Monday, June 26, 2006

What's On Your Agenda?

This year marks the 25th year that HIV/AIDS has ravaged our nation and stripped us of a number of our nation's best and brightest. Unless you are in the medical field, most do not know that AIDS has taken and HIV has infected an unproportionate amount of African American lives. So much so, there has been a number of theories that names the United States government as
the entity that unleashed this deadly virus into our society. The following was taken from the Center for Disease Control's website:

(Please Read)

Among diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans,
HIV/AIDS has had a particularly devastating effect. At every stage―from HIV
diagnosis through the death of persons with AIDS―the hardest-hit racial or
ethnic group is African Americans. Overall, even though African
Americans make up only approximately
13% of the US population, one half of the estimated new numbers of HIV/AIDS
diagnoses in the United States in 2004 were for African Americans [1].*

Race/ethnicity of adults and adolescents with HIV/AIDS diagnosed in
2004 Note. Based on data from 35 areas with long-term, confidential,
name-based HIV reporting. AIDS has become a leading
cause of death for African Americans
. In 2002 (the most
recent year for which data are available), HIV/AIDS was the second leading
cause of death for all African Americans aged 35–44 [2]. In the same
year, HIV/AIDS was the number 1 cause of death for African American women
aged 25–34 [2].

The cumulative toll (from the beginning of the epidemic through 2004)
of AIDS is sobering.
Of the almost 1 million cases of AIDS diagnosed in the
United States and its dependencies, possessions, and associated nations, 40%
were in African Americans [1].
Of the more than half a million people with AIDS who have died, 38% were African
Americans [1].

In 2002, HIV/AIDS was the number 1 cause of death
for African American
women aged 25-34. It is not an
exaggeration to say that HIV/AIDS is an epidemic in the African American

Quick Facts:
African Americans have accounted for 40%
of AIDS diagnoses since the beginning of the epidemic [1].

African Americans do not live as long as people in other racial or
ethnic groups who have AIDS [1].

In 2004,more African American children (under the age of 13) were
living with AIDS than were children of all other races and ethnicities living
with AIDS combined [1].

Tomorrow, June 27 is National HIV Testing Day. What's on your agenda?

AIDS Volunteers of Cincinnati
Street Address
220 Findlay St. Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-7712
Phone Number
513-421-2437 (main)

1 comment:

DC is Dying said...

One of my dearest friends is HIV positive. I (a straight woman) love him like the brother I always wished to have.

He was diagnosed about 6 years ago after becoming deathly ill and being hospitalized. I think he knew before this crisis that he had been exposed,but chose to live in denial. The way he responded to that incident exposed some deep cracks in his sense of self-worth and the sincerity of folks that love him dearly. With God's grace, he recovered, got medical attention - with no insurance, mind you, and has resumed his life.

Unfortunately,my friend has never skipped a beat indulging the side of his life that he doesn't share with me. Another trusted roommate/"sister" of his revealed that he continues to "vanish" for extended periods during his weekly visits to her home. Every Friday night, no matter what time, he's out and returns at 6am. He never discusses this pattern - and she hasn't confronted him, either. When they were roommates, he would leave the house every single day for hours at a time, never revealing what, why, who. We are both convinced that he is cruising and or doing the sex party scene, just as he did before he was tested.

I can tell you that he is a very VERY fragile person who wears a facade that borders on delusional. That said, however, I want to confront him about his conduct. I think he has a responsibility as a human being to chill on what appears to be public cruising.

I'm not judging is SGL orientation; that has nothing to do with my love for him as a person, and I would gladly embrace any person he wanted to share his life with.

But his conduct appears to be a public health issue. He doesn't date women - never has - but he's told me about all the married men on the DL (and will point them out to me for reference and protection)

Any thoughts on how to address this? Again, my concern has nothing to do with his SGL attraction, but cruising and sexing with HIV is a problem for everyone.