Today is World AIDS Day; a day to remember the lives lost to HIV and AIDS, to bring attention to the inequities that exist regarding the acquisition of treatment for different populations, and to raise awareness of ways by which we can and should protect ourselves and others.
Our communities have been ravaged by this disease. Young black men who have sex with men accounted for 50% of all new infections in 2006-2009. Of all newly infected women, 2 out of every 3 are Black women.
We’ve got to raise awareness about these disparities, and we’ve got to remember that our lives have value. When we indulge in risky sexual behavior or remain ignorant of our own statuses, we are devaluing our bodies and our lives. We will not stop this disease unless we take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others.
It really does start with us. Get tested, practice safe sex, inform others, and love and support those in our community living with HIV, as well as organizations that work on their behalf.
We can do this!