Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009

Today, December 1, 2009, marks World AIDS Day. I'm glad that there are days like this that encourages people to know their status and to go out and get tested.

Living in the DMV (DC, Maryland & Virginia) area it's scary to hear the statistics out there about the number of HIV/AIDS cases there are, especially in the District of Columbia. Despite the staggering the numbers, the truth is those are only the numbers of those who've actually been tested. There are so many reckless people out there who are infecting their multiple partners and have no idea that they even have the virus.

It kills me that people still think you have to look sickly and have lesions all over your body or be some crackhead to have HIV/AIDS, that is so far from the truth. They think the only people who live in a certain area or live a certain lifestyle are the only ones who are affected by this disease. I guess people won't realize that isn't true until they see for themselves that HIV/AIDS knows no color, race, religion, socioeconomic status anyone and everyone is a target.

It's so easy to go and get tested. In many places it is free or covered by insurance. There should not be shame in saying that you get tested for STDs and AIDS. It doesn't mean that you're a slut, whore, freak, or even that you're engaging in risky behavior, it just means you want to be informed which is admirable. I'm not afraid to admit, I get tested every year regardless of whether I'm dating anyone because it's just something I feel is important. I've made it part of my annual routine.

After all these years, it saddens me to think so many people think they can beat the odds just because. Wake-up people, AIDS is everywhere! Studies show there were more cases of HIV/AIDS in DC than in some parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The only way we can do something about this epidemic is to get tested and to know our status.

We've all heard the old adage ignorance is bliss. When it comes to taking 5 seconds to protect yourself against the consequences then your ignorance is just plain stupidity. Get tested before it's too late.

Interesting Websites:
http://www.hivtest.org/ (Find a Site Near You)

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