World Aids Day (Dying 4-Love)

Too many of my Sistas are winding up dead

because they allow smooth-talking brothas

to mess with their head!

Why should another Sistah, full of promise,

have to die because a man lied about his sexual

preference to shield his male pride?

On an endless quest for love and affection,

My Sistahs are neglecting themselves when they

don’t insist on using protection.

What many consider just a "casual date" often turns

deadly due to poor judgment and careless mistakes.

They say "you shouldn’t hate the playa, instead

you should hate the game," To me, a person

who treats love

and sex as a sport

is cruel and inhumane.

Why would anyone play a game based on treachery and deceit

where the playground is a dark world that encourages

people to lie and cheat?

Is the winner the one who manages to escape the grip of

death or the one who remains true to the

game until he takes his last breath?

You can’t expect a relationship to thrive without honesty and trust.

We’re no better than animals when we throw caution to the wind

to feast on self-indulgence and lust.

Whether you’re a wife, a girlfriend or somebody’s "boo,"

Don’t place your welfare in the hands of a man when

that responsibility belongs to You.

My life is too precious, therefore, I choose to abstain,

rather than offer my body as a pawn

in such a sick and foolish game!

You may want a brutha to romance and surprise

you with gifts fit for a queen. But he may surprise you

with an all-expense-paid trip to the

free clinic with an STD.

Some Sistahs need to stop convincing themselves

that AIDS is no big deal. It’s too late when death

knocks at your door to admit

this disease is for real!

My Sistah, the consequences of your life are

determined by the choices you make.

Don’t be captured by a dangerous

game that places both your life

and health at stake!

Dying For Love---- written by Letitia L Hodge ------------© Copyright 2005

In Loving Memory of "Peaches"

I represented my son at his close friend's funeral when she died from aids earlier this year and that was an heart breaking experience. This was an 26 year old young woman that in all rights should not have been lying in that casket! She had too much living to do. Now she is counted among the dead; another victim of aids. It makes you wonder...doesn't it? We as women need to take control of our bodies and take the precautions necessary to prevent being infected.

Women unless you are abstaining....you are in a no-win situation. Men are not only sleeping with women they are now sleeping with one another in record numbers (on the low brothas).

So beware you are leaving this world in beyond record numbers due to the secret lives of the men you love. You should be your best kept secret. Your body is your temple and You are responsible for it. If your man cannot get past the hurt of you wanting to use protection then it's time to move around. Stamp his ticket and send his ass packing; because it's just that real. It's sad but it's reality and reality kills.

The term men who have sex with men (MSM) refers to all men who have sex with other men, regardless of how they identify themselves (gay, bisexual, or heterosexual). In the United States, HIV and AIDS have had a tremendous impact on MSM. Consider these facts:

  • AIDS has been diagnosed for more than half a million MSM. Over 300,000 MSM with AIDS have died since the beginning of the epidemic.
  • MSM made up more than two thirds (68%) of all men living with HIV in 2005, even though only about 5% to 7% of men in the United States reported having sex with other men.
  • In a 2005 study of 5 large US cities, 46% of African American MSM were HIV-positive.

Since HIV/AIDS in MSM was first diagnosed 1981, gay and bisexual men have been leaders in dealing with the challenges of the epidemic. Gay organizations and activists, through their work, have contributed greatly to many of the guidelines for prevention, treatment, and the care of people living with HIV/AIDS.

For complex reasons, HIV/AIDS continues to take a high toll on the MSM population. For example, the number of new HIV/AIDS cases among MSM in 2005 was 11% more than the number of cases in 2001. It is unclear whether this increase is due to more testing, which results in more diagnoses, or to an increase in the number of HIV infections. Whatever the reasons, in 2005, MSM still accounted for about 53% of all new HIV/AIDS cases and 71% of cases in male adults and adolescents.

HIV and AIDS were originally thought to affect mostly gay men. However, women have always been affected too. And even though more men than women have HIV, women are catching up. In fact, if new HIV infections continue at their current rate worldwide, women with HIV may soon outnumber men with HIV.

The good news is that many women with HIV are living longer and stronger lives. With proper care and treatment, many women can continue to take care of themselves and others.

In some respects HIV and AIDS affect women in almost the same way they affect men. For example,

  • Women of color (especially African American women) are the hardest hit.
  • Younger women are more likely than older women to get HIV.
  • AIDS is a common killer, second only to cancer and heart disease for women.

How are women getting HIV?

The most common ways are (in order)

  1. having sex with a man who has HIV
  2. sharing injection drug works (needles, syringes, etc.) used by someone with HIV

What Women Can Do

Your risk of getting HIV or passing it to someone else depends on several things. Do you know what they are? You might want to talk to someone who knows about HIV. You can also do the following:

  • Abstain from sex (do not have oral, anal, or vaginal sex) until you are in a relationship with only one person, are having sex with only each other, and each of you knows the other’s HIV status.
    • If both you and your partner have HIV, use condoms to prevent other STDs and possible infection with a different strain of HIV.
    • If only one of you has HIV, use a latex condom and lubricant every time you have sex.
  • If you have, or plan to have, more than one sex partner, consider the following:
    • Get tested for HIV
      • If you are a woman who is planning to get pregnant or who is pregnant, get tested as soon as possible, before you have your baby.
    • Talk about HIV and other STDs with each partner before you have sex.
    • Learn as much as you can about each partner’s past behavior (sex and drug use) and consider the risks to your health before you have sex.
    • Ask your partners if they have recently been tested for HIV; encourage those who have not been tested to do so.
    • Use a latex condom and lubricant every time you have sex.
    • If you think you may have been exposed to another STD such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or Chlamydia trachomatis infection, get treatment. These diseases can increase your risk of getting HIV.
  • Even if you think you have low risk for HIV infection, get tested whenever you have a regular medical check-up.
  • Do not inject illicit drugs (drugs not prescribed by your doctor). You can get HIV through needles, syringes, and other works if they are contaminated with the blood of someone who has HIV. Drugs also cloud your mind, which may result in riskier sex.
  • If you do inject drugs, do the following:
    • Use only clean needles, syringes, and other works.
    • Never share needles, syringes, or other works.
    • Be careful not to expose yourself to another person's blood.
    • Get tested for HIV test at least once a year.
    • Consider getting counseling and treatment for your drug use.
  • Do not have sex when you are taking drugs or drinking alcohol because being high can make you more likely to take risks.

To protect yourself, remember these ABCs:

A=Abstinence

B=Be Faithful

C=Condoms

If you are a woman, there are even more things you can do.

DO

Use a female condom.

Get tested, especially if you’re pregnant.

If you are pregnant and have HIV, talk to your doctor about taking medicine so your baby does not get your HIV.

DO NOT

  • Do not use spermicides that contain nonoxynol-9 (N-9). This product may help keep you from getting pregnant, but it will not protect you from HIV. In fact, using N-9 often may actually make it easier for you to get HIV.
  • Do not count on most birth control methods to protect you from HIV. The following birth control methods will NOT protect you from HIV:
  • The pill
  • Diaphrams
  • Shots
  • Implants
  • N-9

Do not douche. Douching removes some of your body’s natural protection.

BE THE SOLUTION. K-N-O-W. A-C-T !!


What are the origins of this term down low and what does it refer to?

  • The most generic definition of the term down low, or DL, is “to keep something private,” whether that refers to information or activity.
  • The term is often used to describe the behavior of men who have sex with other men as well as women and who do not identify as gay or bisexual. These men may refer to themselves as being “on the down low,” “on the DL,” or “on the low low.” The term has most often been associated with African American men. Although the term originated in the African American community, the behaviors associated with the term are not new and not specific to black men who have sex with men.
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Comments 2 comments

JY3502 profile image

JY3502 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Sweet,

You have a unique, wonderful style of writing. You have a great talent. I found this article to be well researched, organized and written. Congratulations. I hope to see more of your hubs here.


SweetMocha-Monroe profile image

SweetMocha-Monroe 6 years ago Author

Thank you for your encouraging words. As for a style, I'm just being me...PASSIONATE. It was hard too see someone I watched grow up lying in a casket. Simply because she loved and trusted someone. She suffered a miserable death...all for love and if this article reaches one person, it will save other countless lives. Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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