What do women living in Washington, DC, Nigeria, and Rwanda have in common? They are living in places that have an HIV/AIDS rate of 3 percent.
As the 19th International AIDS Conference closes in Washington, DC, we’re reminded of how much African-American women, especially those living in urban areas, have in common with African women regarding contracting HIV. As the Huffington Post, BET, the Root, and major news networks have reported, AIDS is the number one killer of African-American women between the ages of 25 – 34, which is also the case in some African countries. While AIDS has become a feminine disease in sub-Saharan Africa and remains a masculine one in the States, Black women, regardless if they’re African or American, contract HIV from their partners unknowingly.
The conference follows Johns Hopkins’ March 2012 announcement that HIV rates for US Black urban women are five times higher than previously believed. Ladies, the HIV hot spots for us are Washington, DC, New York City, Raleigh-Durham, Baltimore and Newark. Stay protected.
But, there are bright spots. The epidemic continues to decline. Also, our teens in the US are getting the safe sex message, as they are in certain African countries such as Uganda. So, there are places where the young aren’t taking as many sexual risks as they used to.
Also, earlier this summer, SuzyKnew pointed out that we now have new products to help us protect our sexual health like the new in-home version of OraQuick® allowing you to quickly take an HIV test in the privacy of your own home and the anti-retroviral Truvada® that the FDA just approved for preventive use, by taking daily. So, if you suspect your man may be seeing men – and he refuses to use a condom or take an HIV test – you can still protect yourself from HIV. (That is while you work on getting a new man…smile)
Stay healthy and sexy. Let’s see what the 20th AIDS Conference brings.