CLOSE

June 27th is National HIV Testing Day and as a means to further educate the readers of HelloBeautiful, I’ve gathered a few facts that some of you may or may not have known. Reportedly 13% of African Americans make up for the population of people living with HIV/AIDS in the US, while 49% of people are living with HIV/AIDS in the world. That’s nearly half the population of people with HIV/AIDS! Also, 56% of men and 78% of women became diagnosed with AIDS in the year of 2009 alone. So what I hope to do in this post is to further educate the African American readers of this site with some information that could protect you from the deadly disease.

One of the most common misconceptions about HIV/AIDS is that only homosexuals and drug addicts have the disease. This couldn’t possibly be any more FALSE! HIV/AIDS does not have a face or sexual preference attached to it. It does not come with a certain “look,” it can be impossible to tell if someone has “that nasty woman’s disease” simply by looking at them. Another misconception is that there’s some sort of  maximum number of people you have to sleep with to contract the disease. One time is all it takes people. ONE time. So here is a few things you can do to ensure your protection from HIV/AIDS that are really quite simple. I promise:

1. Get Tested. It’s one of the only ways to make sure BOTH you and your partner is safe. It only takes no more than 20 minutes and there are places that offer free testing, all you have to do is look for free testing in your area.

2.  Wear A Condom. Always, Always, Always wrap it up, no excuses people. Not to mention it poses as 80% protection against HIV/AIDS.

3. Remain In A Monogamous Relationship. The risk for contracting the disease increases with the number sexual partners, therefore it is best to either get tested before sex with a new partner AND wear a condom.

4. Abstinence. It may sound corny and can be extremely difficult to do but it really is the only positive way to make sure your HIV/AIDS test turns up negative.

It is extremely important to protect ourselves as well as our race and always be conscious of your sexual status. Unless you are born with the disease contracting HIV/AIDS is entirely in your control, therefore follow these guidelines and protect yourselves. The first step to getting others to care about their sexual status, is for you to care about yours.

Read more information on HIV/AIDS here:

www.avert.org

www.cdc.gov

www. hhs.gov

“AIDS & Me”: Hydeia Broadbent’s Story

Keri Hilson Joins H&M’s “Fashion Against AIDS” Campaign [PHOTOS]

More From HelloBeautiful