It was reading one of my favorite blogs that encouraged me to take part in this year's Blogger's Unite effort on World AIDS Day. 70% of all of the new cases of HIV/AIDS in America are Black Women. That number, to put it bluntly, scared the hell out of me.
There are so many good resources (aids.gov; blackaidsday.org) to find out more information (both statistical and otherwise) and HIV/AIDS in the Black Community, that I won't list any statistics here. What I will introduce you to is an initiative by the Black Aids Institiute, Test 1 Million.
"The Test 1 Million (T1M) movement is a call-to action for one million Black Americans to get tested for HIV by June 27, 2010.T1M is the Black AIDS Institute's signature mobilization campaign, in partnership with the Screen Actor's Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and leading Black organizations and institutions. It builds upon the National Black AIDS Mobilization: a call to action to engage all of Black America, from individuals to institutions, in a community-wide effort to end the AIDS epidemic. The Test 1 Million movement is one of awareness, personal responsibility, and collective action." - from the website.
I hope that as we draw closer to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in February, that I will hear more about this in mainstream media. However, regardless of your race, everyone that is sexually active, or has been sexually active should get tested at least once a year.
Talk about it with your partner. If your partner isn't willing to go for an HIV/AIDS test, find another partner. If your partner isn't willing to use protection when you have sex, find another partner who will. Our lives are at stake. This is a serious matter.
My Freshman year in college, my friends used to make jokes about the fact that I always would tell them as they headed out on dates, "no glove, no love!" In seeing how the numbers of active HIV/AIDS cases are growing in the Black Community and for Black Women, I wish that more young ladies would have had a friend that told them the same thing.
Get tested. Be Safe. No Glove, No Love!