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Guest Post- HIV 101: Killing the Stigma Behind the Disease

March 10th  is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and this week, I’m bringing you a guest post by novelist Diamond Cartel, speaking directly to young girls.

“Writing is not only my passion; it’s my purpose.”  That is clearly evident in every novel, short story, article, and literary work produced by Diamond Cartel. Since the age of eight, writing has been a way for her to express what she’s feeling, thinking, and experiencing in life. With three novels, a compilation, and a motivational book all under her belt, Diamond utilizes her passion for words to tell a story to the hearts, minds, and spirits of everyone she comes in contact with. Adding her own twist to traditional storytelling, Diamond doesn’t just write to entertain, but also to empower and encourage. That is why she is the self-professed “novelist like no other.”

Outside her role as a novelist, Diamond also doubles as The Motivational Rockstarr. Under this persona, her goal is to motivate, inspire, and teach others the fundamentals of being successful and following your passion. Everyone has an artist within them. No matter if you’re a writer, painter, photographer, or entrepreneur The Motivational Rockstarr has something to fuel your drive, give you clarity, and provide you with the tools you need to progress along your path.

Diamond loves to simply live and experience life. An avid explorer, she loves to travel. No distance is too great or too small for exploring. She also loves to spend quality time with her children, get lost in a night of music and dancing, and make others laugh like there’s no tomorrow. Diamond truly lives to love and loves to live.

Keep in touch with Diamond by following her on Twitter, watching her motivational videos on YouTube, and checking out her Facebook page!

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Quick: What do you know about HIV and AIDS?

The look of confusion on your face says it all. Chances are you rattled off some myths that have been circling about the disease since it was discovered in the United States in 1981. Lack of information and inaccurate information are the breeding grounds which cause the virus to multiply and spread like wildfire. It’s time to seize some of these myths and put an end to the countless number of stigmas surrounding HIV and AIDS.

  • There are only three proven methods to which you can contract HIV and AIDS. They are through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing of needles, syringes, or rinse water with an infected person, or from an infected mother to her unborn child. You cannot get it from kissing, physical contact (hugging, shaking hands, etc.), drinking after an infected person, breathing the same air, or from bodily fluids such as saliva, tears, or sweat.
  • You can’t tell if someone is infected by looking at them. There is no “look” solely dedicated to a person infected with HIV. You can’t tell the difference between a healthy person versus an infected person solely based on their appearance.
  • A positive diagnosis is NOT a death sentence! With the advances made in medical technology, people infected with HIV are living longer, healthier, more active lives than ever before.
  • HIV is not a “gay man’s disease.” The rumor that HIV was a disease for “gay people” has been dispelled years ago. While the rates among homosexual males are higher, they are by no means isolated to the gay community.
  • HIV is not a punishment from God. This was the predominant thinking of people in the 80’s and early 90’s. While it’s not as common today, some people still have this mentality. Despite all of the progress that has been made with HIV, in the minds of some it will always be classified as a “punishment from God.”

Look, you have enough on your plate to deal with as it is. Allowing these falsified rumors about HIV can be paralyzing, especially if you are sexually active. The best way to protect yourself from contracting HIV is to arm yourself with the FACTS, get tested, and know your status – and the status of your partner. Yes, I said it! If you’re mature enough to be sexually active then you’re mature enough to talk with your partner about their status. Don’t giggle! I’m serious!

As a young teen, it is time to start educating yourself about HIV. The best place to start is with your parents or school counselor. You can also speak with your doctor, school nurse, or older family members that you trust. There’s no reason to shy away from the subject of HIV. Talking about the disease will not infect you. Not talking about the disease can leave you vulnerable to becoming infected. The more information you know, the better you can protect yourself now, and in the future.

Resources:

CDC: Basic Information about HIV and AIDS

Fight AIDS-Not People With AIDS

Fighting Stigma For 30 Years: The Faces of HIV/AIDS


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By | 2017-05-21T18:34:32+00:00 March 5th, 2012|Categories: Guest Posts|Tags: , |0 Comments