Bonjour Tout le Mode!!!!
Today, I participated in National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day!!! The experience was planned and forgotten at the same time, how is that so? Easy…. Life! I live a hectic lifestyle where if something isn’t in front of me or a constant reminder, something could get by me. That’s why I am sharing this momentous act with all of you.
I am sure some of you have thought “how can you forget about getting tested for HIV/AIDS?” in all honesty, the majority of the American population who is having sex, or has had sex, don’t know their status. During my research, last summer, for my post ‘Let’s Talk Sex’ I interviewed over 30 people and it was a toss up between those who have had been tested but don’t do it regularly and there were those who have never been tested. These are people who are: sexually active or not, in a relationship or single* majority were single, religious or not, young and older than 50. Some would know their status but not that of their partner/lover or vice versa! (Bananas! Ain’t it)
I am a child of the 80s and I vividly remember the HIV/AIDS awareness cartoons and campaign. I even work with a guy who created this cartoon strip/ AIDS campaign called “Protect Your Monster” (find and like him on Facebook). I live in a metropolis chocolate city that has billboards all over the highways, sidewalks and on the public transportation, reminding all of us to get educated and tested, especially in the LGBT and the Black American communities. Which doesn’t help my case, with all these avenues to remind, inform and inspire people to be knowledgeable and responsible using all the marketing tools at hand. People will forget, or deem it not important. However it is! We all have had unprotected sex or exchanged bodily fluids one way or another. It is important to know, for your records, whats the level of your health. We never know what’s going on in the inside of our bodies. Why wait until something is hurting, burning or has fallen off to get tested or find out what’s happening within us. Prevention is key to a cure.
Here are some ways to stay informed of your body: 1) Get tested when you go to the doctor next visit. It is simple and convenient, more so when it’s a regular check up. 2) Go when its a National event i.e. National HIV/AIDS day or month invite a friend for support or conversation to take the edge off while waiting. 3) Use it as a tool to get closer with your mate, go to a clinic together. 4) Take the test while at a festival, often there are freebies to get after getting tested. Hey! Any incentive is a good one! Plus, you just may get a free ticket to the concert you were trying to go to. Trust me, it happens! Now, I am a loner and a bit private and quiet with my life (I know it’s hard to believe but it is true) however I do see couples and friends in the waiting room. I think that its cool to be with company at a place where emotions are high, the level of uncertainty can rise and the feeling of being alone can easily seep in like the air through a cracked window. Getting tested for HIV/AIDS is good information to have, just like knowing whether you have an STD. These are gifts that are not meant to be given to anyone, or to be received by anyone for that matter.
There are numerous clinics throughout the USA that offer FREE testing. Google them or just wait for a festival to come to your town. To help, next month, JULY is National HIV/AIDS Awareness Month so go and get tested!!!! Every support group has a day so go and research!!!
Let me share w you one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books!
* “He who hesitates, is lost” *
- National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day … 7th of February
- National HIV/AIDS Testing Day … 27th of June
- National HIV Awareness Month … July
- National HIV/AIDS Awareness Month … Octobre
- World AIDS Day … 1st Decembre
- HIV/AIDS Awareness Month … Decembre
These are but a few that I’ve found. Pick a month or a day and Get Tested, mon amie/my friend =)) Until next time!
Au revoir! :-* (kisses)