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Posts Tagged ‘World AIDS Day

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today is world aids day.   it’s been decades and there still is no cure.  millions of people are infected with HIV/AIDS and counting.  there have been some amazing advancements but this very preventable disease has not been stopped.  so what can you do?

1- get tested; a primary reason people are still becoming infected is because they are getting the virus from someone who does not know their hiv status.  to learn where to get tested visit

2- make sure to talk to your loved ones about HIV/AIDS.  learn more about how someone can become infected and what the treatment options are.  if you know someone who has HIV, support them in their journey.

3- donate your time and efforts to the fight.  there are so many great organizations  who can use your energy and/or money.  organizations like the Young Women of Color Health Advocacy Coalition.  or it could be as simple as downloading music on your iphone.  apple is partnering with the (RED) campaign, so you can donate to HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention with Apple Pay transactions, iOS game purchases, and red accessories starting today.


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in my research with young men, every single man that we surveyed who is sexually active mentioned that they are having sex with more than one person. they had a main girl (or several mains) and then shorties.  most of them did not use condoms with their girlfriend/main partner. they all said they would never dare tell their girlfriends about their other partners…and we wonder why there is still HIV?  

each year we take time out to acknowledge those who have been affected and impacted by HIV/AIDS.  i’ve been working in the world of HIV prevention for 15 years.   i’ve met the most courageous men and women who have lived with the virus. they are super strong and keep me going in what is more than becoming an uphill battle.   


you see many people think that HIV/AIDS is no longer an issue.  they are SO WRONG.

they haven’t heard the countless stories i’ve been told by HIV testing counselors of having to disclose a diagnosis to person after person. HIV is still very prevalent, especially among teens/young adults.

SO what’s the deal ladies? why are you still allowing yourself to be played?   you don’t know who he has been with and you certainly don’t know his status.  so why would you say yes.    if he’s not down with it, he really doesn’t love you.  you are so much more.  

He is NOT worth it….

Say No to sex 


Use a condom 


Get Tested for HIV and other STDs

For more info about HIV and how to get tested visit

Today is World AIDS Day

What steps you are taking to fight the epidemic? I’ve got two for you:

1- Check out this virtual quilt commemorating the tireless work of those who are working to prevent HIV/AIDS worldwide.   Learn from others and share your stories.!112911-health-world-aids-day-quilt-13

2- Read the following commentary written by HIV/AIDS activist Denise Stokes.  It will leave you speechless but motivated to join the fight!

I Didn’t Know

World AIDS Day 2011 Reflections

By Denise Stokes

Some say that I have an impressive resume. I’ve lived with HIV for almost 30 years and spent more than half of my life fighting, marching, educating, and loving whoever I could reach. My portfolio is riddled with speeches and articles and photos… and I have loved living every step of my journey. But they have been hard years.

Yes, there has been love and laughter because I refuse to not embrace the amazing gift of life God grants me. At times I feel unstoppable – but I have to be honest with you; I am tired. AIDS is not a celebration. AIDS is a dark shadow that has settled over us and too many people still refuse to turn the light on. I am still fairly young but many of my friends are dead – one of them died today. He was a tireless soldier of love who, like so many advocates, spent his life reaching out to others in compassion. Now, we who are left will carry his passion along with our own and keep reaching people … until another of us falls silent.

We still die. Yes, we have amazing medicines. Yes, we have loving comrades who empower us for the fight. Yes, people being diagnosed with HIV can live long, full, amazing lives. But I risk your sensitivities to remind you that people still die from this disease; and we as educators and nurturers are deeply saddened when we see so many people continuing to become newly infected. At times I feel like an utter failure because I want to stop it; yet the numbers keep growing.

I am often asked what the worst part of living with HIV is. Stigma. Stigma is the most insidious side-effect of AIDS. The whispers when we choose to date, marry and have children – live. The look of judgment and the lightly veiled, “What did you do to get it”. Stigma keeps people silent with fear of being considered a pariah and scares otherwise proactive people away from testing centers. Stigma keeps driving the epidemic into the lives of family after family. And stigma, like HIV is 100% preventable.

I am full of hope and full of life. But like so many who have made ending the spread of HIV their life’s mission I count the numbers new HIV diagnosis and tremble inside. I still hear the stories of people being disowned and ostracized because of their HV status and the weight of the sadness is brutal. Then on World AIDS Day there is a brief kum-ba-yah and it’s over for many. But I will not sit idly by and watch the story of us be filed away 364 days of the year. I live with AIDS. Every day of life is World AIDS day for me – and for your cousin, your brother, your aunt, your grandmother, and your son… AIDS is not a day. It is a frightening state of apathy, indecision, mistaken choice, and fear that we can and must eradicate.

When I was infected at 13 I didn’t know HIV was out there. In those first years when I waited to die I did not know that I could and should fight for my life and medical care. When I took the first generation of pills we had to fight HIV, I did not know they would make me sick. I didn’t know how many times I would grab my black funeral suit to say goodbye to someone I loved. There was just so much I did not know. But I found out. I investigated and people reached out to help me to understand and to live.

But now that we have left you this legacy of love – now that we have paid with our lives to make sure that you now, what will you do?

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Dr. Scyatta Wallace, Psychologist/Teen Expert, was on BET 106 & Park live 6pm-8pm (EST) for World AIDS Day (12-1-11).  The show will provide education and tips for teens about HIV/AIDS.  

Check out clips from the show

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I really tossed and turned about writing a blog on Tyler Perry’s film adaptation For Colored Girls.   I left the theatre completely speechless!  I had been told by countless others that the film was an outrage, stereotypical and degrading. So I waited, procrastinated and finally got the gumption from my best buddy to give it a try.  We entered the theatre open-minded and left feeling very troubled.  But not for the reasons that have been quoted over the blogosphere…  

 The movie was completely riveting!  I admit as a poet it was music to my eyes to hear the rhymes of creative genius Ntozake Shange spoken on screen.   But I also felt the movie deeply. The characters mirrored the lives of many women I know, including myself.  They cut to the core of the complexity of not only Black women but women of all races/ethnicities and many marginalized men.   I must say bravo to Mr. Perry for taking on a very sensitive, charged topic and not being afraid to take a chance at failing.  Unfortunately there was one issue with the film that I can’t shake.  

Janet Jackson plays the character of a high powered and financially wealthy woman who is married to the ‘perfect’ mate.   The guy is super fine, buff, sweet and charming.   Problem is they have no ‘real love’ in their relationship.  In the end we find out (spoiler alert) that her husband is gay.  She becomes HIV-positive and that’s when I say Perry please STOP the madness.   

I am sick and tired of hearing about the Down Low and how they are spreading HIV/AIDS to Black women.   I have been working as an HIV expert for over 15 years and there is NO scientific evidence to prove this rumor.  We don’t assume every man in Africa is DL, so why do we use mislogic when it comes to our African American brothas?  Perhaps we can’t bare to think about our straight men actually cheating on us with other women.  I mean, if they are gay then it’s sort of an excuse as to why they ‘needed’ to stray.  But if they just plan and simple cheat, it’s too much to bare. So we decide to deny and close our eyes to what is a major issue in the heterosexual dynamic and blame gay men.  

On this World AIDS Day, I say please put an end to gossip.  There are men out there who have sex with other men. Some are ashamed and don’t tell their wives/girlfriends. There are other men who like to sleep with both men and women. But there are plenty of men who like only women and they can also put you at risk for HIV.  So bottom line don’t worry about Down Low; spend that energy protecting yourself, communicating with your partner about your needs and get tested!  For the facts visit

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