Monday, November 17, 2008

The "Down Low" Brother - Undermining Black America?

Today, I came across some standard statistics about the Aids epidemic among African-Americans:

The CDC states that according to the 2000 census, blacks make up approximately 13% of the US population. However, in 2005, blacks accounted for 18,121 (49%) of the estimated 37,331 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting.

Of all black men living with HIV/AIDS, the primary transmission category was sexual contact with other men, followed by injection drug use and high-risk heterosexual contact.

Of all black women living with HIV/AIDS, the primary transmission category was high-risk heterosexual contact, followed by injection drug use.

Yet, it's not the numbers, but the words within the statistics that are telling. The highest risk for HIV/AIDS for women are black men...who are also having sex with other black men. As if black women don't have enough to worry about!

It's not enough to keep quoting the standard although all-important mantras: practice safe sex, get yourself and your partner tested, practice monogamy and celibacy. There's another, SIMPLE, solution to this! BLACK MEN--be honest with yourself and your partners! If you are in any way having sex with another man, you are Gay!

OK, let's move beyond labels. Stop the risky behavior. No, I'm not talking about being homosexual--that's your personal choice. No, I'm not talking about having unprotected sex or even having sex with multiple sex partners, although this type of risky behavior is dangerous to both heterosexuals and homosexuals. I'm talking about lying. And if you're a male who has had any type of sexual contact with anther male and you don't tell your partner, especially a women, I'm talking about you. Any mature adult, regardless of sexual orientation, knows that "honesty is the best policy." So let your partners, especially our precious black women know! As you can see, your dishonesty is killing them.
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2 comments:

T L said...

I totally agree - you are dead-on. But I have to assign much of the blame to my sistas. We know when something's not right with our man. Whether it's infidelity, substance abuse, or in this case, living a double life, we have that gut feeling that our man is not being honest with us. And instead of confronting the situaion, we choose to ignore the matter, further perpetuating the lie - being content with the notion that 'part of a man' is better than no man at all. Well, my grandmother often told me as I was growing up, "I can do bad all by myself'.

Sistas, we deserve better!

Iam Robert said...

Amen!

Now, I'm going to assume that these brothers are not inherently dishonest but simply fear what people would say or do if they knew these men were engaging in this behavior. So, how do we, meaning society, go about making it comfortable for them to be honest?