Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WTF is National HIV Testing Day???

Sorry, but tomorrow being "National HIV Testing Day" I need to grab and shake some people to get their attention. I’m so frustrated at the whole HIV/AIDS community and at society in general for what I perceive as apathy and denial. It seems we shoot ourselves in the foot before we even begin the march!

Where the hell are all these ridiculous public service messages about the dangers of tobacco coming from?? Who is paying for all this prime-time air time? And now I see PSA’s every day about Shingles, Pot-smoking, bullying, Autism, Diabetes…. etc. And in all the millions of dollars-worth of television airtime dedicated to PSA’s… nothing on the importance of testing or condom use. No information is offered anymore to the general public to help end stigma or promote testing, treatment or prevention. Why???

ASO's and health organizations focus so strongly on the “at risk” populations that almost everyone else has been lulled into a sense of safety simply because it’s awkward to promote or encourage testing among populations perceived as “low-risk”. Aren’t we just fueling the stigma by focusing our efforts only at a certain population of people? Who will finally step out of the comfort zone and say what needs to be said to everyone? There are no “at-risk” populations? We are ALL at-risk!

How can there still be so many reasonably educated and otherwise intelligent people out there having unprotected sex and who are quick to say they are healthy and STD-free when, in fact, they have never been tested? How can they feel so secure? Most heterosexual people (of any color) who don’t live in “the hood” are completely unaware that National HIV Testing Day exists, let alone know it’s tomorrow. Worse yet, if they are made aware and WANT to be tested… and live someplace like Encino or Burbank or Toluca Lake… they will need to drive to West Hollywood or Compton to find a free test. Most have no idea that IF THEY ASK, their insurance (many are insured) will pay for the test.

So how can we have a National HIV Testing Day??? I contend that we can only measure the success of this day by the people we test who have NEVER been tested. Get testing beyond the gay community and the ghetto! Get HIV/AIDS into the faces of all those stupid, ignorant people who just assume they are safe because they are clean, white, heterosexual, over 50 or otherwise “low-risk”.

We should at least have as many PSA’s as the stupid secondhand-smoke zealots!!! My God!

Okay… Rant over.

Love to everyone… get tested… get educated


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