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Can’t forget about AIDS

Yesterday was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which is not to be confused World AIDS Day, which is observed on December 1st of each year. I would’ve done a post on it, but honestly I had no idea there was such a thing until later on in the afternoon.

And honestly, this could be some shit a few teh ghey guys came up with in order to gain publicity (read $) for their organization. For example World AIDS Day has its own entry in Wikipedia, but I couldn’t find shit about Black AIDS Day in the world’s most accurate encyclopedia.

But if you type “black AIDS day” into Google and hit “I’m Feeling Lucky” (nullus!), it takes you right to the Black AIDS Day site. On the site, there’s an embedded video PSA featuring a who’s who of black men long suspected of being on the DL, including Tevin Campbell and the first black coach to win the Super Bowl Tony Dungy. (Don’t front.)

In fact, there hardly seems to be an unquestionably straight black person in the whole thing. (There is one old guy who looks kinda gully.) Presumably, Barack Obama wasn’t aware of this when he let his handlers talk him into appearing in the clip. Lord knows he’s already got his share of issues without people thinking he’s secretly teh ghey.

Which is not to say that I’m not glad to see him take on the issue. It is, after all, one of the most pressing issues facing our community, let alone the world in general. Even though I’ve touched on it here before (nullus), I feel do kinda remiss in that I’ve let the past couple of days set aside for AIDS awareness go by without even mentioning it.

I think we’re all more or less familiar with the grim statistics, but here’s the latest facts and figures:

Black people contract AIDS at a rate 10 times that of white people. While black people only make up something like 12% of the population, we account for damn near half of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Black women are catching it particularly bad, with 64% of all American women living with AIDS being black. Young black men are still getting shot like it’s going out of style, but AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women age 25 to 34.

Holy crap!

The obvious question is: why is it that AIDS is being spread throughout the black community as if it was peanut butter? Obviously part of it has to do with the insane amount of social disfunction in our community due to poverty, institutional racism, and our cultural predilection for anti-intellectualism. Black guys (except Bol) do a lot more fucking outside of wedlock and hence are that much more likely to spread the germ. But that can’t be the only reason, right?

You’d have to think that part of it has to do with our attitude towards the teh ghey community. On the one hand, I don’t buy that black people are more homophobic than other groups of people, but it probably is true that we’re less tolerant. We don’t particularly care whether or not two guys fuck, but we’d rather not see it. Which is obviously understandable, but at the same time, you can see how this only serves to exacerbate the problem.

Do I mean to suggest that black people, as a community, should try to be less homophobic? Not necessarily. In fact, I’m not even sure if that’s possible. On the contrary, I wonder if the teh gheys shouldn’t fall back on the whole AIDS issue. For example, when I go to the Black AIDS Day site and see nothing but a bunch of teh ghey people, all that does is make me want to not check out the rest of the site. Worse was the situation last year with the Beenie Man LIFEbeat concert.

At the end of the day, the key is to get the word out, right?

The Bottom Line: If you’re out there fucking, you need to wear a rubber. If you’re fucking a black chick, you might want to consider double bagging it.

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This post is dedicated to the memory of Anna Nicole Smith. As Craig Finn would say, we had some massive nights…

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