Facing the Facts

Uncovering the truth about HIV.

By Kellie C. Murphy
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 9 | Posted Nov. 12, 2008

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"Our middle-aged women really need to be made aware and educated on the issue of HIV/AIDS," Curry says. "If I were preaching it, I'd be preaching abstinence. But our middle-aged women--and I'm 60 now--someone really needs to sit them down and take them through a shock process. Aren't they now talking about a women's Viagra?"

"Abstinence will fail before a condom will," says Danielle Parks of WATS. But she says she's equally tired of the band-aid approach most cities take in response to an epidemic health crisis.

"What the city is just beginning to understand is the importance of prevention. We can do testing. We can do counseling. But those don't address why a client is there in the first place," Parks says. She does some workshops with a few middle and high school students, which she says is great because it's fun when students come by eager to learn.

"But it's not, well, 'we have these kids who are going through puberty and have all these feelings. Let's get an expert in here to talk to them,' Parks says. "Instead it's 'somebody gave somebody a blowjob on the fire escape' or 'someone's pregnant. Let's hurry and get somebody in here,'" underscoring the fact that when a school--or in some cases a family--learns what's going on, it can already be too late.



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Comments 1 - 9 of 9
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1. Ouch! said... on Nov 14, 2008 at 07:45AM

“The number of Black men who have sex with other men is also alarming. What is more disturbing is the number who don't think it is "Gay Sex" because they also sleep with women. These same men are coming home to their wives and kids after doing there homeys... pretty much disgusting and an obvious factor of where it's spreading from.”

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2. Brook Singletary said... on Nov 17, 2008 at 09:13AM

“Being someone who is committed to preventing, treating, and eradicting HIV/AIDS, I was excited to read this article. I must say I was extremely disappointed. To begin, it was an interesting aspect of the disease to write about but it was obvious the writer was not familiar with the disease. The statement, "Grandma has AIDS" is offensive and tackless. The stigma that still exists with the acronym AIDS is very real and reading this statement immediately gave the impression the author is not senstive to the real discrimination facing people living with AIDS. Her statment, I'm sure, was to breathe some type of light humor into an otherwise heavy topic. It was out of place and not appropriate. Secondly, the phrase, "full-blown AIDS" does not exist. No one on Earth has "full-blown AIDS". Someone is either CDC-defined as having AIDS or they are not. If they are suffering from an opportunistic infection because of a compromised immune system, they are still living with AIDS, not "full-blown AIDS". Again, this was another sign that the author is not familiar with the world of HIV/AIDS because, while this phrase is common is street-vernacular, it is not accepted or used in the medical field of HIV/AIDS. Therefore, if you are going to write a credible piece on HIV, please check your facts. Lastly, the statement of, "Philadelphia-specific HIV statistics are grave..." is interesting. I say this because, perhaps had the author looked at national statistics, or was familiar with HIV, it would be rather apparent to her that Philadelphia statistics may be grave, but not for the staggering numbers. In fact, they are staggering because they are so low. By this I mean the amount of people identified as living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia is so low that it is obvious that people in Philadelphia are not getting tested for the disease. This points to the grave fact that there is still overwhelming stigma regarding the disease and what it means to be HIV+. While I was excited to see a paper cover the disease, I was ultimately disappointed to see that it was yet another piece that was not researched and lacked sensitivity to the subject.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Nov 7, 2009 at 11:11AM

“Yes, enough black men are sexing other men to be a problem in this respect-but it's still the exception, not the norm. Most of the black men who get it got it from illegal drugs or a woman-please let's stop believing that a straight man can't get HIV if he's never been with a man. I'm a transplant from DC, the population that is most likely to be gay there (wealthy white men) is also less likely to have HIV than straight Black people, male or female. AIDS IS NOT A GAY DISEASE!”

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4. student said... on Dec 9, 2009 at 03:38PM

“To Anonymous above me- well said! This is an important thing for people to remember.”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jan 22, 2010 at 10:56AM

“The reason I think the media made people living on the DL as a major reason why people were getting HIV is because it's true. All you have to do is read reports from the cdc. Also, I would like to say, Yes hiv is not a gay disease, but it's easily spread by anal sex so yes they are more vunerable to get it. I think you should be honest and let people know that hiv is not as easily contracted as you make it seem. I'm assuming you make it like it's so easy to contract so your organization can get more funding.”

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6. Alex said... on May 11, 2010 at 12:51AM

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7. Anonymous said... on Oct 11, 2011 at 09:41AM

“The reason people have this is cause they don't care what happens to other people. This is against the law, a person should be tested for this before they sleep with someone, and if they don't the person that they gave HIV to should put them in JAIL. I spoke with a doctor that told me that anyone can get this, and what goes around comes around, I think god protects those that are not wanting to do this, people make false statements against others all the time, and they will have that done to them, and when I say anyone can get this its not just the black race. With the trouble in the areas of nudity and woman allowing men to hurt them is wrong. If I was to give this to someone, I would walk my set to the jail sell and rest my self for murder.”

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8. Jake said... on Mar 15, 2012 at 01:25PM

“It's so important that we get tested for HIV frequently. I was just tested at GALAEI and I would recommend that anyone do it. They are at 1207 Chestnut St, on the 5th floor.

Their website is: http://www.galaei.org/programs/hiv-testing/”

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9. sabun said... on Oct 1, 2013 at 09:31AM



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