This coming March 10th will mark the tenth annual National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Women and Girls, can I get a s-h-o-u-t? In case you didn't know, women and girls aren't the only ones affected by HIV. I'm being facetious. While women with HIV were once considered the minority, AIDSgov states that white, heterosexual women now account for about 20 percent of all new HIV infections in the United States, and those numbers are growing.
I can remember vividly the first time I heard the word AIDS. It was 1985. I was nineteen and attending hair school in Southern California when one of my friends, a student named Trenton, sat down with me at a picnic table for lunch. He was drinking a soda, and when I reached to take a sip, he pulled the soda can from my hand. "You can't drink after me, anymore. I have AIDS," he said. I didn't know what AIDS was, but by the look on his face, I knew it was bad. A few weeks later, my friend Trenton quit hair school and moved away. I never saw him again.
There are two words that I don't use and one of them is hate, but I hate AIDS.
For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, you and I already know that HIV/AIDS affects us all. So, what I'd like to say, on this (almost) National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, is thank you. Thank you for remembering me and giving we ladies a s-h-o-u-t to help raise HIV/AIDS Awareness, and whoever you are--gay, straight, black, white, man, woman, or child--we are in this together. Be well. Be Strong. Be SAFE.
Here's a list of HIV/AIDS Awareness Days that occur throughout the year below.