I wrote this entry last year for World AIDS Day.
Here in Los Angeles, the Magic Johnson Foundation is doing a lot around HIV and AIDS to raise awareness and encourage testing. Especially among young black people, black church communities, and the community at large. There will be a number of rapid testing sites set up in parts of L.A. that are predominantly black this weekend. That's a good thing.
Still, I can imagine the fear of those going to get tested... and the stigma cast upon them by passersby. We still keep a number of issues smothered under a sheet of silence in our communities. Our communities also perpetuate myths and incorrect information, even when progressive thinking and correct information is available, which can contribute to people not getting tested or picking up their results.
I think this book, Not In My Family, edited by Gil L. Robertson, will contribute to opening up the dialogue. Check out the Not in My Family website.
It's cool to get tested. It's cool to know our health status. It's cool to talk about sex, drugs, self esteem, and the choices that can benefit our health and well being. And it's cool to challenge the silence and myths and incorrect information around HIV and AIDS.