Check this scenario, you are chillin with your girl or your
man (or in some cases any girl or any man-depending on how you rock). Lights
are turned down, passion is turned up, clothes are coming off, you are about to
get into it, and your next decision can
affect the rest of your life! Sexual irresponsibility has run rampant amongst teens and
young adults, a behavior that is displayed in music, movies, on TV and
Whether its not using protection, not getting check-ups,
not being tested or having lack of knowledge on STDs and how to catch them,
this level of irresponsibility is on the rise.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides the following
staggering statistics on the rate of HIV/AIDS and STD infection:
Over 19 million new
sexually transmitted infections occur each year among all age groups, with the
highest infection rate among young African-American Women.
Although African-Americans make up only 13% of the U.S.
population, we account for more than 49% of HIV/AIDS cases. AIDS is the leading
cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34, and the second leading cause of
death for Black men ages 35-44.
Of all Black women living with HIV/AIDS, the primary
transmission category was high-risk heterosexual contact (74%), followed by
injection drug use. Of Black men, the primary category was male-to-male sexual
In 2006, 47% of all Chlamydia cases occurred among
African-Americans. The rate of Chlamydia among African-American women was more
than seven times higher than the rate among white women. The rate among African-American men was more
than 11 times higher than among white men.
In 2006, gonorrhea rates were highest for African-Americans
aged 15-19. Among African-Americans aged
20-24, the Gonorrhea rate was 16 times greater than among whites.
Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected
with HPV and another 6.2 million people become newly affected each year. At least 50% of sexually active men and women
acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
One in five Americans have Genital Herpes (also known as Genital
HSV-2). Genital HSV-2 infection is more
common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one
out of eight).
You are becoming infected with HIV and other STDs at
alarming rates. You have to think about the fact that when you are having sex,
you can get little tears in the lining of your vagina, which makes the
transmission of diseases and infections from a man to a woman extremely high.
Weve got to do a better job of cherishing our bodies.
There are several men out there who are leading dual sexual
lifestyles, which can increase his chances for infections. Make that man use a
condom. Better yet, keep your own stash of male and female condoms, so if he
gives you a problem about wrapping it up, you can handle your own business and
You saw the stats above. One thing to know is that the
majority of these women are catching these infections from heterosexual
relationships. You are carriers of several infections that may lie dormant in
your system, but are easily transmitted. And although the chances are slightly slimmer, you can catch these infections from women.
Use a condom! This choice is not that difficult. If you are concerned about lack of sensation,
use an ultra sensitive, ribbed, or dual pleasure Life Styles condom. There are
too many choices and not enough reasons not
to wrap it up!
Think about this when you have unprotected sex with someone
you are giving that person the ultimate
level of trust. This is the same person
that you wouldnt leave alone in your house or you wouldnt let drive your new
BMW, but you are allowing them to possibly dictate how you live the rest of
your life, whether it will be a life of fighting HIV, living with an incurable
STD, or possibly having a child with them when you didnt even want to call
them the next day. This is crazy!
IN 2008, THERE ARE NO
I am scared for the younger generation. There are a lot of smart people making dumb
decisions about their health, decisions that are literally killing them. What has
to happen for us to get smart about the situation? A few minutes of pleasure can lead to a
lifetime of pain.
Way too often, the only time we visit the doctor is if we
are feeling sick or notice something is wrong – or we tend to skip the doctor
and just diagnose ourselves. Our doctor visits need to be more proactive than
reactive. Again, many infections and
diseases lie dormant in our system and we do not find out about them until its
too late. Be responsible to yourself and
make sure you are straight.
Doctors recommend that if you are sexually active, you need
to get tested for HIV every 6-12 months. This is not a game. We are dying at alarming rates because of a small
decision to not know your status. HIV tests are free and there are several
testing sites within communities nationwide.
USE THE CONDOM!
One of the safer methods of protection USE IT!
One of the quickest methods of protection USE IT!
You are literally holding your life in the palm of your
Be informed Be empowered!
For more information about STDs and HIV/AIDS check out the
Tamekia Flowers is the
Founder/Executive Director of Hip Hop 4 Life, a non-profit organization
dedicated to engaging, educating and empowering young people to adopt a
healthier lifestyle while impacting positive social change within communities
across the nation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.