. Everyone has the right to choose their cause but when we are dying at alarming and preventable rates, I think this is a cause worth fighting for. It’s unfortunate that something has to affect us directly in order for us to care.

The statistics alone blow my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how important it is to always protect myself. Take your life into your own hands. No one else will do it for you.

For more resources about other health issues affecting Black women, visit Black Women’s Health Imperative’s website and ELEVATE.


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