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June 25, 2014

Here We Are Again

Here we are again.  June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.  Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV.  The data are even more pointed – as Blacks/African Americans account for 44% of the population living with HIV.

Michel Martin of National Public Radio (@TellMeMoreNPR) discussed HIV and the Black church during a December 2013 segment. Listening to the segment with the @myhealthimpact research scholars who were, then, undergraduate college students raised many reactions.  These reactions are shown below:

The diagram speaks to the following reactions; some of which were of surprise to the young adults:

  • Wow. Half of million!
  • My church has never talked about HIV/creates stigma
  • Great that this TX pastor (in the NPR segment) is offering HIV testing
  • OMG! The ratio of black mean affected with HIV is almost the same of black men in the jail (1/16 and 1/15)
  • What IS this stigma surrounding HIV…statistics do not lie because the facts are there!
  • Why is the congregation ahead of their leadership—bold statement!

After recently watching the HBO special, The Normal Heart, I asked the team what did they learn?  While the special was described as graphic and provided a “visual”, one of scholars offered a few parting words:

“What I learned about HIV awareness has come from this project.  We were born in the mid-90s, so the visuals and impact of the virus is not with us.  We were not born when Magic made his announcement.  The connection is somewhat difficult and missing for us”. 

Powerful and even more reason to “Know Your Status”.  June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.  See the myhealthimpactnetwork.org link to HIV testing centers in your area.


                  

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In Partnership with: Poole College of Management, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Science Foundation, Penn State

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