(BLACK PR WIRE) -- In August 2007, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Mobilization Campaign recorded that more than one million people in the U.S. are living with HIV. Yet about 25 percent of those infected don’t actually know they have the disease. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African American women ages 25-34.
Of all the ethnic groups in the U.S., African Americans are foremost in this highly publicized issue. The HIV/AIDS epidemic over the past couple of years has become known as “black and brown” disease. In 2005, 74 percent of African American women in the U.S. were infected with HIV through heterosexual contact and 48 percent of black men living with the virus contracted it through having sex with other males.
Growing up in a society where young people engage in sexual intercourse frequently and without consideration of the consequences, it comes as no surprise that risky behavior is among the factors leading to HIV. Some of us who are in a relationship don’t take the time to know the person. Instead we get caught up in his or her physical traits, clothing, jewelry and the type of car the person drives. We need to slow down and find out everything about his or her lifestyle.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is known as the virus that causes AIDS. It is a virus that exploits the immune system and destroys the white blood cells. Our immune system gives us the opportunity to beat viruses in general. Without the white blood cells (T cells), our body has no chance of defeating the illness.
June 27th is National HIV Testing Day, which will give Americans young and old an opportunity to get the facts and get tested. This is a day that needs to be acknowledged and taken seriously. Many lives have been lost because people fail to seek the appropriate resources to prevent, test for and treat HIV/AIDS. Out of all the nationwide AIDS events, this is not one to ignore because one test can save many other lives in the future.