Action – not apathy – is needed from black women on HIV

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From Phill Wilson, Essence Magazine:

Phill Wilson is the President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute. Here, he states his vision of how we as a community can lessen the danger of AIDS for Black men and women using education and knowledge.

March is Women’s History Month and Wednesday, March 10th, is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, when women educate themselves and learn how to keep from becoming infected with the disease.

This exercise is particularly important for Black women because while most Black people know the facts about HIV, many times we don’t act on what we know. Although Black women account for 12 percent of women in the United States, they comprise almost 70 percent of women believed to have AIDS. The AIDS rate among Black women is nearly 22 times higher than that of their White peers. In 2006, AIDS was the leading cause of death among Black women ages 25 to 44. Tragically, many of these young women became infected as teenage girls.

But just as Harriet Tubman, one of the most celebrated women in Black history, transcended her circumstances by escaping slavery and creating a way for others to save themselves, every Black female can both protect herself from HIV and help to create an environment where other Black people can safeguard themselves. But what does it take to be greater than AIDS when Black women shoulder disproportionate family responsibilities, are often poorer and have poorer health outcomes than other women, and are frequently abused and disrespected? And how can our community help them?

Continue to the full article at the Essence Magazine website.