National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day

 

I’ve always wondered what my superpower would be if I was blessed to have one: telekinesis? Flying abilities? Invisibility? The possibilities are endless! But the truth is, I’m already a superhero! We all are! How is that possible, you may ask? Well, we, as adults, each have complete and total control of our sexual agency, and we equip ourselves with the necessary tools to keep us healthy and safe from sexually-transmitted diseases, like HIV. At least, we SHOULD be taking those steps.

Because sexual health is a huge component of our lives, and it’s up to US to keep ourselves informed as a community. The statistics say it all: Latinx people make up a quarter of all HIV diagnoses here in the United States. And of the roughly 240,000 Latinx Americans living with HIV, a vast majority of them are gay or bisexual men; that’s actually where most new infections come from. In fact, it’s estimated that one in four Latinx gay men will contract HIV in their lifetime.

Those numbers are a bit shocking to me, a millennial born almost 7 years after the AIDS epidemic outbreak. How are they still so high? Well, most people are under the impression that HIV isn’t a threat anymore thanks to new technology. But that’s not the case. While we are superheroes, we’re not exactly Superman — we still need to protect ourselves. And when it comes to the fight against HIV, that includes routine testing; less-risky behavior; condom use; and, depending on conversations with your doctor, prevention treatments like pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. If you’re HIV-positive, that means taking medication to control your viral load. But all of this means nothing unless we each know our status!!

There’s so much to figure out, and it all begins with AWARENESS! So please use today, National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day, to figure out what YOU can do to best harness your superpower. Because, as the Justice League will prove to you, superheroes work better together. And together with the Act Against AIDS campaign, we’ll get the job done!