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Jun 22, 2009

Know Your Status!

June 27th is National HIV testing day in the U.S. HIV/AIDS is still very prevalent and among us. I dare say, this disease won't be going anywhere anytime soon. I have been working in various areas to educate our community on this disease since 2002. That may not be a long time, but it is to me! People are often bewildered why I would even care, since I'm a married woman in a monogamous relationship. But honey that is exactly why I care! Black women are still leading in the newly reported cases of HIV/AIDs.

Information taken from the Center for Disease Control:

Of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, HIV and AIDS have hit African Americans the hardest. The reasons are not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to some of the barriers faced by many African Americans. These barriers can include poverty (being poor), sexually transmitted diseases, and stigma (negative attitudes, beliefs, and actions directed at people living with HIV/AIDS or directed at people who do things that might put them at risk for HIV).

When we look at HIV/AIDS by race and ethnicity, we see that African Americans have

  • More illness. Even though blacks (including African Americans) account for about 13% of the US population, they account for about half (49%) of the people who get HIV and AIDS.
  • Shorter survival times. Blacks with AIDS often don’t live as long as people of other races and ethnic groups with AIDS. This is due to the barriers mentioned above.
  • More deaths. For African Americans and other blacks, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death.

HIV/AIDS in 2005

  • According to the 2000 census, blacks make up approximately 13% of the US population. However, in 2005, blacks accounted for 18,121 (49%) of the estimated 37,331 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting [2].*
  • Of all black men living with HIV/AIDS, the primary transmission category was sexual contact with other men, followed by injection drug use and high-risk heterosexual contact [2].
  • Of all black women living with HIV/AIDS, the primary transmission category was high-risk heterosexual contact, followed by injection drug use [2].
  • Of the estimated 141 infants perinatally infected with HIV, 91 (65%) were black (CDC, HIV/AIDS Reporting System, unpublished data, December 2006).
  • Of the estimated 18,849 people under the age of 25 whose diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was made during 2001–2004 in the 33 states with HIV reporting, 11,554 (61%) were black [3].
Now if this isn't reason enough for me to start shouting from the mountaintops to get tested, I don't know what is! I am not blind, married people are not safe either. No one is, if you are having sex, get tested, you can live with the results!

True Queens know their results, and take care of themselves above all!


Kicukalah said...

I appreciate this. Knowledge is key.

Writing Addict said...

Thank you Kicukalah! I am just here to help!