Is HIV And Getting Tested An Issue For This Generation?
[We have an HIV issue but no ones talking about it]
Yes, Prince Harry was reported to have gotten tested publicly to show his stance on HIV and the importance of testing and yes, shows like How To Get Away With Murder aired an episode showcasing one of their characters living with HIV and even incorporated the use of the PReP a daily preventive medication pill for HIV that is said to reduce the risk of acquiring the deadly virus by 90 percent in one of their episode, the pill is meant to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading to your partner. All these examples are great, but no one is really talking about the lack sexual education including testing when it comes to the millennial generation.
Recently, articles on the millennials sex issue or lack there of have been coming out. Millennials are having less sex than any other generation because they are less likely to have sexual partners or are preoccupied with other issues i.e career growth and loan repayments as well as how the "hook up" culture is a myth. Millennials are having sex, while articles are rebutting the fact that we are in fact having sex, we have less articles showing how: Only 33% of millennials 18-34 getting regular checkups and testing. According to the CDC, this generation has an HIV problem with many millennials believing that they are not at risk of contracting the disease- 91% of HIV-infected in the US are not aware of their status. Did you know, Black/African Americans gay and bisexual men accounted for the largest number of estimated HIV diagnoses (11,201), followed by white gay and bisexual men (9,008) heterosexuals account for 24%, and Women 19%. or how only one less than 1% of males between the age of 18-34 aren't getting tested despite the fact that many young men have at least one doctor’s appointment every year, they are rarely tested for HIV, a new federal report shows.
It maybe because of the lack the education or the proper resources but one things for sure, this generation has an HIV issue that isn't being talked about or w're in denial. Instead of talking about how we are or aren't having enough sex, we should start talking about how to better educate our generation on HIV and HIV testing or talking about more protective measures. I remember watching that "Isn't It Romantic" episode of 90210 when Steve flirted with the school guest speaker and became uncomfortable when he learned she had AIDS. Even at 10, I remember thinking 1. the woman was too young and beautiful have AIDS and 2. I'm glad that someone was speaking about it. As time went on, I realized AIDS did not discriminate against age, class, race, sexual orientation or gender. Though I love how shows are starting to speak more about this issue, it feels like the mainstream is in denial. Which is why organizations like, the Black Women's Health Imperative (BWHI) and Advocates For Youth are making it their mission to educate others on the importance of HIV education and testing. The BWHI even wrote a piece on Black Women and HIV in, 'Let's Talk About PrEP' Targets Black Women For HIV Prevention and explains how HIV/AIDS-related illness is now the leading cause of death among Black women ages 25-34 as well as, how their Let's Talk About Prep platform is empowering women and engaging them in meaningful conversation.
The first step is opening up a dialogue and next, it's taking action. Though Film's, TV, and Music have shown the importance of HIV education and safe sex, we still have a society that glorifies sex and sometimes downplays effects of sex whether, it's the feeling or everything in between. Our Hope? More individuals, groups, and mainstream media will begin to speak about issues related to HIV and the importance of sexual education. lack Women's Health Imperative