What Could It Be? (Sonya on Voices from our Allies)
Sonya posted a new blog What Could it Be? on A Girl Like Me’s “Voices from our Allies” page: I really wonder why people are so quick to attend a baby shower vs. attending an HIV Awareness/Testing Event. It blows me away to know that we are willing to bring a gift of diapers, play games and smile, as we try to guess the weight and size of the new baby. We never once mentioned the fact that they should have used a condom! Hmmm…STDs, HIV, and even unwanted pregnancies….Oh, like what just happened here…What is the real reason why so many people are scared to even say H—I--V? I think about this almost every day, because when I look around my community the handwriting is clearly written on the wall…Nationally, Black women account for 66% of new cases of HIV among women. HIV/AIDS related illness is now the leading cause of death among Black women ages 25-34. No one seems to be alarmed, alerted, or afraid of this FACT! Why? It’s called STIGMA. I believe when we take a close look at ourselves, we will find that we are all cut from the same fabric. Hurt people…hurt people, because that is what they know and most importantly that is what we do! However, when we start to love ourselves it’s only then that we can begin to love others and help decrease the stigma that is clearly preventing us from discussing HIV (fear). My questions for you….does it really matter how one becomes infected with HIV? The bottom line is that they are infected, and they become another growing statistic. Why can’t we learn to start using the word HIV in our daily conversations, and have compassion for those who are in the fight of their lives? Could it be that it’s really a Reflection, Regrets, or just a daily Reminder of our own SEXUAL BEHAVIOR? We must take steps to increase awareness, eliminate stigma, and stereotypes about HIV/AIDS in order to begin to effectively address the HIV epidemic among African American Women. The first step to HIV prevention is learning the facts and accepting the reality that any woman who is sexually active is at RISK. Read more of Sonya’s blogs on “Voices From our Allies“.
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