Across America this week March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Many people are aware that Black women are leading the way statistically in being HIV positive and dying from AIDS. Recently, ad campaigns, such as “Greater than AIDS” has helped bring the message ‘home’ to the Black community specifically there women. Being an Black woman I find it appalling and feel obligated to lead the way in changing these statistics.
Various organizations, such as the ONE campaign, RED, including the USA government are making efforts to become an AIDS free generation by 2015. But where’s the church?
Honestly, the only way to get an AIDS free generation is by abstaining from the leading way an individual is infected, sexual intercourse. Within the black community it has been quite taboo to consider anyone to abstain from sexual activities until marriage. In some circles it’s even frowned upon, “like seriously whose a virgin?”
The black church has for centuries been the pillar within the community. However, in more recent years the pillar has been almost completely silent in regards to the rise in the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. The recent sexual scandals surrounding the black church leaders seems like a perfect time to address these issues and set up testing sites on church grounds. Being a black woman apart of a black church it is my responsibility to off balance these statistics by speaking directly to my community leaders to take action. One would think that the black church would be more involved considering that many of these women infected attend these churches every Sunday feeling alone. Unfortunately, they have to find support from outside of what is considered a ‘safe haven.’
It really isn’t enough to be aware we must respond, intervene, and prevent. The process to an AIDS free generation far exceeds the use of contraceptives and vaccinations.
Call to Action: Make a plan towards you making a difference within your community to eliminate AIDS by 2015.