Hydeia Broadbent Speaks Out on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Broadbent, born with AIDS, has been fighting the disease her whole life (Image: Courtesy of subject)

Today, February 7, 2011, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The fact that we have to acknowledge this day during Black History Month is a shame.

This is a day we should remember all of the men and women who came before us, sacrificing their lives so that we could live better ones. It is not a day we should have to pause to remember the lives of all the people we have lost because we were too afraid to speak up.

As African-Americans, we should be alarmed and outraged that AIDS is ripping through our community the way that it is.

Of the close to 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, around half of them are black.


And for those of you who think you are immune, just know that one out of five of these folks don’t know they are infected.

You may have already had sex with him or her.  Or, he or she could be your next sexual partner.

You never know.

Black people, we must figure out why we can’t do something as simple as wear a condom, or insist that our partners wear one. We must get to the bottom of why it is so difficult for some of us to ask our prospective partners when they were last tested, and to show proof of it. We must also figure out what is keeping us from going to get tested ourselves.

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