From www.cdc.gov: “Of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, HIV and AIDS have hit African Americans the hardest. The reasons are not directly related to race or ethnicity, but rather to some of the barriers faced by many African Americans. These barriers can include poverty (being poor), sexually transmitted diseases and stigma (negative attitudes, beliefs, and actions directed at people living with HIV/AIDS or directed at people who do things that might put them at risk for HIV).”
Part of my responsibilities as a Communicable Disease Specialist is breaking the news to newly infected patients of their HIV status… not the easiest thing in the world to do as you may realize. In training for this position our instructor told us to remember that we as the counselors are not infecting the patient when we give them the news; however at times it is hard not to feel like that is exactly what you are doing. Depending on the client and the type of lifestyle they lead they may not very well know who infected them because they’ve had more partners than they care to remember so forever more it may be your face they recall when they think of their condition. It is up to me to make a difficult situation as easy as possible though there have been times when I wished like hell I was anywhere, but here.
In the year and a half that I’ve been doing this EVERY single face that has sat in front of me for the results looks just like mine. African American men and women alike account for every HIV positive result that I have delivered. The CDC’s statistics show that even though African Americans account for 13% of the US population we also account for 49% of the people that get HIV and AIDS. Even in 2008 we are not being careful with all that we know about this disease… well excuse me with all that some of us know about this disease… because some of us are still in the dark ages and forwarding every crazy email that they get about HIV being in the body for years, etc… hell, some of us are forwarding that email about herpes being in hot wax!!!! Listen up people check your facts go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website and educate yourself, get tested every six months to a year, stop sitting back being afraid to do anything at all or listening to people who are just as clueless!!! Not knowing is not going to make you live longer nor is finding out you’re positive going to make you die faster. I’m not going to go so far as some people and say HIV is the new diabetes because it’s not, what it is though is a chronic condition that can be maintained with the proper diet, medication (if necessary) and exercise…you know pretty much all of the same things you do now to be healthy with a tad more diligence on your part.
I guess I am on my soapbox today because I recently had to deliver the news to a young man who seemed to be a nice young guy trying to do something with himself and his life and yet for some reason he had never taken a test before now. The entire situation made me sad and frustrated me at the same time that a young adult in this day and age is still not being tested on a regular basis.
I am saying all of this to say, Get tested… no matter your race/ethnicity just do it… stop being afraid or embracing this ignorance is bliss mentality… it’s not! This is your life we’re talking about!!!!
My name is Brandi, I am 30 years old and I LOVE Gossip Girl!!!!
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I am not ashamed to say that I am a born and bred country girl. I was born in Tifton, Georgia (pop. 16, 486 as of 2007) and lived there for 18 years. Since that time I’ve lived in other rural areas as well as the city of Atlanta for five years. I don’t mind being “country” however I do find it offensive when people try to use the word in a derogatory manner as if being from a small town is such a bad thing. News flash people I had running water, a bathroom and all the same amenities that I enjoyed while living in “The A.” Yes, I know that at times I speak with a twang, but is it necessary to ALWAYS point that out??? I am pretty much a mild mannered young lady but if you want to get me angry just start throwing the word country around with your lips curled in disdain and you might just have a Hatfield vs McCoy feud on your hands! I remember once in college while showing potential students around campus my roommate trying to make a joke at my expense called me a country bumpkin and I went off… right in front of the students and parents. Luckily I didn’t scare them, but like I said throwing that word around like it’s dirty just does something to me. Recently I was having a discussion with a friend and she was describing this young lady’s attire and she said she looked so country! I held my tongue somewhat, but I want to know why couldn’t she have used another word to describe her?? Could she not have thought of another adjective to adequately decribe the girl?
I personally feel my rural upbringing allows me to appreciate my life as it is in all the many forms and stages I’ve gone through. I watched my new friends from the metro area struggle to adjust with the slower way of life when we were in college living in Statesboro a few of them opting to return home. Years later when I moved to Atlanta I adjusted to the faster city life with no problems and once again when I returned to my roots and moved to Hinesville it was a seamless transition.
The use of the word country as if it’s dirty is just not acceptable in my world and continuing to do so in my presence may just get you told off real quick or at least a raised eyebrow… don’t try me I’m pregnant and hormonal so I am not accountable for my actions right now people.
*Another myspace post*
A few years ago I drove down to Statesboro visit my girlfriend, her new beau, a most importantly an old “friend” of mine. My girlfriend *Keisha was all excited about her new boo and telling me what a great guy he was and how she wanted all of her friends to meet him. I had a few days off so I was like what the hell…
The first day we all hung out, feasted on crablegs that *Mike bought for us. Afterwards we drove down to Savannah to take in a movie….
The next day Mike kept giving me strange looks but I thought perhaps I was being paranoid so I just brushed it off…sometime around mid-afternoon Mike asks me to go to the store with him so he can show me this gift he was thinking of purchasing for Keisha. I promptly told him no. Then Mike gets my friend involved by telling her to ask me to go so I could see this “gift” for her.(very) Reluctantly I get into the car with Mike and we head on down to the Mall (otherwise known as the Small to all former GSU students). Anyway Mike steers me toward the jewelry store and takes me up to the counter and tells the sales lady to show me the ring he was looking at earlier. She looks up in surprise and says “You’re going to show it to her?” He responds “Yes, I want to see if she likes it or not.”
Perhaps I’m a little crazy but that conversation made me really uncomfortable. The sales lady rushes back to the counter with this ring and hands it to me. I held it between my thumb and index finger and I say “Hmm that’s nice.” and I attempt to put it back on the counter. They both then tell me to try it on!!! My hands were trembling at this point and Mike wraps his arm around my waist (WTF!) I put the ring on held my hand up and quickly removed it. I slid away from Mike while he and the saleswoman discussed the price of the ring. He tells her he will be back and we leave.
Mike tells me in the car he was going to order the ring in platinum for Keisha and it should be back soon…. I was quiet for the ride back to Keisha’s apartment. As soon as we got back I hopped in my car and drove to Sonic for a milkshake and to clear my head.
I went back to Keisha’s apartment and she was there alone, Mike left to go run errands. Keisha and I sat around, watched tv and caught up on the latest….during this time hours began to pass and Mike was not back in Keisha’s car..so needless to say Keisha was pissed. They began to bicker back and forth on the phone. I hate confrontation so I decided to take another drive. When I got back Keisha was still alone and considerably more calm.
Mike finally showed up..only to change clothes and go out again. It got late so Keisha went to bed and I was bunking on the couch. I was attempting to get some rest because I was making the drive back to Atlanta the next day.
I woke up suddenly feeling like someone was watching me… I looked over to the love seat and there was Mike and his friend sitting in the dark staring… they both got up at that point and Mike tells me he is about to take his boy home.
I fell asleep almost instantly. Again I am awakened, this time to Mike standing over me tugging at my blanket. I started kicking frantically he backed away and went down the hall towards the bedroom. My heart was pounding and I was thinking to myself what in the hell just happened? Somehow I managed to fall asleep again (stupid I know) only this time to wake up and find Mike standing over me again squeezing my thigh through the covers… when I catch him he says “I was trying to see how muscular your thighs were.”
At this point I am scare sh*tless! I mean my girlfriend is right down the hall in her bed and her man keeps stalking me on the couch. For some reason I still don’t understand I fell asleep again!!! The next time I wake up it was 6:30 a.m. ever so quietly I get up, get dressed and write my friend a note telling her thanks and I’ll call her soon. Just as I am trying to sneak out this fool calls my name from the back room!!! Asking me if I would like to go to the International House of Pancakes…. since when do people call IHOP by it’s whole name…but whatever… I ignored him…he calls out again and I say no… all this racket wakes my friend and she comes and sees me out.
I was so freaked out by this dude I made it back to my apartment in no time! I crawled in my bed and slept for the rest of the day!
I’ve been pretty slack about blogging on the regular, but recently I was talking to one of my Sorors who has been encouraging me so I am going to try to do better. I felt like pulling a few of my older myspace posts to share here on blogger just for the heck of it…
Trapped in the bathtub…..
Before I begin I must start off by saying there aren’t 25 installments to this story a la R. Kelly this happens to be the only occurrence in this unfortunate incident (Thank God!)
Picture it (Ha! Thanks Sophia) Atlanta 2001… I was living the life of a typical college student. I’d moved to the city earlier that year from Statesboro and there were times that I missed my friends that I left behind a lot…and this day was one of those times. I was talking on the phone to my old flame we were laughing and bs-ing around when he invited me down for a “visit” so being the impulsive little thing I was I said ok, “See you tomorrow.”
Fast forward to the next day… I slid into town unnoticed (hey they ain’t call me Quiet Storm for nothing!) so I head on over to Mr. Flame’s dorm. We hung out, went to dinner with his roommate and returned to their room and this is when all the drama began…
The evening was going well enough. I was watching tv as good old Mr. Flame hung out with the rest of his roommates til bedtime. Finally he comes to the room and climbs into bed beside me. We were laying there talking just shooting the breeze when suddenly out of no where we hear…….FIRE ALARM!!! So hear I am supposedly being incognito in town to see Flame and get my fire stoked when a real fire may be burning!
Instead of using that good ole rational logic that I love to use at all times I decided to employ just plain stupidity…. instead of deciding to go downstairs during the fire drill with the rest of the people in the dorm..my dumb a** decides I am going to hide in the room til it’s over because I do not want to be seen in town and especially with Flame. So while Flame and the roommates go downstairs I go hide out in the bathroom…in the bathtub to be more specific. Of course while in the tub this is when paranoia settles in…. I started to think “What if the building is really on fire?” “They are going to find my dead body in a bathtub cause I was too embarrassed to go outside.” I must add crouching in a bathtub for over an hour does nothing for your sanity…I mean there was no way I could go outside now, right? I mean hell I ignored the alarm, ignored the resident assistant’s knocks on the room door to make sure all of her charges were outside as they should be. I just knew if I went outside into the fray after being in the bathtub for that long the Fire Marshall was going to hand me over to the police or at least give me a stern talking to in front of all of the dorm while I stood there eyes glazed over from the shock of it all in my AKA t-shirt and panties…. Uhhh No Way Jose! What would my mother think????
I opted to remain in my little hide out til Flame got back about an hour and a half later laughing his ass off. All I have to say that was the longest damn fire drill I’ve ever had the displeasure of not participating in!
Since making the big annoucement every one that I've come into contact with feels the need to "predict" the sex of my unborn. Most conversations go as follows:
Psychic: How are you feeling
Me: I'm a little queasy
Psychic: That little boy is kicking your tail
Psychic: Do you know what you're having?
Me: No, not yet its too early
Psychic: It's a boy.
Me: We'll see
Psychic: It's a boy I know it because you already have a girl so you need a boy for your family to be complete.
What I want to know is why do people believe that the birth of a son will make my family complete? So if I have another girl will our family not be whole? What type of crazy ISH is that? Who says that I have to have a boy and a girl? Why can't I have two daughters a' la' Kimora Lee Simmons? If we have a son great and if we have another daughter, guess what?! It will be just fine!!!
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John McCain’s VP choice is a doozy. While some people seem to be overjoyed (I don’t know why) others are not so sure…. Trying to use Michelle Obama’s quote about Hillary Rodham Clinton to refer to this woman is insulting to Senator Clinton, those who supported her and women in general. I stumbled across this blog written by one of her fellow Alaskans and I must say it is very interesting and worth reading.
I am amazed by how many people that I know and have known for years are supporters of McCain that say they are “pleasantly surprised” by his VP choice…WTH??? So just any woman will do, huh? If he wanted to play on people’s emotions and select a woman he seriously should have asked Condi cause this chick is NOT the one. I’d even go so far to say her only experience and qualification to hold such a high office is that we know that she’s already a corrupt politician. Sarah Palin does not care about the American People she cares about Alaskan People… so far everything I’ve read is about how her becoming Vice President will be great for Alaska and this will give attention to her home state you all better remember that when you head to the polls in November.
Get to know the Republican VP candidate and well don’t be swayed just because she is a woman when there were so many other more qualified women than this Alaskan Beauty Queen that could have been the running mate of McSenile.
More info on Palin: