It’s the holiday season and many people have spent the last week spending times with their families, giving thanks for all the wonderful blessings life has bestowed upon them-like family, friends and financial stability. However, as Dec.1, National AIDS Awareness Day, approaches, people should take the time to be thankful for things they don’t have-like AIDS/HIV.
Despite hearing it all the time, seeing the ads on television and in print, blacks still don’t seem to get the message that AIDS/HIV is an epidemic destroying the black family and community. Although blacks make up only 12 percent of the United States population, 38 percent of AIDS/HIV related deaths in the United States are black, according to Avert, an international AIDS charity organization. Of the more than one million cases of HIV in the United States, nearly half are black. What will it take for African Americans to realize that AIDS is not a joke?
In a new era that stresses accountability and personal responsibility, it is important that blacks look at themselves and become responsible for not only their actions, but the results of those actions and how they affect their communities. So, on Dec. 1, National AIDS Awareness Day, blacks should take the time to go get tested and know their status.
It’s a scary thought that the disease could affect you, but the truth is it’s already affecting the community in a major way.
Kiffani Jones for the editorial board.