You are the person that is charge of your health and wellbeing. Being well informed and proactive is a part of that personal responsibility. When It comes to being sexually active one of the most important health checks you should have is the knowledge of your HIV status. Believe me, it does make a difference in your life and also in the life of your partner.
My message today is geared towards my Boomer aged sistas. If you are still operating on the idea that your age is a protective factor against becoming infected with HIV, I want you to be aware of the reality that our race and gender puts us at risk for becoming infected with HIV/AIDS.
Women over 50 make up 10 percent of all women living with HIV. Among African American women 60 percent of the new cases of HIV/AIDS among women and most were infected through hetrosexual sex according to the CDC.We have reached the age where being shy about discussing our sexual health is not an option. If you do not know your status or your partner's status you are putting yourself at risk for becoming infected with HIV. Check out Nell's story about discovering that she was infected by her husband with HIV.
You cannot look at a person and determine if they are infected with HIV/AIDS. You have go and get tested. I have had the test and it is easy and the results were back in less than 15 minutes. It was free and the peace of mind that it provided to me is priceless. Getting tested is now a part of my annual health care routine.
Boomers are considered to be a portion of the population that is unaware of the possibility of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS.
According to the CDC, 1.1 million American men and women do not know that they are infected with HIV/AIDS. There is a possibility that this number is even higher among our generation due to the lack of awareness through education and testing.My message to you today is very simple. GET TESTED and KNOW your status. Talk to your health provider about including HIV/AIDS testing as a part of your annual health care. Talk to your partner and share information about why it is important that both of you know your status.
If you need information on where testing is in your area this a link to the National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day website. All you have to do is enter your zip code and the information will become available to you.
Becoming infected with HIV is preventable. Not knowing your status is putting you and your partner at risk. Get tested!