When my husband and I decided to get married back in 2005, we both felt it was important to be tested for HIV/AIDS. This was only logical since both of us had been around the block a time or two or three. Although we had no reason to believe either of us were infected, We had no problem doing it and are glad we did.
Sadly, that's not the case nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 43 percent of blacks between the ages of 50-55 are living with HIV/AIDS and 51 percent among those 65 and older. That's the equivalent of 1 in 4 baby boomers living with the disease.
BUT IT GETS WORSE!
Many don't find out about the disease until they have to go in for some type of ailment and then you have those who never find out because they refuse to get tested. According to a study conducted at UCLA, researchers found several barriers that may be preventing our generation: a mistrust of the government and conspiracy theories about AIDS. The study, which looked at a small group of people recruited from public health venues, found that 72 percent of the participants did not trust government, and they believe the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves. Another 30 percent believe in AIDS-related conspiracy theories, including that the virus is man-made and was created to kill certain groups of people. Forty-five percent of the study's participants had not had an HIV test in the previous 12 months.
What the survey doesn't address is the stigma attached to the disease. The old school church communities identify HIV & AIDS with shame and damnation to hell. It's past time for older blacks to take the blinders off and deal with important health matters and know that God forgives you for whatever sin you may have, knowingly or unknowingly committed.
To read more about the story go to: Black Health Matters