Thursday, July 24, 2008

Black In America: HIV

Here's the thing infecting and/or killing blacks in record numbers and nobody wants to talk about it. Oh we're quick to talk of the "sugar" problem (diabetes) and the "salt" problem (high blood pressure). But what is about these letters: "HIV" or "AIDS" that put the muzzle over our mouths?

Even the black church's silence on this subject is deafening while members of their church are dealing with this time bomb. Let's talk numbers: One in 20 Washington DC residents is infected with HIV - nine times more than the national average. That is five percent of DC's population (with 80 percent of the infected being black), which is equivalent to the AIDS cases in Uganda - an African country.

Among new cases of HIV with women, two thirds of them are black. And guess what? The number one killer among black women ages 25-34 is AIDS. Not heart disease or cancer; AIDS - a disease, for the most part based on choice to acquire.

Wake up people! I live in a region that accounts for the top five of new HIV cases in the country but nobody wants to talk about it. People think an HIV-infected person has a "look" and that becomes the dumbest thing you could think of! HIV could be the fine guy you admire who looks like a great picture of health. It's the stylish girl you may want to get her digits. And the most public face of HIV: Magic Johnson. He is bigger (figuratively and literally) than he ever was when he played basketball and when he made public that devastating news over 15 years ago.

But most Americans don't have Johnson's money or access to exceptional healthcare and medical research. So please exercise the freaking choice you were born with and either abstain from sex when not married (a forbidden thought to some folks but it doesn't kill anybody) or use some CONDOM SENSE. Not just birth control, CONDOMS.

And Ladies! Let me talk to you right quick: If the guy LOVES you, he will get strapped (in condoms). It's downright foolishness for the guy to tell you he trusts you and wants to take your relationship to the "next level," so he doesn't need to wear a condom. Tell that Brother: NEGRO PLEASE!!! We're talking about your LIFE here.

And to the Preachers: You need to walk worthy of your vocation and sound the alarm. You can't be like an ostrich with its head in the sand wishing the problem will go away. Let me ask you Preachers: What Would Jesus Do? Those four words have become a pop-culture term but it still rings true. Jesus never shied away from any subject in the land. He had compassion on the prostitute, the tax collector and the leper - a variation of AIDS in our day. Why aren't you guys doing the same?

Tags: CNN, Black in America, Preachers, AIDS, HIV