Sunday, February 8, 2009
Real Talk: HIV AIDS EPIDEMIC IN DC and Black Males
So I woke up this morning to some startling news on the TV. One out of every twenty adults in Washington, DC is believed to be HIV-positive. All I could think was WTF. DC is a city with almost 600,000 residents so were talking almost half the city's population has HIV, roughly the same proportion of people as in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. In that number blacks make up the bulk of the reported cases.
According to federal health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2006, more new HIV infections occurred among young black men who have sex with men than in any other segment of the U.S. population. That same year, black women acquired new HIV infections at 15 times the rate of white women. The CDC conducted further investigation after the state Health Department reported a 20 percent increase in HIV-positive black men from 2004-05 to 2006-07. Among black men ages 17-25, the increase was 45 percent.
I am battling two issues. The AIDS problem in DC and the AIDS problem among black males. What are we doing? We are killing ourselves. First to address the DC AIDS problem. This is again another issue the DC Council should be tackling as opposed to fining someone for not cleaning the snow off their cars. Thank God for the private organizations like the Whitman Walker Clinic and local charities, churches and celebs that raise money for awareness of this issue.
Black males, we are the most infected with HIV in the country. It seems like we are killing ourselves off. We don't need the KKK anymore. If its not guns or violence its AIDS. Black males we need to wake up and see that we are dying off, soon to be an endangered species. The sad part is we are taking the females with us. We need to be upfront and honest with ourselves. If you are having relations without a condom, male or female then you need to get tested and pray you get a second chance to do it right. This can all be avoided by making the right decisions. However as a black male I can say that this is an innate problem. We need to think of ourselves as leaders and rulers and not as thugs or queers just trying to get by. Times are hard this is true and its 3x as hard for the black male however it takes a real person with the fortitude and will to survive the challenges and come out strong. Its time we pull our pants up, and start respecting ourselves and our people.