Booking.com
Published On: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016

This is #OneConversation That May Be Overdue.

OneConversation_PeerA_Eng_static.A few days back, I had the honor to be asked back to raise awareness once more on behalf of the CDC in collaboration with Social Lens and LATISM. 

I said yes.

I have never shared this but one of the hardest conversations I ever had to have with my kids was the conversation about Safe Sex. Not sure why, I had the conversation dozens of times as a Resident Assistant at  SUNY College at Old Westbury with my residents. Something about having the conversation with my children, my babies made it harder. I thought I knew everything that I needed to know and maybe I did at the time… it has been at least 7 years since I had that conversation. Lucky for me, my children are surrounded by people that love them and they got the talk from several people and today I would like to believe that they have followed our advice.

It was hard because their were so many different things that the conversation could have opened up, things I may not be completely comfortable with. The most important motivation for me was the fact that I knew how not having the conversation could impact my kids, the family.
I had lost friends to everything that happens when nobody takes the time to have that  conversation. I have lost a friend to suicide, primarily because of the stigma of HIV being a death sentence. Today I know that she could have lived a long life had she just had someone who loved her enough to have that conversation with her with the right information.
FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW!
  • About 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2012. Of those people, about 12.8% did not know they were infected.
  • About 50,000 people in the United States become infected with HIV each year.
  • An estimated 26,688 people were diagnosed with AIDS in 2013. Overall, since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, an estimated 1,194,039 people have been diagnosed with AIDS.
  • In 2013, 21% of all new HIV infections were among youth aged 13-24.
  • Gay and bisexual men of all races and ethnicities are the most affected by HIV.
  • Heterosexuals and injection drug users respectively accounted for 25% and 8% of estimated new HIV infections in 2010.

So when I saw that the CDC is looking to communicate via new media and add dimension to this conversation, I had to come back an share this very important 4 part series called Sin Verguenza.

Sin Vergüenza  addresses difficult issues that many Hispanic/Latino families face including stigma, infidelity, shame, sexuality and aging, condom use, dating and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer (LGBTQ) relationships and sexuality. Yet, it also portrays the unconditional love and support of family – even in the face of unexpected challenges.

I encourage you to watch this series, visit the cdc website so that you are better equipped to have this conversations with your loved ones. Share it with people that you think may have to do the same.

It may not always be easy to talk about HIV/AIDS, but we must talk openly about it to protect our community. By learning the facts about HIV and talking about ways to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community, we can help increase HIV awareness, decrease stigma and shame that are too often associated with HIV, and play a part in stopping HIV in the Hispanic/Latino community.

CDC_OneConversation_3

We all have a role to play. We can stop HIV one conversation at a time. Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV.

Join us on on Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Periscope and let’s spread the word using the #OneConversation / #UnaConversacion hashtags… but this is not just “a campaign”, this is about creating a culture of leading healthier lives, about prevention… as well as supporting those who have been diagnosed.

I never like to leave you without the tools and resources that can help us have these conversations and debunk myths so here are the top * resources on the CDC website that you should read to be fully informed to make a difference.

#1 – CDC’s HIV Basics – Learn the facts about HIV and talk openly to help protect our communities.

#2 – We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time – Together, all of our conversations can help protect the health of our community and reduce the spread of HIV.

#3 – Get The Facts –Learn more about the impact of HIV among Hispanics/Latinos (Printable PDF)

#4 – HIV Treatment Works, encourages people living with HIV to Get in Care, Stay in Care, and Live Well.

#5 – Know Your Status, for FREE testing centers near you – gettested.cdc.gov

 

Last but not least… share this post like you would a cute cat video. Please.

This may be part of a paid campaign but those who know me, know that this disease has touched my life and the lives of many I love. All opinions / feelings expressed here are my own.

 

 

 

 

This is #OneConversation That May Be Overdue.