As a digital influencer, I do have the unique position to reach and directly influence, educate and empower thousands of people by simply starting an online dialogue about any subject. Today I want to speak to you about the importance of us having that one conversation that although not an easy one, it is indeed a very necessary one to have with our loved ones. I’m talking about HIV and AIDS, in spite of the fact that I personally think that there is nothing wrong with practicing abstinence, in fact I encourage young people and older ones to leave the love making for when they have made a commitment to one partner and have gotten married.
The fact is that some surveys say many people have had sex with 20 people or more in their lifetime. With this said, it is absolutely paramount we have an open conversation about our health status before engaging in any kind of sexual activity.
The heart of this campaign is to encourage the Hispanic/Latino community to have open conversations about HIV with everyone we know and love, and emphasizing the importance of practicing safer sex. Because research indicates that having open conversations about HIV can be a powerful way to eliminate some of the stigma, negative stereotypes, and shame that are too often associated with HIV within some segments of our community that prevent many from talking, getting tested, disclosing their HIV status and seeking treatment and with by having open conversations about our HIV and getting tested often status we can stop the spreading of this disease.
Take the former Los Angeles Lakers player Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. He says that when he was first told he had HIV he was convinced he was going to die, but advances in drugs has helped him and millions of others survive. Johnson, who became the face of HIV/AIDS, 22 years ago, is now campaigning for more people to get tested for the disease.
These are the facts:
- Hispanic/Latinos continued to be disproportionately affected by HIV
- Hispanic/Latinos account for 21% of the estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States
- Hispanic/Latinos account for 23% of new diagnoses of HIV infection.
- More than 250,000 Latinos in the United States are living with HIV
- Youth aged 13 to 24 account for an estimated 26% of all new HV infections in US
- 81% of Hispanic/Latinos Gay & bixesuals are specially affected by HIV
- Over 50% of youth with HIV in the United States do not know they are infected
- Increase in STDs is associated with increases in transmission of HIV
- Some of the highest STD rates in the United States are among youth aged 20 to 24, especially those of minority races and ethnicities.
- The presence of an STD greatly increases a person’s likelihood of acquiring or transmitting HIV
- 34% of high school students reported having sexual intercourse and not using condoms.
Another main advice is to get tested on a routine basis even if you believe you are not at risk of HIV and use condoms with new or steady partners is essential to prevent STDs and HIV.
This site cdc.gov will give you information about HIV/AIDS and how to find facilities near you where you can get tested.