As we pause today to remember our PAD sisters and brothers whom we have lost to HIV/AIDS, I ask you to recommit to being a part of the solution towards eradicating new infections and educating all who are at risk in the PAD Community. Attend the 2011 MCC PAD Conference and learn how to advocate and educate. I share below the words of LaMont Montee Evans of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2011
It takes a village to fight HIV/AIDS!
Greetings Black AIDS Day Family:
Today is that day, where we can make the biggest difference in the lives of Black People everywhere. It’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and now is the time for us to get educated about HIV/AIDS in our local communities; get tested and know our status; get involved in leadership roles within our locales to be a part of the decision making for resources and information disseminated to our people; and lastly – get treated for those newly testing HIV+ or those who have not accessed treatment services or information.
We have come through a long and painful past, some of it tried to damage the core of who and what we are as Black People, yet we made it. We have come to a point in history where we have gained a tremendous amount of wealth, power and access than ever before. We have more technology than ever before, yet there’s one thing missing here in the United States.
We have to pause today and let this be the first day of a long journey where we invoke the act that Black Life matters. Nobody is disposable. It is going to take the entire village of Black People in the Diaspora to help turn this epidemic around.
Think about what we have been through, 300+ years of slavery, the largest Black Holocaust and yet we are still here. We are the people who refuse to die. Don’t think not thinking about HIV; not looking at someone who you know has it; or not talking about it will make it go away.
Join us in the fight and let us join hands, hearts and minds and carry the message of prevention, care and treatment safely to future generations to come.
Get Educated: Knowing all the facts about HIV/AIDS will help eliminate the stigma associated with the disease, which is a source of the resistance many Black people have about getting tested and treated. To end this epidemic, we need everyone to be educated with the facts about HIV/AIDS. You can start by downloading a copy of “HIV & Me: An African-American Guide to Living with HIV” Get Tested: When you know better, you do better. One in four people living with HIV don’t know that they are infected. Knowing your status is another important step in ending this epidemic. Today, there are thousands of sites offering free HIV testing. CLICK HERE to find one in your community.
Get Treated: With the recent advances in HIV medicine, treatment options are allowing many HIV positive people to live a normal life span. If you are positive, please stay informed about treatment options and work with your healthcare providers to find the treatment that works best for you. A great resource for information on living a healthy life with HIV is www.thebody.com.
Get Involved: Today, there are several community events happening around the country that will allow you to make an impact. Visit www.blackaidsday.org to get involved.