AIDS diagnoses for blacks are higher than the rates of any other race/ethnicity. The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black adults/adolescents were 10 times the rate for whites and nearly 3 times the rate for Hispanics. The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black women was 22 times the rate for white women.
- The rate of AIDS diagnoses for black women is 22 times the rate for white women.
AIDS is the number one killer of black women between the ages of 25 and 34.
HUMAN INTONATION is dedicated to raising social awareness for today’s pertinent social & human rights issues through the creative element of fashion. HUMAN INTONATION hosted Women 2 Women HIV Roundtable Discussion, facilitator Dee Bailey (pictured next to me in red blazer) did a wonderful job in the flow of the conversations. I was blown away by the issues that were raised, but most importantly the goal of empowering Women of Colour to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS in this country. In the discussion, we came to a clear, and at times debatable points of ways to protect yourself every single time. You can be straight up- ask your partner when was the last time he was tested, and even demand that you see the "Quest Diagnostic" documents. Alongside communicating with your partner, its integral that you wear a condom each and every time of sexual contact. The question that then arised was, "how do you tell your boyfriend of 5 years that he must always wear a condom". This may create an issue of questioning infidelity. Your partner may start thinking you are stepping out on him, and honestly it can just be an awkward conversation for someone that you know is tested and safe. But according to one of the attendees, "Until you put a ring on it, you put a condom on it".
The conversation of HIV / AIDS should not only occur during World Aids Day or worse, finding out someone close to you has been infected, it needs to be spoken of frequently until Black Women are educated and empowered and stop being the main culprit of this sickness. We need to come together to start making an impact by developing this message. We can't depend on our churches to have this discussion because of the Christian views of waiting to engage in sexual activity until marriage, but lets face it that is not always the issue of people that are in church.
We all have a girlfriend who is loose or "sexually empowered" but lets face it after a certain age youre its not considered being a whore if you have sex often. I personally think it doesn't matter if youre 15- 25, or 50 if you are being sexually intimate and not protecting yourself that's a problem.
Before attending this roundtable, HIV / AIDS has never affected me or anyone else I know but actually this issue does affect me as a Black Women. For the first time I met someone that had HIV at this roundtable, it was strong...Im sure I've seen someone that was HIV positive on the subway, at the supermarket, but you truly never know until someone admits it. You can't tell someone is affected- just because you are pretty or handsome does not mean a damn thing. You must always protect yourself. The statistics are astounding.
In essence, you must continue this conversation now of HIV / AIDS with your friends, family, and circle of influence – talk to 5 to 10 people about it and challenge those ladies and men to talk to another 5 to 10 people. This is no longer taboo - Black women are affected every minute.
Items from HUMAN INTONATION ‘Stop HIV’ Collection (15% of the proceeds benefits Advocates for Youth – www.advocatesforyouth.org) purchase Ladies Stop HIV deep-v tee at www.humanintonation.com