Monday, February 19, 2018

World AIDS Day: Don’t Just Blog/Tweet About It, Be About It

December 1st is World AIDS Day. A day where the bloggers and tweeters will wax eloquently about the importance of getting tested, raising awareness, and taking action.

Can you imagine the progress we would make as a community if everyone who blogged, tweeted, or retweeted actually got tested?

I challenge everyone to put action behind their blog posts, tweets, and retweets. Getting tested is the single most important thing you can do to make a difference in the AIDS epidemic facing our communities.

Let that be your first action.

As President Obama remarked today:

The rate of new infections may be going down elsewhere, but it’s not going down in America. The infection rate here has been holding steady for over a decade. There are communities in this country being devastated by this disease. When new infections among young, black, gay men increase by nearly fifty percent in three years, we need to do more to show them that their lives matter. When Latinos are dying sooner than other groups; when black women feel forgotten even though they account for most of the new cases among women, we need to do more.

This fight isn’t over. Not for the 1.2 million Americans who are living with HIV right now. Not for the Americans who are infected every day. This fight isn’t over for them. It isn’t over for their families.

Even more troubling, few Americans with HIV have the virus under control which increases the chances of them spreading it to others. MSNBC reports:

Only 28 percent of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV have the infection under control, increasing the risk that they will spread the disease to others, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.

A big part of the problem is that one in five U.S. adult infected with HIV do not know it. People can be infected with the AIDS virus for years without developing symptoms. Of those who are aware, only half receive ongoing medical care and treatment, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its latest report on HIV in America.

Please. Get tested. Know your status. And spread awareness to your friends and family on why they need to get tested as well.

One by one, we’ll make a real difference.

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