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Walking in my sexiness while being HIV positive. (Video included)



Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, still a very important day within our community for several reasons. One because unfortunately we still have a high rate of new HIV infections.
 
In 2016, African Americans accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, though we comprise 12% of the U.S. population.
What makes these numbers really sad is the simple fact so many advancements have been made, when it comes to HIV/AIDS which can stop new infections.
Treatment as prevention: Evidence has now shown that HIV positive individuals on effective antiretroviral treatment (ART) with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to others.  Did y’all catch that part?

This is why HIV testing is so important. Being aware of your HIV status means you can take control, seek and maintain care so you can make sure you are not one of the individuals unknowingly infecting others. As of 2015, globally only 60% of people living with HIV knew their status, only 46% of people living with HIV were on treatment and only 38% were virally suppressed (virally suppressed means someone’s HIV viral load remains undetectable, their health will not be affected by HIV and they cannot transmit HIV to others)


1.  Lifespan for those living with HIV

In 2013 more than half of Americans who died from complications due to AIDS were Black.
 
Many people who are HIV-positive can now live longer, healthier lives when they’re in routine care.
 
In 1996, the total life expectancy for an infected 20-year-old person was 39 years. In 2011, the total life expectancy bumped up to about 70 years. Someone who is HIV-positive, receiving treatment, and in optimal health — meaning they don’t do drugs and are free of other infections — may live to be in their late 70s.
 
Unfortunately due to us still fearing having conversations around HIV, when some individuals become aware of their HIV infection they live in fear of judgment and stigma, which can prevent people from seeking treatment. It’s imperative that we restart the discussion around HIV/AIDS.


(One of my favorite medical advancements)

2. Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.

HIV positive women take a medication during their pregnancy; babies born to women with HIV receive an HIV medicine within 6 to 12 hours after birth. The HIV medicine protects the babies from infection with any HIV that may have passed from mother to child during childbirth. Fewer than 200 babies with HIV are born each year in the United States.

3. PrEP:  Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) is when people at very high risk for HIV take HIV medicines daily to lower their chances of getting infected. PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout your body. Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90%

There are more advancement’s, and I encourage you to search and find out more but for now I’m going to move on.


One thing that I’m no longer to tolerate is the notion people living with HIV are unlovable, and cannot be seen as sexy. 
I recently decided that I would take more time with my appearance (something I fall off on during my super depressed stage). I noticed as I wore certain dresses or a super high pair of heels, the reversed looks I would get from people aware of my HIV status. Clearly men would pay attention, clearly men would approach and shoot their best shot, and who was I to draw such attention to myself.


I’m pretty sure this was the thought process for some.
And I pose the question why can’t I be seen as sexy and attractive? 
 
Knowing people who are in successful relationships, producing children who are HIV negative (naturally). Please tell me why I should sit in a corn and play a mayflower.

I often felt the unspoken pressure to actually hide the fact I’m a sexual being, (sexual liberated as society likes to call it).  I am currently 33 years old; I’ve lived life, plan on continuing to live life, and enjoying life while I’m at it.   

 To anyone living with HIV we know times have changed, many of us have seen the miracles happen first hand, we remember the devastation AIDS left behind. It’s time to get back to living, we know those who are aware of their HIV status and seek seeking treatment are no longer the threat (unfortunately it’s the people with high judgment, who are going out engaging in sexual activity, unaware of their HIV status are actually playing a big part in keeping HIV going but I’m not the one to gossip so you didn’t hear that from me).
So yes I’m going to step out with my formfitting clothes and super high heels, makeup on point and dancing to all my favorite songs. I’m going to showcase my hips in my favorite jeans because I am not an unlovable sea creature. I am a 33 year old woman who can produce, and bare children if I choose. I pose no danger so why should I be tucked off in a corner.

   We as people living with HIV have to stop operating as if something is wrong within ourselves, this does nothing but continue the notion people have something to fear.  Once we start operating in our communities the same way we do in forums, it can truly help show others times are changing when it comes to HIV/AIDS.  That’s why I decided to post this on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day; the minute we stop looking at HIV awareness with such sober, we’ll be able to reach more people.

PS before you start I actually dress for myself, I love how I feel on the inside once I’m all put together but knowing people had reservations made me think about this topic.


So today please consider going out and getting an HIV test, we really have all the tools to stop new HIV infection rates!
 To find an HIV testing location near you please visit
Sources used in this blog:

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Praying for everyone. You take care and take it easy.

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  2. You are a beautiful soul. I am educating myself about HIV and AIDS regularly. Before I began my research, I thought getting HIV or AIDS would be the worst possible thing that could ever happen to me or anyone. Now, I can laugh at myself
    and see how ignorant my mindset was back then. I am grateful for amazing doctors in our world who continue to work hard at finding a cure. Till then, I will pass my knowledge onto any person who used to think like my old self because the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS must be eradicated. You are a beautiful soul and I can't wait for you to find your soul mate and make lots of babies young lady!

    ReplyDelete