National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7, 2014
EDUCATE. TEST. INVOLVE. TREAT.
who we are
our epidemic snapshot
let's end AIDS now
what's going on?
what's on your mind
Quick Questions & Answers
Oftentimes we get an array of questions surrounding NBHAAD, whose in charge, what should an individual or entity do to help turn the epidemic around, and inquiries about the statistics. Below are the 10 most frequently asked questions about NBHAAD. Should you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us at your earliest convenience.
1. Where did HIV come from?
Sometimes we get so distracted by the history of the disease that we put ourselves and others at risk by bringing up a conversation that will not help us turn the epidemic around in the long run. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.
Now, what the hell does this matter in the long run for a disease that is 100% preventable? Absolutely nothing at all. We have to become better at asking the right questions before we sleep with someone, turn the light on before we take the clothes off, make sure we protect ourselves and not put that in the hands of someone who just wants to have sex, and think of our own health first. While the scientists have come to the aforementioned conclusion, you need to reach a better one and protect yourself until you absolutely positively know your partner.
2. Was it created to destroy Black and Brown People?
We're not for certain that it was created to destroy Black and Brown people, but it sure in the hell does like us a lot. So, knowing this, we need to be conscious and careful of who we sleep with, where we meet them, and whether a lifetime of medicine is worth three minutes of sexual gratification. There are no known causes today that people are going around injecting HIV into Black and Brown people. However, unsafe sexual behavior, having a hell of a lot of partners, and not thinking before sexing has shown to increase the numbers within Black and Brown communities.
3. Is it a gay disease?
Really, you want to ask this dumb ass question. The "H" in HIV means human, not gay. This is a disease that is transmitted as a result of four fluids, with sexual transmission being the highest among the four ways of contracting it. Ask Black women who were loyal and faithful to their partners or husbands if it is a gay disease. Ask Black men who devoted themselves to one woman if it is a gay disease (and yes knucklehead, men can contract it from women).
Now it is true that African American men who have sex with men are contracting it at a higher rate than African American/Black heterosexual men, but that doesn't make it a gay disease. For those who keep thinking that stupid S#$%, it is just a matter of time before they fore-go using a condom and make put themselves at risk of contracting it.
Get your head out the sand and use protection each and every time if you are not going to abstain.
4. Why are there two websites?
Unfortunately in the African American/Black community, the crab in the bucket mentality is alive and well within the HIV/AIDS education, prevention, leadership, and treatment circle. Healthy Black Communities, Inc. led the initiative from 2006 until now and due to it being an unapologetic Black organization, there were key leaders within the CDC who controlled the finances along with individuals on the Strategic Leadership Council who subscribed to that mentality which will always keep Black institutions down who worked tirelessly when the organization suffered a hard drive crash to take the reigns and remove it from HBC.
So, while HBC was recovering from a massive hard drive crash where the data and resources to get the original website back up and running was being worked on, the CDC and several key supposedly leaders voted to create another website and we continue to battle for web-space and resources to keep it online and populated.
We're not going anywhere, and trying to hold us down only makes us stronger. We will continue to develop materials and information that is reflective of those on the ground and allow those who tried to tear HBC down take note of how stupid their decision was to try to take the toys and run from the playground.
5. Where do the themes come from?
The truth of the matter is, we rely on soundbytes in the social media stratosphere to give us some guidance and direction on the best theme to use. We develop the website, marketing and promotion materials, as well as t-shirts that fit with the theme.
For 2014, we selected "We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For!" based on the song of those who waited hours in line to vote for Nelson Mandela when he was running for President. The theme was chosen long before his transition, however we have received a warm and welcomed response from our long time supporters. Thanks.
6. How can I tell if I have it?
Look in the damn mirror and ask yourself if you have had unprotected sex with someone you did not know either once or multiple times. On a serious note, it's called testing knucklehead. There is only ONE WAY to know for sure if you "have it" and that is to be tested for HIV infection. You can't rely on symptoms to know, you can either find a free place to test by clicking here OR purchase the HIV Home Test Kit from a pharmacy or store where it is told and test yourself.
If you do test positive, it is time to take things very serious in regards to your health and livelihood. We need your Black ass to live a long time and not do stupid stuff like not take medicine because you heard it can kill you. While the rate of infection for African Americans/Blacks is decreasing, you still need to protect yourself and get tested regularly if you're getting your groove on regularly.
7. Do condoms really work?
No, they just sell them in the store for sheer decoration. Of course they work. Have you ever seen a brother run in a store or gas station to buy a Magnum, wanna know why? Cause he knows they work! Every seen a sister try to sashay in a pharmacy and say she is buying condoms for her son or promiscuous girlfriend? She is really buying them for herself cause she knows they work.
Everybody is having sex and nobody wants to admit it. Get real! Sex is fun, good, enjoyable, and something we need to lead healthy lives. The immaculate conception era is gone, sex is happening and we need to quit pretending like it is a bad thing. Get your heard out your ass, go buy you some condoms and keep them in a safe, dry place - not your waller or purse where the packaging can be pierced and use them when you need them.
We have no time to use religious rhetoric when brothers and sisters are dying and contracting HIV at alarming rates. Ain't nobody got time for that!
There are studies which have shown latex condoms to be highly effective in preventing HIV transmission when used consistently and correctly. These studies looked at those not living with HIV who were considered to be at high risk of contracting HIV because they were involved in sexual relationships with HIV+ individuals. The studies found that even with a lot of damn sex, 98% - 100% of those who used latex condoms correctly and consistently did not become infected.
8. Can I get it from a toilet seat?
Sit your ass down and see. NO! NO! NO! you cannot get HIV from a toilet seat. Since HIV is a human disease and you can only contract it from another human, ow in the hell did a toilet enter into the conversation. Don't believe every damn email someone sends to you.
Oh and for the record, you CANNOT get HIV from a doorknob, a fork, or a handshake, for that matter. The only known ways of contracting HIV are from unprotected sex, intravenous drug use, exposure to blood or bodily fluids from an infected person, from mother to child in pregnancy, and through blood transfusions if the blood came from an HIV infected person. Did you see toilet anywhere in that? Again, it is HIV not TIV (i.e. H - human versus T - toilet).
9. What can I do to help stop it?
Use your influence, sphere of contacts, and the various platforms you have access to and educate people about the basics of HIV/AIDS, go and get tested to know your status so that you can tell others about the testing process, get involved in your local area and don't sit back and wait for others to do the work you can do, and if you're living with HIV, you need to make sure you know your treatment options and seek out the best thing you need to do to stay alive. Your family and friends deserve to have you as healthy as you can be when you come around them and they come around you. Nobody wants a bump on the damn log; life is too short and living with HIV can make it even shorter if you don't take care of yourself.
10. What treatment options do I have?
First, you need to make sure your doctor orders the proper tests so you can gain a better understanding of how HIV is affecting your body (i.e. immune system). Two of the most important tests will be a CD4 count and a viral load test. You may also take a drug resistance test to determine the best medication options for you.
Once these tests have been done, your doctor will review them, look at your physical exam, and individual needs to prescribe a treatment that is right for you. There are anti-retroviral drugs used to help control HIV in the body and prevent it from getting out of control. These drugs beat the hell out of HIV and help keep it from multiplying in your body. There are six different classes of HIV drugs with each one of them fighting HIV in different ways. The primary difference between the classes are the stages of HIV replication (when HIV is making copies of itself) that the drugs target. Some of the drugs have been known to open up a good can of whoop-ass against HIV and helped brothers and sisters live long and healthy lives.