National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7, 2014

EDUCATE.  TEST.  INVOLVE.  TREAT.

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Blacks AIDS Free Generation

June 5, 2013 marked the 32nd anniversary of AIDS being identified in the United States and a time for many to reflect on the work that has been done and yet to do.  We are at a critical juncture in the fight for HIV education, prevention, care, and treatment.  We have many who are sustaining their health with adherence to their medicine regime, visiting their doctor regularly, and incorporating safe sex practices when they have multiple partners.

 

When the words "AIDS Free" come to mind, many think of a cure, without ever considering their own health and HIV status.  In order to have an AIDS Free Generation, we must have those living with HIV to sustain healthy lifestyles and behavior.  An AIDS Free Generation simply means we need to prevent anybody living with HIV from ever having an AIDS diagnosis, thus developing an AIDS Free Generation.

 

How do we do this?  It's simple and complicated.  First, we have to take treatment of HIV serious and seek the best course for being healthy when testing HIV+.  We have to remove the veil of silence and secrecy around the disease and engage with those who have our best interest at heart to discuss the disease, how it affects our lives on a daily basis, and what works in the realm of treatment.

 

AIDS has no respect for how attractive someone is, how much time they spend in the gym, how healthy they eat, or how much education or income you have.  It is a diagnosis that comes about as a result of a low CD4 count, mass replication of infection in the body, lack of taking care of yourself, and the presence of one or more illnesses.

 

If you have ever seen someone living with AIDS related complications and lose their life, this should be more than a wake-up call on why someone living with HIV must take better care of themselves.  As African Americans, we have to do better in regards to taking care of ourselves.  We have to reprogram our minds, actions, words, and deeds that work towards affirming the value of who and what we are as a people.

 

Sure, there are examples of health care institutions in the United States not operating at their purest intentions in regards to our health.  However, there are many African American doctors and those who are fascinated with keeping people healthy who work daily to get us to do better in regards to our own health and care.

 

At the end of the day, it is an individual decision to garner the internal power to take charge and control of your life to be healthy as long as you can.  That requires seeking our resources, people. doctors, organizations, and medicines that work for you.  Don't be afraid to tell your doctor if a medicine is making you feel sick, depressed, or less than who and what you are.  Some medicine regimens can be changed, but only if you speak up about your health.

 

Let us end AIDS now in Black America!

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