Written by Shay Johnson
Today on a very special episode of….
I kid, I kid, but I do want to discuss a very serious topic, HIV and AIDS, specifically HIV and AIDS and black women.
According to the CDC website: “Women account for more than one quarter of all HIV/AIDS diagnoses and is the leading cause of death for black women aged 25-34 years of age”.
I don’t know about you but I was shocked! I thought the leading cause of death for black women was high blood pressure caused by trifling men bad diet and lack of exercise! What I found even more shocking is the lack of responsibility many women, especially black women, are taking for this epidemic. Of course I haven’t polled every black woman in America, and I know there are many women who are taking the necessary steps to educate and protect not only themselves; but their community and the world at large (Shout out to The Red Pump Project and Luvvie!). The numbers don’t lie however, and the conversations that I have had with several women recently represents the thought process that I believe many women possess when it comes to HIV and AIDS.
After I found out about this information, I quickly decided to strike up discussions with many women to get their thoughts on HIV and AIDS and why and how it is spreading so fast among women. Most black women I talked to blamed “the DL phenomenon”. I was also appalled to find out that many women still feel that they “can tell” when someone is sick or that the “type” of man that they date is not at risk. WTF?
First the DL phenom is bull! I am not saying it doesn’t happen, but it’s definitely not as widespread as movies, books and TV will have you believe. In my opinion it’s nothing more than propaganda used to stigmatize gays and their lifestyle. HIV/AIDS is not a “gay plague” and its not punishment for the gay lifestyle. It’s a sexually transmitted disease, plain and simple. Anyone engaging in sexual activity is at risk. This disease does not care about sexual orientation, race, status or culture and these stupid, close minded attitudes have to stop!
But okay, let’s say for arguments sake, that the huge majority of men out here are down low brothers. If it’s so dangerous and men are so deceptive, you’re just going to take your chances and play Russian roulette with your naughty bits? C’mon even if that’s the case you are still responsible for your own protection and the final decision about whether or not you have unprotected sex is YOURS, down low brother or not. This doesn’t decrease your level of responsibility because he is living a double life, it increases it. This brings me to the next comment that many educated fools well educated, upwardly mobile young woman were misinformed about.
So apparently, because a guy went to college, drives a Mercedes, and is gainfully employed he is immune to having or contracting HIV/AIDS? There is only one type of man that is capable of catching and spreading HIV/AIDS and that type is HUMAN. (Okay a little after school specially but hey tis the nature of the subject). There is no vaccine, or immunity that prevents HIV/AIDS. So sorry, Charlie, it doesn’t matter what kind of job, how much money, what car he drives or how big his house, It doesn’t prevent him from having and spreading the virus. In fact so many women are brainwashed into thinking that they are safe, Mr. Perfect is more than likely Mr. Perfect candidate for the virus! You should probably take a lil head instead double up on protection instead of opting to go without!
I am not going to sit here and preach about it, that’s not my style. All I can say is that we as women have to take responsibility for our own actions. When we choose to lay down with someone and not use protection we are putting our lives in jeopardy. Let’s stop being a victim and take responsibility for our lives and actions! If not we will forever be victims; victims of ignorance, victims of circumstance, and victims of HIV/AIDS.
About the Author, Shay J.
About Shay J. … “I am a lot of things but your regular ordinary I am not. I am the oldest of 4 exceptional, though decidedly less impressive siblings. Happily married with 1 child who is the smartest, most talented six year old to ever walk the Earth (this is not my opinion, strictly fact). I am a bit rough around the edges and a firm believer that keeping it real never goes wrong. Straight shooter with no chaser, no filter and I pretty much say and do what I want with no apologies. Long story short? I do me, Awesomely….”