Stop and reread the title of this entry for a minute. Think about that. In the same amount of time it takes to play roughly two Jay-z song, pop 3 bags of popcorn or walk to class someone becomes infected with AIDS. Unreal isn’t it? Recently I attended the iKnow summit at CAU with BET correspondent Jeff Johnson, (who by the way is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met), singer Lyfe Jennings and fellow singer Jeremih. The summit also featured doctors and a woman who was infected with the disease about 7 years ago (forgive me for not remembering the name, my notes got erased!) Informative indeed, the iKnow campaign is to promote not only being sexually safe, but sexually smart. Crime, poverty and violence are always the main topics when it comes to discussing safety but people forget the safety of knowing your sexual status. Getting tested for HIV/AIDS is one of the most important things we as young people can do to protect ourselves. While abstinence is the only way to fully protect you from contracting diseases, the reality is that sex is a part of life and there is no way to stop people from having sex. So what the iKnow campaign is doing is making is so people are more aware of the importance of getting tested.
Now I know this is something that has been beaten into our head for years and no one ever thinks that they will ever contract something but let’s throw out a few statistics. More than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. African Americans make up only 12% of that population, but almost half of all new HIV infections are African Americans. Young African Americans still continue to have some of the highest rates of HIV in the United States. By talking about HIV/AIDS, we can stop the spread of the virus in the Black community. So get tested, your life depends on it.
For more information on getting tested, statistics and about HIV/AIDs