Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self

In the wise words of Ice Cube, "check yo self before you wreck yo self, cause I come real stealth, I'm bad for your health". Truer words have never been spoken, especially when concerning that big disease with a little name. You know what I'm talking about. HIV.

This past Monday, June 27th, was National HIV Testing Day. The email I received from my state senator, reminding me to get tested, was the only advertisement I've seen regarding this very important day. Hopefully you all out there have seen more. If not, that's a huge disappointment and problem.

I'm not going to bemoan a point we've all heard before. Hopefully the importance of safe sex and getting tested regularly has been drilled into you by your parents who now that you're 21 find it too easy to bring up sex with you or that sex ed teacher who liked to share too much information about their own sex lives. If so, then take this as as just another soapbox moment from someone who intends to remain HIV negative for the rest of her life and hopes you do as well.
And if you haven't really been taught the ropes about condoms, dental dams, and yes even latex gloves- well...use them when engaging in oral, anal, kinky, menage a trois, running train, or just plain ol' cowgirl style sex. Don't ever be intimidated to ask your partner to use one, even if it's just fallatio or cunnilingus [1]. And please don't think sexy time is over if homeboy has to make a Trey Songz style Store Run. Trust me, it ain't. If anything I think it's sexier.


Now back to your regularly scheduled program.


Really, it's that simple. If you're scared, go with a friend or at least talk with one to get some reassurance. Even if it's a clinic you happen to be driving by one day, take some time out to get it done. It's free at a variety of places, so having no money is a terrible excuse. And you can often get your results right then. So why not?

My senator and his lovely wife (brownie points if you recognize her) have been plugging their "Test Together" campaign for years now. 

They have a wonderful site: where you can plug in your zip code and receive nearby places to get tested. It even tells you the place offers the test free, the type of HIV test, and if you can be tested for other STDs there [2]. So convenient. So I hope you will spread the word and website to your friends and family.With the CDC reporting that while blacks represent approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population, they account for almost half (46 percent) of people living with HIV in the US, as well as nearly half (45 percent) of new infections each year, it's time to step our game up folks and stop the foolishness.

Seriously folks, let's get it together. Keep it safe and get checked regularly. Not just for yourself, but for your partners and their partners too. And if you have already gotten tested and practice safe sex, I pray that you will only have good sex, you deserve it. It's a movement.

And if you are living with HIV/AIDs, I can only hope that you are succeeding in living as healthy and wonderful a life as possible. Peace and blessings.

[1] Oh she fancy huh?
[2] Seriously, I suggest getting tested for everything in one go. 

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