Singersroom has joined forces with Hydeia Broadbent for the National HIV Testing Day Blog Tour.
(Reposted from http://hydeiabroadbent.com) Today, June 27th is National HIV Testing Day; a day where we must stress the importance and urgency for everyone that is sexually active to get tested for HIV.
Did you know that a person can go up to 10 years without showing any major symptoms of HIV infection? The myths about HIV and AIDS are allowing the virus to spread at alarming rates by individuals unaware of their status simply because they don’t feel or look sick. We have this mental image of what HIV looks like of skinny, wasted away people with a body covered in lesions. This is simply not true! But unfortunately because some people think this way, they believe they can tell if someone has HIV/AIDS by simply looking at them. Or in their own cases, they assume they are not infected because they don’t feel sick.
Sorry to say it but if you look in the mirror you will see the face of HIV/AIDS in 2013. AIDS looks perfectly healthy. AIDS has the hottest hairstyle, the flyest outfit, the best makeup application. AIDS in 2013 is multicultural, it does not discriminate and it affects every community.
However, we cannot ignore the facts; AIDS is a bigger issue than we would like to admit in communities of color. In 2010 African Americans accounted for an estimated 44% of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents aged 13 years or older. This alarming statistic is true despite African Americans representing only 12% to 14% of the US population. In 2009, Latinos accounted for 20% of all new HIV infections in the United States while representing approximately 16% of the total US population.
Everyone is at risk for contracting HIV as we are all on an equal playing field.
Testing for HIV is very important right now because America has become complacent when it comes to the issue of HIV and AIDS. The sense of fear and apprehension that spearheaded the “Wrap It Up” and “No Glove, No Love” campaigns of the late 80’s and 90’s are past tense to this current generation. This lack of apathy is the reason we have such an alarming rate of new infections each year. Not knowing your HIV status and having unsafe sexual relationships means you could possibly be infecting others and putting their lives at risk.
Don’t fear taking an HIV test. HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence it once was as advancements in treatments and medications have allowed people to live longer and healthier lives. An HIV positive woman can even have children without passing HIV on to her child or partner. Now that doesn't mean go out and be careless with your health because you think you can just pop a pill, as a person living with AIDS I can honestly say this is something you don't want to deal on an everyday bases!
On this day do your part get tested for HIV! We are all responsible for the choices we make and I challenge everyone to be accountable. Knowing your HIV status is not only a representation of self-love but also shows the type of person you choose to be and the example you are setting for your partner as well.