When I first saw the movie “Precious” by Sapphire, I never knew that one movie could take me through so many emotions. I remember thinking to myself that this was more than just a movie but a reality that became so clear to me that day. Precious’ story extends far beyond the movie screen for some and to some HIV/AIDS is more than just a statistic.
Whether or not people choose to face this fact, HIV/AIDS has greatly impacted black men and women but more specifically black youth. This means that this disease has no age limit and that young people are dying from something that can be prevented.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2004, an estimated 4,883 young people were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS which represented 13 percent of people who were diagnosed that year. AIDS is now the leading cause of death among black women ages 25-34 and as for men, based on the rates of incarceration, nearly one-third of all black men will enter prison during their lifetimes which can potentially expose many men to risk factors for HIV according to statistics provided by www.womenshealth.gov.
I find it unfortunate that there are still people who don’t know how prevalent HIV/AIDS is in the black community.
Truth is, no matter how much information there is about HIV/AIDS, there are still people who don’t know about the effects of HIV/AIDS or how it can be contracted.
As a community, we must make an effort to educate ourselves, but it shouldn’t stop there.
It’s a great thing to know for yourself, but it’s even greater to pass that same information on to someone else. Wearing a condom every now and then doesn’t mean that you’re protected and the myth that it is a “gay man’s” disease is simply not true. It is real and it has consequences. Learn all that you can about HIV/AIDS and after you’ve done that, pass that knowledge on to others who may not know.
There is no such thing as being “too informed”, the more you know about it the greater your chances are at saving your life and the lives of others.