Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick argues at the Huffington Post that it’s within our power to address this public health scourge, but to do so will require education about the disease, its, prevention, and its treatment.
Saturday, December 1st is World AIDS Day. The theme this year highlights our public health goal of “Getting to Zero” — that is, zero new cases of HIV. We couldn’t be further from this goal, especially in the black community. The world has been commemorating the HIV epidemic for nearly 30 years. Why, then, have I recently encountered scenarios in the community that highlight our lack of basic HIV education, or simple actions to address the epidemic like a 50-year-old male small business owner inquiring if HIV could be spread by sharing utensils, the high school student believing he is at risk for contracting gonorrhea but not HIV, or meeting a 73-year-old female patient whose doctor had failed to diagnose her with HIV over 10 years ago? World AIDS Day happens once a year but the remaining 364 days of the year, HIV is thriving amidst silence, denial and misinformation. The community remains uneducated and detached from this preventable and wholly treatable condition. In honor of this World AIDS Day, there important facts everyone needs to know and understand about HIV in 2012.
Read Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick’s entire piece at the Huffington Post.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.