Dear OneChele,I just found out I have HIV and I feel so stupid. I've only been with one guy my entire life so I thought it was okay to have unprotected sex with him. Now I'm in the fight of my life. Is there anything you can do or say to get the word out so that no one else ends up where I am today? Please, please, please speak out and let people know it can happen to them. ~Devastated in Detroit
I don't ever want to get another letter like this one, BougieLand. I almost bawled like a baby reading that. So I've decided to do something about it. I've joined a movement, I hope you'll hop on board with me. Black Women's Health Initiative, in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative is hoping to get (at least) 5000 black women tested for HIV.
Today, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. Do you know your status and the status of those you "interact" with? No? Why not? Check out some facts:
AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death for black women ages 25 to 44, beating out heart disease,cancer and homicide. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,black women made up 69 percent of AIDS diagnoses among women in 2004 and of all women living with AIDS, 64 percent are estimated to be black.
Heterosexual transmission is now the most commonly reported mode of HIV transmission among women. Although non-Hispanic blacks constituted 13% of the population of the 32 states during these 4 years, they accounted for more than half (51.3%) of the HIV/AIDS diagnoses, including 68.8% of diagnoses among females and 44.5% of those among males.
Step yo’ game up, HIV is nothing to play with. Know your status and stand your ground: no condom, no cocoa.
Join me, won't you? Who's been tested? Who's going this week? Yes, I will be taking roll call.