10 Things You Can Do to Fight HIV and AIDS
6 months ago
Get tested, give your time and communicate
7. DONATE Fighting HIV/AIDS isn’t cheap, but the good news is that if many give a little it will make a big difference. There are numerous AIDS charities and nonprofit organizations accepting donations internationally and locally like the Los Angeles-based nonprofit AIDS Research Alliance. They take cars, clothes and other goods, and of course money in its many forms. Whether you’re thinking globally or locally, there is a place that can use your resources to good effect. Just make sure the organization is legitimate before donating your goods.
Organizations have gotten creative in how they raise funds, having established shopping partnerships with grocers and online retail sites where some of the money you spend will go toward HIV/AIDS research and more.
Some of the more sophisticated organizations can facilitate your donations by mail, domestic and international money transfer, stock, planned giving and more. One-time donations are good, but think about a monthly installment similar to the way you would approach a home or car payment.
8. PRACTICE SAFE SEX This goes for everyone. You. Your sister. Your cousin. Your single mom. Wrap it up. Make sure your partner is clean and knows that safe is sexy. That’s it.
9. PRACTICE TOLERANCE The truth is, gay men make up a disproportionate amount of people walking around with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Furthermore, according to a recently released International AIDS Conference report, an even more disproportionate representation of those infected are African American.
“AIDS in America is a black disease, no matter how you look at it,” said Phil Wilson, president and chief executive of the Black AIDS Institute, who is himself HIV positive.
According to a 74-page report recently released by the Black AIDS Institute, called “Back of the Line: The State of AIDS Among Black Gay Men in America,” black gay and bisexual men make up one in 500 Americans in general, but they account for 1 in 4 new HIV infections in the United States.
Intolerance and homophobia is an ironic black-on-black crime that must be stopped by tolerating differences within the community. If you see or hear intolerance, stand up against it. In many cases, voicing dissent for intolerance is nothing short of life-saving.
10. COMMUNICATE The most important organ we can exercise is our mouths. Talking about HIV/AIDS openly and honestly will erode fear, misunderstanding and stigma. Whether you’re HIV positive, know someone who is, or are simply a supporter of the cause, talking is one of the best and easiest ways to stay healthy and alive.
Talk with your kids, or parents, or brothers and sisters. Anyone who you want to see stay alive. The other half of talking is listening. It can be an incredible support and can shine a light on fears and misconceptions.
Lastly, be ready to be there for people in need. If you’re supporting someone who’s HIV positive, understand they might have special needs you can help out with that could help them stay alive and healthy.